"This Naked Mind" Book Club Discussion


Hi all. I will begin by posting 5 questions to start off the discussion today. Feel free to post your own questions. Here we go!!!

  1. From Chapter one, author states goal is to reverse conditioning in your unconscious mind by educating your conscious mind. (Pg. 24)
    Share something your conscious mind learned from the book.

  1. How have you sought pleasure or avoided pain by drinking? (Pg.104)

  1. Describe a part of the book you found particularly interesting, profound, shallow, incomprehensible, or illuminating.

  1. Rate the book between 1 and 4. 4 = thumbs up. 1 = thumbs down. Why?

  1. How can you take what you’ve learned from the book and pay it fwd?


I became aware of a lot of things by reading the book. I’m definitely more consciously aware of how I thought I had to drink to have fun. Now that I’ve proven to myself I can have fun without drinking, I know I was lying to myself about needing to drink to have the best time socially.

I’ve also made a point to observe drinkers. The most standout crap about alcohol observation I can think of right now, if how my ultra religious friends bring up how they prefer red wines “for the health benefits”. Here’s a revelation… Susan is gulping the red wine to get drunk, not for the bogus health benefits. Heh.


As my descent continued, I drank more n more to avoid pain verses seeking pleasure. I’ve experienced many losses, including the deaths of my parents. As my mental health declined, my drinking increased n so a cycle got way worse. I know for a FACT, I purposely drank to try to escape the pain of grief. Honestly, I drank to numb any uncomfortable feeling. It’s been interesting to let myself feel…to let myself live.


I thought the part about cognitive dissonance rang true for me. The part when she was talking about her dad n how he just decided not to drink anymore. I did that. One day I was just like, nope. I’m not effing doing this anymore.
When I’m tempted to drink now, when I consciously stop the back n forth BS bargaining in my mind about whether or not to take another drink, I almost immediately chill. Now I have all these rational reasons to not drink, so I’m like…make the dang decision to not pick it up n move on. The wasted time n energy of waffling about drinking again is so bogus for me. I’m typically a pretty black n white, all or nothing sort of thinker tho.


I give the book a 3. I’d recommend it. In a way tho, it oversimplified dynamics of addiction imo.


I can take what I learned from the book n be more proactive in educating my son about the lies we’re fed about alcohol from society. I want him to see alcohol for what it is…poison!


I still think, a head of time, I’m not gonna have fun at certain events if I’m sober. Trying to not use words can’t drink. Instead telling myself I don’t have to drink, or I’m choosing to not drink.


Same. Pretty amazing how much more I get done and how much more I even want to do things now I’m not in drunken fog. Big example is cooking. I used to love to cook. Been cooking a lot now again. Makes me happy n my family doesn’t eat such convenient to make, crap food. Convenient to make is code 4 throw it in the microwave n serve…because I was drinking n didn’t give a rip about spending time in kitchen. Was instead sitting on my arse, drinking, watching TV, doing nothing. Ugh.


Once I did like a carpool karaoke with a friend. We videoed it. At the time, we thought we were hilarious n si good at it. The next day, when I watched it, it was horrendous. I looked crazy. My eyes were so weird looking. I was saying the dumbest things n we sounded beyond terrible.


Does it bug u when interrogated about not drinking? Always heard about the dangers of peer pressure in adolescence, but dang it’s still strong among adults.


People ask me about why I’m not drinking n then say things in that “elixir of life” kinda fashion when they’re wanting me to drink with them…implying I’m missing out on the fun.
People think I merely gave up alcohol 4 Lent. That’s been my go to reason. Now it’s for my health. I’m not ready yet to bust out n tell people I’m now in recovery.


I’ve read this book and it’s okay for starters. The author is claiming to have some system and offers up a website. Most of this was done before in that Alan Carr book. Some of the facts and statistics presented are wishy washy too.

It means well, though.

I rather liked Blackout. The author makes you see from the outside what her sessions of blacking out were like from the first person. It sounds absolutely crazy sober.

The Hijacking of the American Mind is about more than alcohol but it points out how businesses control our minds physically and psychologically.


@SweetTea and @Jammie
The book also made me more aware of how I think I can only have fun if I drink. I am still very early in recovery, so I haven’t gone to any real drinking parties. But I have gone to dinner with my husband to celebrate, gone to book club (which you know was a huge risk), and hung out with a couple of friends playing games. I went into all of the sad because I “couldn’t” drink. But I ended up having a good time, especially the night we hung out with friends. It helps a lot that she knows everything, so they didn’t drink either. Sweet tea, I like your idea of not thinking “I can’t drink,” instead thinking “I choose not to drink.” That might help me go into more events with a positive attitude. The funny thing is, the last night I let myself drink, I did not have a particularly good time. So, it helps to remember that.


I have to say that the “science” in this book is suspect, and her poor use of references drove me absolutely crazy. BUT, I managed to see past those things to some good ideas. I especially enjoyed her analogies. I was horrified by the pitcher plant analogy, and the boiling frog analogy. They made a big impact on me. Two thing in particular rang true about them. First, it is a slow slide into drinking way too much. You just slowly drink more and more, until it’s too late to rein yourself in without help. Also, the part where the bee sees all the dead ants (the “alcoholics”) but thinks it’s okay because it has wings (Not an alcoholic), but surprise! The bee is just like the ants.


Hi, thanks for posting the questions to get us going! This was my 2nd time reading the book (the first time was Audiobook so it was nice to read it myself this time.)

  1. One of the best things I learned from this book is how our subconscious mind is absolutely inundated with marketing messages about alcohol–our whole lives, everywhere. I knew this happened, but when I really started noticing I saw how prevalent it was and how drinking is totally normalized and celebrated in our society. The brainwashing is incredible. I try to remember this every time I find myself “romanticizing” alcohol. Keeps me in reality check mode.
  2. I drank for any reason–to bring pleasure and numb pain. Pretty much anything good or bad that occurred in my life was a good excuse to drink.
  3. One of my favorite lines from the book is when the author says, regarding hangovers, “I never have to feel this way again.” I think of that all the time when I think maybe I want a drink or could go back to drinking. I never want to feel that awful feeling of a hangover again, and unlike other sicknesses, hangovers are self-inflicted and I literally never have to feel that way again.
  4. I would give this book a 3. Sometimes she made it sound a little too easy to just quit drinking. But overall this book had a lot of good info that I still think about a lot–I first read this in October during my first attempt to quit drinking and it really helped to begin to shift my perception about alcohol which I used to think I needed for everything.
  5. This book has encouraged me to open a dialogue with my oldest daughter (12) about alcohol. Not going into too much depth at this stage but at least to start talking about how alcohol brainwashing is everywhere, how it can be very dangerous and addicting and make you sick, and that you don’t have to drink to have fun. I am hoping she can start to see this early, as she has grown up in a family of drinkers. This will hopefully help her have a clearer picture of alcohol as she grows and we continue to have this discussion.