Elegance in artistry begins with a block of stone from which the sculptor uncovers the beauty contained within. Such is the life of Sacha Z. Scoblic – with one exception. Sacha started as elegance, drank her grace to stone and ultimately chiseled her way back to sobriety and a life filled with potential and happiness. Like many people, Sacha is an alcoholic. Where most stories end with the commitment to sobriety, Sacha’s begins.

Elegance in artistry begins with a block of stone from which the sculptor uncovers the beauty contained within. Such is the life of Sacha Z. Scoblic – with one exception.


Sacha started as elegance, drank her grace to stone and ultimately chiseled her way back to sobriety and a life filled with potential and happiness. Like many people, Sacha is an alcoholic. Where most stories end with the commitment to sobriety, Sacha’s begins.


"Unwasted: My Lush Sobriety," is a journey of passion and embracing life told with Sacha's razor wit and insight.


Sacha's work extends from Reader’s Digest to The New Republic, New York Post, The New York Times and the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. But most of all she is a woman in love with the simple pleasures to be found in every sober breath.


Q. Why did you write “Unwasted: My Lush Sobriety”?


A. I think sobriety itself is the real story. So in “Unwasted,” I get sober in the first chapter (not the last) and then chronicle my life in this new and bright world — complete with outlandish fantasies of relapsing, a field guide to dinner parties and how I rely on a community of people to help me live a life I can be proud of.


I wanted to portray the life of an average addict — me! — so rarely depicted in books, television or movies nowadays. I think too many times we are told by pop culture that you’re not an addict until you have lost everything, been arrested or are at death’s door. But many of us come in from the storm before we end up in those really low bottom stages (which we surely would hit if we kept using). And I wanted to write about that — to give people permission to call themselves an addict before they lose their jobs, their relationships, their dignity. There’s no such thing as quitting too early.


Q. For a period, you led yourself to believe you could grant yourself "passes" in which you could temporarily fall from sobriety. What finally convinced you it doesn’t work that way?


A. For the first six months or so of sobriety, I still didn’t really believe I’d never drink again. And so I plotted how I might relapse — from wild fantasies about being forced to drink at gunpoint to a more banal desire for an out-of-town work trip that would leave me tantalizingly alone in a hotel. And one weekend that day came: I was alone in the house. I knew that if I were to relapse, this would be a good opportunity. But a funny thing happened during the previous months of not drinking: I started thinking more clearly. Suddenly, I was grateful for the calmer and more predictable life I was living, I was happier, and I also didn’t want to throw away several months of hard-earned sobriety. Also, I stopped thinking about never drinking again, and concentrated on just not drinking today. What a load off!


Q. It is very easy for authors to point at Poe, Hunter Thompson and so many successful authors whose lives and writing revolved around alcohol and drugs. How can people be convinced inspiration doesn’t lie in chemicals?


A. Any inspiration one claims to get from drugs and alcohol is also accompanied by chaos, institutionalization and eventually either recovery or death. Hunter Thompson and Edgar Allen Poe were tortured souls. Was their art worth dying for?


When we say inspiration lies in chemicals, we are enabling those artists to use more, to feed their habits more. We give them an excuse to use. For every died-too-young artist, I can name 10 got-it-together artists who went on to do even greater things in recovery: Robert Downey Jr., Johnny Cash, Betty Ford, Stephen King, Rob Lowe, Stevie Nicks, Craig Fergusen, Steven Tyler, Mary Tyler Moore, Robin Williams … . I could go on. As for me, the “rock star” I used to be was barely employable, let alone disciplined enough to write a book.


Q. The Aspen Institute’s mission includes broadening goals and enhancing an individual’s capacity to solve problems. Has being involved in helping leaders discover their potential helped you find your own potential in sobriety?


A. There is no question that, when you work around the kind of leaders the Institute nurtures, it becomes easy to ask more of yourself, to find your true potential. In sobriety, I began to find myself willing to take risks, willing to be criticized or even fail, and willing to challenge myself. Ultimately, I was even willing to write about my own demons. The sobriety that led me here, that’s inspiration — not chemicals.


Q. You are such a talented writer, and your humor is infectious. Can we expect more books in the future? And if so, what genres are you considering?


A. Thank you! I use humor to tell the truth. When I am writing, I find that the daily absurdities we all face connect us. So, yes, expect more books. But I’ve left a lot of my story on the pages of “Unwasted,” so I think I’ll turn to fiction. It’s time to write someone else’s story!


http://sachaZscoblic.com/


DA Kentner is an author and journalist. www.kevad.net