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  • First, We Make the Beast Beautiful

  • A New Story About Anxiety
  • By: Sarah Wilson
  • Narrated by: Sarah Wilson
  • Length: 9 hrs and 7 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (286 ratings)

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First, We Make the Beast Beautiful

By: Sarah Wilson
Narrated by: Sarah Wilson
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Publisher's Summary

Sarah Wilson is a New York Times and Amazon #1 bestselling author, entrepreneur and philanthropist. She's the founder of IQuitSugar.com, whose 8-Week Program has been completed by 1.5 million people in 133 countries. A former news journalist and editor of Cosmopolitan, she was the host of the first series of MasterChef Australia and is the author of the international bestsellers first, we make the beast beautiful, I Quit Sugar: Simplicious, I Quit Sugar and I Quit Sugar For Life. Her latest book is I Quit Sugar: Simplicious Flow. She is ranked as one of the top 200 most influential authors in the world.

Sarah blogs in an intimate fashion - on philosophy, anxiety, minimalism and anti-consumerism - at sarahwilson.com, lives in Sydney, Australia, rides a bike everywhere, is a compulsive hiker and is eternally curious.

In first, we make the beast beautiful, Sarah 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 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 re-frames 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 Macmillan Australia Audio

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--k)

"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

What listeners say about First, We Make the Beast Beautiful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

My mental illness doesn't have a greater purpose

I really tried to give this book a chance, and in the beginning I had so much hope and really listened with an open mind. The author has faced a lot of struggles in her life, this I understand, but once she started talking about mental illness and disorders having a greater purpose and implying that those who suffer from such things are superior I just couldn't continue.

Her struggles with mental illness, her anxiety and bipolar disorder have helped propel her through life. This book more than anything, feels like a giant flex with so much name dropping. "I suffered but I lived a full life, so you can you" basically. But it's not like that for everyone. For others, like myself, it's stopped me from living a full life. The author has travelled the world, met all kinds of people, had all kinds of experiences, can up and leave a job whenever she pleases (Even if spurred on by a mental health episode), offered a job as a magazine editor with no prior experience editing.

I'm not trying to diminish her experiences, her struggles or her accomplishments, it's just hard to hear someone who has lived a full life, despite such struggles, sit and tell me mental health serves a greater purpose, when I've been housebound for about half my life, unable to work, or do things, or live.

Plus, when you start implying that one group of people is better than another... yeah... I'll leave you to your thoughts..

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10 people found this helpful

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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.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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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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3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Tremendous.

I received so much insight into myself and consequently much internal healing from this beautiful book written by a sensitive soul with endless wisdom to share. Grateful.

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Fabulous Perspective, confirming my own beliefs!

WOW WOW WOW …this book is confirming what I’ve believed about mental “illness” since watching the movie The Accountant back in 2016. Not only are they necessary, they are gifts. Just WOW!!!!

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Full hearted

I think the end quote says it all beautifully: For the raindrop, joy is in entering the river. Unbearable pain becomes it’s own joy.

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Maybe the best book I’ve ever read/listened to

I’ve never felt more seen and understood with a book, kept coming back and relistening go parts, found such resonance with my own experiences and beliefs on the strengths and various components of anxiety and ultimately the acceptance of it as opposed to seeing it as something to overcome or cure. Sarah Wilson provides such extensive research and wisdom in her writing interspersed with personal experience. It’s a book everyone should read, whether you yourself have or have had anxiety or know someone who does. Its insights are beautiful.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Appreciated honesty in service

I cried all the way through this. Sarah’s honesty about anxiety really touched me and has led me to face myself. And whilst excruciating at times it has been just as liberating. That probably makes no sense. Just read the book and I hope you get as much out of it as I did. X

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Great insight with many lightbulb moments

I originally set out to read this to gain more insight into my sons anxiety, only to realise I can relate personally on many levels. It is a little slow to start but worth persisting. So many beautiful angles and different perspectives on anxiety, where it takes us, coping strategies and most importantly, how to be gentle and kind to yourself and others, who experience the beautiful beast itself. I loved listening. Thank you Sarah for your wisdom, research, perspectives and interpretations. This book would not have been possible without your own experiences of anxiety. I can only imagine that you are helping many individuals on their journey.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Narcissist

Narcissist. Lost interest immediately. Wanted some more help than this really, will keep looking now.

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