Addicted to negative thinking? A BOOK REVIEW to help you

Dealing with negative stinkin’ thinking in addiction recovery? Is it possible to restructure the perception you’ve built about yourself? Learn more on the causes of low self-esteem and techniques on how to get it back in this BOOK REVIEW!

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Many of us in addiction recovery are subject to “Stinkin’ Thinking”. And I am one of them! You might recognize a few patterns in yourself:

  • This [reality] is too difficult.
  • I don’t have what I need.
  • I can’t [FILL IN THE BLANK].
  • People don’t understand me.

So, how can you recognize and intervene to change negative thought processes? Here, we’ll review a book that can truly help you in addiction recovery. “WHAT WENT RIGHT: Reframe Your Thinking For A Happier Now” gives us the WHY’s and HOW’s to pay attention to the way we think about ourselves (our self-esteem).

More here on why you should add this book to your addiction recovery library. With a section for your questions to the authors at the end.

The origins of self-image

We first like this book because it PRACTICALLY HELPS US evaluate and test our individual belief systems. Within the pages, you will find practical techniques on how to change your mindset and perspective of who you truly are and what’s blocking you to be successful and happy.

But, what about our thought processes and core negative beliefs? How can you increase your self-esteem in addiction recovery? According to What Went Right, you can recognize and intervene in those thought processes through practical exercises that the book teaches you.

Q: What really defines our reality?
A: The way that we view reality defines reality.

Subconsciously, the way we view ourselves is formed as a result of our practical experiences, observation of events, and communications with family members, friends, teachers… All our events in early life (pleasant and happy or painful and traumatic) paint an image in our minds about who we are. As former addicts, the patterns of our thinking is usually self-depreciating. The programs we run in our brains tell us:

  • You’re not good enough.
  • You are not of high value.
  • You need something to make you OK.

Later in life, these thoughts come automatically, and we may not even realize we are on a self-defeating auto pilot.

We have all encountered situations where a flow of negative thoughts runs though our mind. In those moments, right there, a choice is made; do we put make up and fake smiles every time we feel bad or hurt or are we going to let the false perception of being weak and incapable forever mark our lives. So, what can we do to intervene?

What is the idea behind WHAT WENT RIGHT?

The main goal of this book is to help people incorporate both their physical and emotional health in the process of developing healthy self-esteem. The idea is to motivate and teach you how to change your self-image.

When you change your negative thoughts, you will also change your emotions about yourself. But, it also holds the key to finding a more balanced way of looking at ourselves.

How does it work?

We look this book because it is so personal and practical. We are not always aware of the negative things we tell ourselves and the way they influence other aspects of our lives. That’s why this books starts with a quiz designed to help you examine your current level of self-esteem.

Then, after you identify your level of self-esteem, you can go to the chapter(s) that addresses particular issue(s) that affect you. Each chapter helps you learn how to redefine the perception you’ve built about yourself and provides exercises about how you can change it.

What will you learn from this book?

WHAT WENT RIGHT teaches you about:

  1. The purpose of self-esteem
  2. The source of our self image
  3. The challenges related to self-esteem
  4. The results of self-esteem on your current life

The book consists of 17 chapters:

– The FIRST CHAPTER gives you the basic principles of self-image, self-esteem, explains the thinking process and it’s origin, and helps you see the ways your self-image affects your life now. The start of your change in thoughts starts by exploring where your thinking originates.

– The SECOND CHAPTER covers the basics of cognitive restructuring – the process in which you replace persistent negative thoughts with more balanced and affirming ones. This chapter goes deeper into the details of our thinking process and helps you learn different approaches to examining your thoughts and their meaning.

– CHAPTER 3 TO 11 each describe different types of problematic thought processes. In this part of the book you will find examples of thoughts that:

  • cause difficulties
  • create a negative self-image
  • have a bad influence on your self-esteem

Also, throughout eevery chapter you will find exercises that are designed to help you analyze, assess and eventually change your way of thinking.

– CHAPTER 12 and 13 focus on self-acceptance and forgiveness. The purpose of these techniques is to help you, the readers, integrate your life values and practice self-forgiveness and forgiveness towards others.

CHAPTER 14 discusses complementary strategies that are oriented towards helping you take care of your entire health:

  • Mind.
  • Body.
  • Spirit.

The key ideas explored in this chapter help you adopt some positive lifestyle changes. Their main purpose is to help you reduce stress levels, live in the present moment, accept your thoughts and learn how to guide them (instead of your thoughts guiding you), AND equally important: how to set and achieve goals.

CHAPTER 15 AND 16 focus on the importance of building a strong system of support and preparing for the occurrence of setbacks. You will be reminded that caring for yourself is a priority, and one of the ways you can care for yourself is by choosing emotionally supportive and accepting people to surround yourself with.

Another way to protect yourself is to be prepared for setbacks and have an action plan in place. There are early warning signs and red flags that can signal when you are at risk of a setback. Recognizing these signs and knowing what you should do can save you from falling back into old habits and negative though processes.

CHAPTER 17 provides you with information about finding the right therapist for you and working with therapists. It gives you insights into CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy), what is it, how it works and ways to evaluate your progress during therapy sessions.

Why do we recommend WHAT WENT RIGHT?

We love this book because it is directly applicable to living honestly in addiction recovery. Learning, growing, and improving are lifelong processes. They continue after puberty, into adulthood and even in senior years. So, even years into recovery it’s never too late to understand and change the way we perceive ourselves. Especially if the acquired notions and assumptions we have hardwired into our brains are negative and need to be challenged!

This book teaches us about a very important concept about dreaming of what we want to be. When we open up to “maybe” – the possibility that things can be different – we are making the first step towards change. This book is here to remind and show us how to better ourselves and become the best we can be.

Which, after all, is what we are here to do.

Reframe your thinking questions

In reading WHAT WENT RIGHT, the authors challenge us to look at life as a cycle of ups and downs. Our job is to balance the highs and lows. Most of us only care about our physical health by making regular check ups in the doctor’s office. But how many of us deeply care about and regularly pay attention to our emotional health?

If you are looking to develop maturing in your recovery, this is the book for you! Wondering where you can find “WHAT WENT RIGHT: Reframe your thinking for a happier now”? To buy, download and read the book, go to this link:

Additionally, if you are left with any questions about this book, we welcome you to post them in the section below. We try to answer personally and promptly to all legitimate inquiries.

About the Authors:

Michael G Wetter, PSY.D., is a licensed clinical psychologist specializing in adolescent and adult populations. He has served as the Chief of Adult Psychiatry Services at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center, Hayward, Calif., and is a member of the clinical staff at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. Dr. Wetter has been an expert consultant on television programs and newspapers including the Washington Post, Boston Globe and Atlanta-Journal Consultation and for such magazines as Men’s Health, Forbes, Prevention and Redbook. In addition to having a private practice, Dr. Wetter trains professionals, lecturers and published extensively in professional journals on dialectical behavior therapy. He has extensive experience in issues pertaining to emotional dysfunction, diagnostic consultation and program management.


Eileen Bailey is a freelance writer specializing in mental and emotional health issues. She writes for several national health and wellness websites and is the lead writer for both ADHD and anxiety on, as well as on sexual health, skin care and skin cancer. Mr. Bailey is also a contributing writer for ADDitude magazine online ( She is the co-author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Adult ADHD, Idiot’s Guide to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and The Essential Guide to Asperger Syndrome.
About the author
Lee Weber is a published author, medical writer, and woman in long-term recovery from addiction. Her latest book, The Definitive Guide to Addiction Interventions is set to reach university bookstores in early 2019.
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