Veronica Valli

SFYB Staff Writer

Book Review: Why you drink and How to stop

Review by Laura Stamps

What an amazing book! I say this for two reasons.

First, Veronica Valli is a recovering alcoholic and an addictions therapist. She has written a handbook so comprehensive it might be the only book an alcoholic needs. It covers every aspect of alcoholism from denial to acceptance, as well as how to stop drinking and where to go from there. If you’re looking for a roadmap to recovery that includes most of the valleys and mountaintops you might encounter along the way, you’ll love this book.

Second, it is unique in its approach to “dual diagnosis.” Alcoholism generally isn’t the primary “problem.” It’s a quick fix for an underlying mental or emotional issue. To be successful in recovery you must address this issue.



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Valli calls it a “spiritual” issue. Spiritual in this book doesn’t mean religious. She’s referring to the connection with your spirit, the real you. Valli explains the link between alcoholism and spiritual imbalance like this:

“Alcoholism can be described as a spiritual disjunction, which alcoholics try to fix by rearranging their outside circumstances. The result of this behavior is that alcoholics forget who they really are.” (page 19)

“In order to overcome alcoholism, stopping the drinking of alcohol simply isn’t enough. Alcoholism is an internal (spiritual) illness. Drinking is only a symptom. Alcoholism’s key motivator is about changing how you feel.” (page 20)


Valli says the most profound thing that happened to her when she began the recovery process was the realization that she hadn’t been “living her truth.” She’d become what she calls a “fake person,” meaning she had made all her choices in life based on other people’s approval. This revelation horrified her and made her more determined than ever to confront the fear that had kept her from living authentically.

“Fear is the engine that drives alcoholism. However, there’s something about alcoholic thinking that twists all our emotions and makes the unpleasant ones dominant in us. We seem to take fear to a whole new level, much more than ordinary people do.” (page 35-41)

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“There is no recovery from alcoholism without spiritual growth. Spirituality can be viewed as a way of having a healthy relationship with yourself, one that is based on self-love, self-esteem, and integrity. Addiction is defined by disconnection from self and everything and everyone around you.” (page 79)

The goal of this book is to bring the reader from fear to a sense of wholeness, from spiritual disjunction to fully functioning. Valli says sooner or later you have to stop running from your true self and discover the “real” you, which is more wonderful than you could ever imagine.


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The good news is you’re not alone. You’ll find 151 pages of step-by-step instruction in this handbook. As an added bonus, each chapter is filled with the stories and struggles of others who have walked before you.

If you’d like to not only recover from alcoholism but also become the best you can be, look no further. This is it.


Laura Stamps is a healthcare copywriter and the Staff Editor of “Stop Frying Your Brian,” a funky, informational, addiction/recovery website covering all addictions and codependency issues.


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Veronica Valli
Recovery expert
Veronica Valli is an author, therapist, and life coach, specializing in addiction. She has worked with young people in the criminal justice system, primary care adult treatment, outreach services, and private practice. Veronica struggled with alcoholism through most of her twenties as a binge drinker. She has been sober since 2000 at the age of twenty-seven. She fully believes all alcoholics and addicts can recover if they have access to the right kind of help, and that they can then go on to live life to the full.

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