Self-Help Sucks!

The Anti-Self-Help Guide to Inner Peace and Contentment

Non-Fiction - Self Help
160 Pages
Reviewed on 08/10/2021
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Tony Blankenship is a former chef, spiritual seeker, and punk rocker. All the great insights in his book Self-Help Sucks, come from his own challenge of confronting and losing in his own struggle with addictive behavior. Using the principles and actions of the twelve-step program, Tony lays out his experience and some opinions that ultimately lead to the promise of inner peace and contentment. Tony lives in Santa Fe, NM. He is married with one daughter, a stepson, two dogs, two cats, two goldfish and a beta. When he is not writing he is an avid cyclist and amateur road bike racer. Tony passionately believes that if anyone does the work outlined in this book, they will address any of their destructive habits or addictive behavior. You can connect with him at tonyblankenship.com.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Daniel D Staats for Readers' Favorite

Do you have a pesky habit you want to stop? Do you have an addiction, and nothing seems to enable you to get rid of it? Self-Help Sucks! by Tony Blankenship explains Tony’s struggle with the self-help methods and how they have failed him. He has tried them all and now shares with his readers the techniques that worked for him. Simply put, Tony believes in a new modification of the Twelve Step program approach. In Tony’s eyes, the influence of a Higher Power can be anything you want it to be. You make your own Higher Power. The point is that to overcome any addiction, you need strength from outside yourself. When one tries to reform on their own, they set themselves up for failure. When one learns to look outside themselves and lean on a Higher Power, they line up with success.

Tony Blankenship shares his lifelong struggle with addiction and how he finally found victory in his book Self-Help Sucks! Tony writes from vast experience; a life spent trying every form of self-help there is. He tried it all and failed miserably. When Tony decided to be honest and work a Twelve-Step Program, Tony learned that he could become successful with the help of a Higher Power. His writing is an inspiring, first-person testimony of how he overcame defeat and found victory over addiction. Tony does not preach: he shares his successes and his failures alike. Self-Help Sucks! teaches that the most important part of overcoming addictions is to depend on a Higher Power that is comfortable for you. When the addict is satisfied with their idea of a Higher Power, they are more likely to rely on it.

Asher Syed

Self-Help Sucks! by Tony Blankenship is a non-fiction guide tagged as The Anti-Self-Help Guide to Inner Peace and Contentment. Blankenship takes his experience in the structured and notoriously challenging twelve-step programs and breaks them down to the original six, then applies them to everyday addictions that reach beyond substance abuse. While some may battle addictions to gambling or shopping, others may wrestle with internet or video game fixations. These behavioral addictions, alongside many others, all fall under the umbrella that embodies Blakenship's approach. Broken down into the six sections, Blakenship covers powerlessness, surrender, and inventory that takes stock of one's life and then shifts to admission, restitution, and service.

I found Tony Blakenships's style of writing to be easy and conversational, which makes the process of engaging as a reader comfortable. An element of trust is both required and quickly formed in Self-Help Sucks! that sets it apart from similar books on various addictions. The chapter that resonated most with me was five, Admission, and the necessity to acknowledge where we are at. Personally, I have always struggled with a poverty complex, which leads to hoarding food in my pantry over the fear of one day not having enough. At one point, I had four freezers full of meat and had turned a second bedroom into a storeroom. Most who saw this assumed I was a prepper, which somehow made it acceptable, but natural disasters and global fallout weren't my motivation. I didn't want ever to be hungry. I needed to admit that before I could change. Overall, I think this is a well-written and straightforward guide for anyone who desires to free themselves from the shackles of addiction.

Jon Michael Miller

Self-Help Sucks: The Anti-Self-Help Guide to Inner Peace and Contentment by Tony A. Blankenship is a compilation of the author’s personal discovery techniques about how to beat addiction. He defines his audience as those who have been unsuccessful despite going through numerous twelve-step style programs, trying to finally rid themselves of a hated habit that they cannot control. He says clearly that if you only "kind of" want to stop your habit, this book is not for you. You must want to stop your habit "no matter what." He suggests that if you are in that final determined mental mode, this book is guaranteed to help you get there, and he knows this and verifies it from personal experience. He says that self-help books don’t work because freedom from addiction takes more than one’s self. It takes a Higher Power.

For me, amid all the methods and practices which author Tony A. Blankenship offers, the key factor in his message is defining the term "Higher Power." Acknowledging the many options that can be applied to that term (religious, philosophical, and otherwise), the key requirement is that you can really believe in it. If you cannot accept traditional options, his answer is to make up your own. He tells you exactly how to go about that creative process step-by-step, and once you devise your own “God,” you have found the helper that takes the “self” out of self-help. Now you have the power that will help you. If you cannot help yourself, but you need help, then Mr. Blankenship can show you how to take the critical step. After that, there are other processes he defines, such as meditations, rituals, sharing, forgiving, making amends, and so on. What I liked most about the book were his personal anecdotes and metaphors, bringing his abstract ideas down to earth. If you’ve been through the mill of self-help attempts and have failed, it’s time for you to pick up Tony A. Blankenship’s Self-Help Sucks: The Anti-Self-Help Guide to Inner Peace and Contentment.

Joe Wisinski

Self-Help Sucks! The Anti-Self-Help Guide to Inner Peace and Contentment is a different kind of self-help book. Many people will have read numerous self-help books yet have not experienced real change, and author Tony Blankenship has written this book for those people. The emphasis of the work is that self-help fails, and we must obtain the aid of a higher power. This is not specifically a religious book, and Blankenship makes it clear that it doesn’t matter who or what we look to for our higher power, as long as there is someone or something. Blankenship bases his book on the well-known twelve-step program, but he reduces the twelve steps to six. The book is illustrated with many personal stories, and potential readers should be aware that Self-Help Sucks! does contain profane language.

Author Tony Blankenship says that his book Self-Help Sucks! is unique, and he is right. I’ve read many self-help books, but never one like this before. Blankenship is spot on with his belief that we cannot improve our lives by ourselves. We need the help of a higher power, whatever we think he/she/it is. Not everyone will agree with all his advice, but everyone will learn some principles to help them with whatever issues they’re currently facing. The personal experiences which Blankenship relates to his audience make for easy reading and help readers identify with his points. I liked his emphasis on the practical. For example, he discusses the three questions to ask before saying anything: Is it true? Is it necessary? Is it kind? Self-Help Sucks! is filled with similar realistic advice throughout and is well worth reading.

4evrYng

Finally, a self-help book that actually helped me!