The Me, Without
A Year Exploring Habit, Healing, and Happiness
out January 16th, 2019
"In her eloquent debut, a memoir and meditation on living with less... Raposo’s engaging report on stripping life down will inspire readers looking for manageable tweaks to hectic living.”
– Publisher’s Weekly
Our modern conveniences are overwhelming us. We own twice the amount of stuff we did fifty years ago, purging our spaces only to mindlessly click and fill again. Online dating is at an all-time high across age groups, yet one-third of users never swipe right to offline romance. Social media overuse frazzles psychologists and impedes genuine connection. Americans bill more out-out-office hours than any other advanced economy and auto-binge-watching has antiquated the anticipated movie marathon. In a world architected for overwhelm, it’s no wonder we wander exhausted and unsure.
Hearing this struggle in the hundreds of humans she’s interviewed—and recognizing a gnaw within herself—journalist Jacqueline Raposo intimately tackles this overwhelm in The Me, Without: A Year Exploring Habit, Healing, and Happiness.
At thirty-four, Raposo found herself sick, single, broke, and wandering in a fog. Despite decades of discipline, her chronic illness was getting worse. Despite hosting a radio show about dating, she hadn’t been in love in years. And despite a successful writing career, she was falling further into debt. And so she spent one year progressively shedding her most constant habits so to measure their absence against her physical health, social interactions, and sense of self-worth. Readers follow her path as chapters remove social media, alcohol consumption, negative thought, packaging waste, and more and she struggles to redefine habit and reframe want versus need. When unexpectedly violent physical and emotional shifts compound along the way, intimate and sometimes challenging conversations with science writer Gary Taubes, cyborg anthropologist Amber Case, Happy filmmaker Roko Belic, and other STEAM professional help shed light into why our brains and bodies react as they do to our habits, and how everyday choices greatly impact our mental state.
Part memoir, part case study, The Me, Without delivers readers an expiring example of how to expose hidden wounds, help themselves heal, and forge confidently out on a new path.