Top 10 Books to Read in Recovery
- July 26, 2019
The road to sobriety is more than just the process of healing physically from addiction. It means starting over again and rethinking how you live. Going to recovery requires stepping back from your life and learning how to function without dependence.
For some, the journey to sobriety can be lonely and intimidating. Some may wonder if anyone understands what they’re going through and need encouragement.
In the age of modern technology, books are still relevant and have their place in our lives. For those who are in recovery and beyond, books can help make all the difference and contribute to your journey. The right book can make you feel less alone and give you even more tools to achieve sobriety.
Although it may feel lonely, many people have sought help for their addictions. Reading their stories can help encourage you and inspire you to keep working towards sobriety. Other books may help give you new insight into your addiction and give you additional support as you transition back to your life.
Here are some of the helpful books to read while in recovery and beyond.
1. The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are by Brene Brown
Since her wildly popular TED Talk, Brene Brown has become a household name. And for a good reason, too: Brown’s message of radical vulnerability and acceptance is essential for the modern audience. It’s especially crucial for those who struggle with addiction.
Brown’s a researcher who has spent her life studying vulnerability and shame. Not only does she have years of research to draw upon, but her experiences take theories and make them practical. The Gifts of Imperfection encourages you to embrace your imperfections instead of striving for the perfection that is portrayed on social media and TV.
Many people who struggle with addiction also struggle with feelings of inadequacy. Brown takes you on a journey to out of striving for perfection and into living your most authentic life.
2. Scar Tissue by Anthony Kiedis and Larry Sloman
When it comes to addiction, Anthony Kiedis knows the depths that it can go. Scar Tissue is a memoir of his life and digs deep into his struggles with addiction, relapse, and eventual recovery.
Kiedis, the lead singer of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, was first introduced to drugs by his own father, a drug dealer, at age 11. As the band rose to prominence, he and his bandmate Hillel Slovak struggled with a severe drug dependency. When Slovak died of a drug overdose, Anthony was deeply affected and attempted to kick his drug addiction during the 90s. However, it wasn’t until 2000 that he became serious about sobriety.
Kiedis’s vivid portrayal of addiction and sobriety is a powerful encouragement for anyone on the road to recovery. It’s also encouragement for those who relapsed that it’s never too late to start again.
3. Recovery: Freedom from Our Addictions by Russel Brand
Comedian and movie star Russel Brand has dealt with his fair share of dependency. Brand sought to submerge his pain in various addictions, including heroin, sex, fame, and shopping. However, he dug deep into finding recovery and has been 14 years sober at the writing of this book.
Brand credits 12-step for his continued recovery. Recovery explores the cause of addiction and each step in the 12-step program as it relates to recovery. It’s the perfect book for those in recovery because not only does Russel Brand’s story offer encouragement to the reader, but it also provides practical information to successfully complete the 12-step program.
Now married and a father, Russel Brand stands as an example and Recover offers a look into exactly how he did it.
4. Don’t Call It Love by Drs. Gregory L. Jantz and Tim Clinton
Addiction doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Usually, there are unhealthy relationship dynamics that either fuel addiction or are affected by addiction. Although this is true in all the relationship in the addict’s life, it’s especially true for romantic relationships.
Don’t Call It Love dives deep into relationship dependency and what a healthy relationship looks like. Drs. Jantz and Clinton discuss exactly where relationship dependency comes from and how we fuel it in our relationships. They also give practical steps on how to break free and create healthy dynamics in your relationships with a twelve-week recovery plan.
If you’re in a romantic relationship and in recovery, Don’t Call it Love is a must. You will get comprehensive examples, facts, and checklists that will help you to identify red flags in a relationship.
5. Raising Healthy Children in an Alcoholic Home by Barbara L. Wood
As a parent, you want to give your children the best childhood and mold them into healthy, well-adjusted adults. How can you do that while struggling with addiction? Dr. Barbara Wood has the answer that most parents with dependency and their co-parents want and need.
Raising Healthy Children in an Alcoholic Home is for any parent that struggles with addiction, not just alcoholism. Wood discusses how the unhealthy dynamics of addiction affect children during their development. She also advises becoming a supportive parent for them. She encourages parents to become compassionate listeners and guides to help their children navigate their lives.
If you’re a parent in recovery, Dr. Wood’s book will help you understand your children better and relate to them in more healthy ways.
6. A Piece of Cake by Cupcake Brown
Cupcake Brown’s memoir, A Piece of Cake, is the ultimate story of hope. Orphaned as a girl, separated from her step-father, and released into an uncaring foster system, Cupcake ran away as a young teen. From there, she became a teenage prostitute and drug addict. Her story could have spiraled into something much worse, but she not only survived but found recovery and thrived.
Cupcake Brown is now a practicing lawyer at a global law firm. Her memoir provides a moving tale that will grip you and leave you feeling inspired.
7. Living Sober
Now that you’re in recovery, you may be intimidated about leaving a recovery facility and going back to your life. Although recovery centers will give you the tools that can help you continue on the road to sobriety, books can also provide you with even more information. Living Sober doesn’t discuss attending recovery or detoxing from addiction; it gives a helpful guide for when you step back into your life.
If you’re looking for practical information that will help you find a healthy way to cope in the day-to-day without addiction, Living Sober is the book for you. You can find the strength to stay sober no matter what happens to you, and this book can give you additional tools to do that.
8. Drink: The Intimate Relationship Between Women and Alcohol by Ann Dowsett Johnston
Drink masterfully weaves one woman’s story of overcoming alcoholism with a thoughtful analysis of the rise of addiction amongst women. She delves into how and why the media has contributed to the alcoholism epidemic by specifically targeting women in their alcohol marketing.
Ann Dowsett Johnston is a journalist with multiple National Magazine Awards who has struggled with alcoholism. She combines her journalism skills with her personal experience with alcohol to create a book you won’t be able to put down. She explores the difficulty of women and drinking, but anyone who quits alcohol can relate to the struggle of social events.
If you’re a woman and in recovery for alcoholism, you may feel lonely. However, you’re far from alone in your struggle with alcohol. Read Drink to get more perspective on addiction and how our society contributes to it.
9. Prozac Nation by Elizabeth Wurtzel
Addiction is often a symptom rather than an issue by itself. Instead, people often turn to addiction to cope with mental health issues. Prozac Nation explores this link in Elizabeth Wurtzel’s memoir. Wutzel was the first to be honest with her struggles, and it resonated with the youth of the time. Depression was a new discussion at the time, and anti-depressants were only beginning to skyrocket to the numbers it has today. Although published 25 years ago, it is still relevant today and has even been adapted for a movie.
Wurtzel links her addiction to drugs as a means to cope with her overwhelming depression. She describes in painful detail her struggles with depression and paints it vividly that others can relate with.
10. Meditation as Medicine by Dr. Dharma Singh Khalsa and Cameron Stauth
To be successful in sobriety, you must learn new coping mechanisms to replace dependency. When you run into life stressors, these coping mechanisms can calm and relax you. They can replace either the addiction you’re struggling with currently or another one that could take its place. Meditation is a powerful coping mechanism that has real benefits.
Meditation as Medicine was written by a doctor to help readers understand how beneficial yoga and meditation is. You can find out the basics as well as great exercises and practices to get you started.
Books for a Better Recovery
The right books can strengthen your resolve and hope, as well as practical advice to help your recovery. Give one of these a try today!
Are you ready to stop feeling addicted and start living your life to the fullest? You don’t have to do it alone. Here at Asana Recovery, we can help. Give us a call at (949)763-3440 and let us help you get your life back on track.