Paul Carr is an author, columnist, and professional failure. A former columnist for The Guardian and TechCrunch, his writing has appeared in publications on both sides of the Atlantic, and his two memoirs, Bringing Nothing to the Party and The Upgrade, sit proudly in bathrooms across the world. He lives permanently in hotels, currently in Las Vegas, Nevada, and is resolutely Not Safe For Work.
SOBER IS MY NEW DRUNK
850 Days (and Counting) without Booze or AA. A Comedy in Twelve Steps
Paul Carr gave up booze with the same verve and originality that he brought to his life as a drunk.
For one thing, he didn’t go to Alcoholics Anonymous, an organization that, he writes, “breeds an ‘it’s not my fault’ mentality that refuses to accept that anyone can ever truly be cured of the ‘disease’ of alcoholism.”
Instead, Carr quit in the most non-anonymous way imaginable: He posted an open letter on his popular website. The letter was both a confession and an invitation for public scrutiny. “No matter where I was,” he recalls, “there was always a chance that someone had read my post and was waiting to catch me with a drink in my hand.” To help keep himself on the straight and narrow, Carr still has a counter at the top of his site, ticking off the number of days he’s gone without a drink.
In this bracing (but zero-proof) tale of recovery, Carr delivers his own provocative twelve steps to building a life without booze. Step No. 2? Skip the AA meetings and seek sobriety through Twitter, Facebook, and the Internet. Salvation, Carr argues, lies down a path paved with social media.
His hard-earned advice, punctuated with anecdotes that are both cautionary and comic (a bender once took him to Iceland, where he drunkenly believed he’d get better Wi-Fi), is given with humility and goodwill. Along the way, Carr celebrates the simple yet overlooked pleasures of sobriety—weight loss, a renewed love life, the ability to buy a phone or laptop without promptly losing it in a bar. As he slowly discovers, a sober life actually CAN be fun. What’s more, he’ll remember it.