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First, We Make the Beast Beautiful

Narrated by: Sarah Wilson
Length: 9 hrs and 7 mins
5 out of 5 stars (4 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Sarah Wilson - best-selling author and entrepreneur, intrepid solver of problems and investigator of how to live a better life - has helped over 650,000 people across the world to quit sugar. She has also been an anxiety sufferer her whole life.

In her new audiobook, she directs her intense focus and fierce investigatory skills onto this lifetime companion of hers, looking at the triggers and treatments, the fashions and fads. She reads widely and interviews fellow sufferers, mental health experts, philosophers and even the Dalai Lama, processing all she learns through the prism of her own experiences. 

Sarah pulls at the thread of accepted definitions of anxiety and unravels the notion that it is a difficult, dangerous disease that must be medicated into submission. Ultimately, she reframes anxiety as a spiritual quest rather than a burdensome affliction, a state of yearning that will lead us closer to what really matters.

Practical and poetic, wise and funny, this is a small book with a big heart. It will encourage the myriad sufferers of the world's most common mental illness to feel not just better about their condition but delighted by the possibilities it offers for a richer, fuller life.

©2018 Sarah Wilson (P)2018 Pan Macmillan AU

Critic Reviews

"Probably the best book on living with anxiety that I've ever read." (Mark Manson, best-selling author of The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck)

"At once a nomadic journey, a cri de coeur and a compendium of hard-won wisdom...." (Professor Patrick McGorry AO MD PhD FRCP FRANZCP FAA FASSA, 2010 Australian of the Year) 

"A witty, well-researched and often insightful book about negotiating a new relationship with anxiety." (Andrew Solomon, Professor of Clinical Psychology and author of The Noonday Demon: An Anatomy of Depression

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Profile Image for Pip Robertson
  • Pip Robertson
  • 09-22-18

very self involved

This book simply wasn't for me. The timelines jump around with conflicting stories, there is alot of anecdotal evidence but mostly I found it overly self involved and priviledged. "nomad living" and running off to an ashram... may be engaging for some, but simply didn't resonate for me.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-12-19

Someone Who Knows.

If you've ever struggled with anxiety, or have a friend or loved one who does, this book will hold you from start to finish. Honest, funny, intelligent, and beautifully written and narrated. I don't feel alone anymore.

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  • suzanne maxim
  • 10-05-19

Suffering in Silence

I heard a podcast with Sarah Wilson and was so impressed with her that I wanted to read this book. Sadly I only got through about 4 chapters before reaching the point where I just couldn't bare listening to anymore. I feel sorry for Sarah having all the mental and physical health issues she struggled with. I also feel awful saying that her recounting of these struggles seemed to just go on and on and on. Maybe some would find this book comforting to know they aren't alone in their own suffering. Maybe if I'd been able to hang in and listen to more it might have improved. Maybe if I'd read the book instead of listened to it, it might have felt less like listening to a friend who has had too much to drink and doesn't know when to stop talking about how bad their life has been. Sorry Sarah.

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  • Barefeetinthegrass
  • 06-20-19

A must read for the anxious folk!

So much "YES!" in this book. Honest, open and down to earth. A brilliant read for the anxious minded and their loved ones.

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  • shazjmorgan
  • 04-20-19

Just WoW!

I absolutely loved hearing Sarah Wilson's journey.
As someone who has suffered a generalised anxiety disorder and bouts of OCD for most of my life, I really related to a great deal of what Sarah speaks about in her book. Being of a similar age, I could easily understand and follow most of the sentiments and journey details.
I am often asked how I manage to be such an organised, practical and calming person. How can I be such an optimistic realist after the many traumas that have formed my life?
Well, now I am able to tell these questioners, "Read Sarah Wilson's book!! It explains it all". :)
It explains the coping mechanisms that I've intuitively taught myself over my years. It details the periods in my life that I have "cried for days over the bigness of it all".
I listened to the audio version of this book while tapping away at my keyboard, trying to build my online business. Every so often, my fingers would freeze, poised over the keyboard while I stopped in my tracks, giving Sarah's voice my complete attention.
If you want to know that your anxiety is normal, if you want to be able to relate and feel that you are understood, then this is a must read.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-15-19

Must read for anxiety sufferers!!

A complete game changer in my anxiety disorder journey, a must read for everyone who has anxiety.

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  • Louise Kersting
  • 03-02-19

Amazing woman

Amazing inspiring story! Could not have been more perfect. Hooked on audio now! Excited to start the work.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-18-19

must read!

loved it! related to my own experience so closely. very easy to listen to. would recommend to people experiencing any mental health issues and to their loved ones to help give understanding.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-28-18

a truely inspiring read

loved this book, learnt so much about myself and how highly functional people can still jave anxiety

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  • Anne-Marije Bussink
  • 12-21-18

fabulous book - thank you for writing your story!

really interesting book and very helpful or help spread information and empathy for anxiety sufferers.