My Unfurling

Emerging from the Grip of Anxiety, Self-Doubt, and Drinking

After years of questioning her relationship with alcohol, Lisa May Bennett decided to quit drinking. She never hit a dramatic rock bottom, but her main mood enhancer had lost its luster. She felt stuck, and she suspected that a more fulfilling life awaited her in sobriety. With booze out of the way, Lisa began what she dubbed her "unfurling." She was alive, hungry, and happy. And she was writing again.

In My Unfurling, Lisa examines how self-doubt and anxiety led her to drink. She explores her complicated relationship with her mother, the "casual bullying" that came with being a late bloomer, her intense friendships, and her search for validation through love and work.

My Unfurling traces Lisa's journey beyond insecurity, jealousy, and fear. It is the story of her grief over losing a friend to addiction and her struggle to gain control over her own mind. In this touching and funny memoir, an engaging, relatable voice shares how she broke free from a tangle of bad habits and her plan to keep reaching for the light.

Anyone who is wondering when or if they'll ever burst out and follow their dreams will find My Unfurling compelling and hopeful.

"Reading My Unfurling is like taking a road trip with a smart, funny friend whose stories about her life effortlessly help you to understand and appreciate your own. Lisa May Bennett doesn't shy away from darkness and difficult truths, but hers is a fundamentally optimistic voice that gives sober-curious readers not just any path forward, but one ablaze with light and possibility. I loved it."

—Kristi Coulter, author of Nothing Good Can Come from This

"My Unfurling is a well-written memoir about gray area drinking. Check it out!"

—Jolene Park, leading authority on gray area drinking

"I thoroughly enjoyed reading and relating to the words on every page of My Unfurling...a must 'quit lit' read and then some."

—Peggi Cooney, author of This Side of Alcohol and founder of the This Side of Alcohol Facebook group

Now available on audio!

More praise for My Unfurling

"I found My Unfurling to be engaging from the first sentence." - SUE

"I laughed and cried. I also found passages that I would like to copy and keep with me to keep inspiring me to evolve and move forward in a positive way." - LAURA

"I love Lisa's writing style; it was like she was speaking to me." - SHARON

"I thought My Unfurling was really beautiful, and there were many moments within it that I found myself relating to Lisa's experiences." - MERRILL

"I loved My Unfurling! I read it in one sitting. There is an earnestness and raw honesty to Lisa's inquiry and writing." - ERIN

"I was totally hooked each time that I’d sit down to read My Unfurling. It was powerful to read such a vulnerable piece." - MARY

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Lisa May Bennett

Lisa May Bennett is a repeat late bloomer who writes about personal growth and trying new things on her blog, Bittersweet Nugget. She first decided she wanted to be a writer at eleven years old but struggled for years with self-doubt and anxiety. Now, she has published her first book at age fifty-six and hopes to serve as an example for others who wonder if it's too late to chase their dreams. (No, it's not.)

Lisa worked in the nonprofit sector for nearly two decades, serving as the communications director at the National Organization for Women for thirteen years. She also worked in Nielsen ratings research in New York City, in marketing for an online education company, and performing community outreach for a fitness studio. She is currently a caretaker, freelancer, and habit-development enthusiast.

Lisa has lived up and down the East Coast of the United States and now resides on a lake in Maryland with her husband, her mom, two cats, and a dog. She enjoys paddleboarding, yoga, and dancing in the kitchen. She plans to cross the country in an RV with her husband one day.

Highlights from my blog

The Gift of Five Alcohol-Free Years

Today I am celebrating five years of sobriety. Six years ago, if you had told me I would one day use the words “sobriety” and “celebrating” in the same sentence, I’d have laughed out loud. But a quiet part deep inside me would have been elated to learn that change was possible. Part of me had been hoping I would eventually find the courage, strength, and determination to give alcohol the boot.

Read more
Social Media and Me: It's Complicated

Last week a friend announced on Facebook that they would be scaling back their level of engagement on the platform. Declarations of temporary breaks or permanent departures from social media have become increasingly common. I've done this myself several times over the past five years, typically returning with a fresh perspective on the benefits these networks offer and the pitfalls they present.

Read more


The Stories We Tell
To 50 and Beyond
But Seriously, Who Knew?
Getting BAC2zero
Listen for REAL
Alcohol Free Life
Alcohol Tipping Point
Tribe Sober

My Unfurling playlist

Songs inspired by the themes, stories, and people in My Unfurling: Emerging from the Grip of Anxiety, Self-Doubt, and Drinking