Carrie Fisher, Augusten Burroughs, Leslie Jamison: 15 great recovery memoirs

In 2013 the New Yorker magazine featured an article ‘The Book That Will Make You Never Want to Drink Again’. That book was The Lost Weekend by Charles Jackson, published in 1944 and made into an award-winning film. Despite the book’s commercial success, recovery from addiction is seldom going to result simply from reading a book. Any addict will tell you that knowledge of dire consequences does not deter addicts from self-destructive behaviour.

  • And the portrait of heroin addiction it depicts is a painful reality for many people.
  • In this provocative and paradigm-shifting book, Szalavitz argues for a new conception of addiction, not as a brain disease but rather as a developmental disorder.
  • Here are some that are likely to benefit the reader in some way, perhaps by suggesting a new outlook, method, or simple fact that was not known by the reader beforehand.
  • While This Naked Mind shows that you have the tools to reprogram your mind and live a life free from alcohol, Cold Turkey offers practical steps to get you through the first month of recovery.
  • People who develop a plan during their time in treatment will be familiar with the steps they need to take any time they feel triggered or tempted to use again.

These true stories have inspired many to quit and completely recover from their indulgence in alcohol and drugs. The book provides a great insight into understanding how best to recover from various forms of addiction. There’s a long, beautiful history of writers chronicling their battles with alcoholism and addiction. Many celebrated authors have walked the long, painful road to recovery, spinning their experiences into powerful reads. Ahead, see the 15 stories of struggle, failure, recovery, and grace that move us the most. We’re here 24/7 to help you get the care you need to live life on your terms, without drugs or alcohol.

Friends & Family of Addicts

First, it models that recovery is an inside job and that everyone must take responsibility for their own recovery. Second, it keeps families healthy enough that they can offer support — emotional, spiritual, and financial — when their addicted loved one turns toward recovery. Without recovery, family members have only their resentment and their own depletion to offer. Without working their own program of recovery, the family’s cupboard becomes bare when it comes to compassion. But, when the family has worked toward their own recovery, they can greet loved ones’ efforts to recover with open arms — and with a realistic understanding of the principles that underlie recovery. If you are well on your way to a sober life, these books will give you the empowerment, enlightenment, and courage you need to continue.

I’ve been to other provinces and Alberta is a leader,” he said, noting that the construction of such healing centres was explicitly recommended in the Truth and Reconciliation report. Nic believed that he’d be able to get out of the grasp of addiction at any time he wanted, but he was wrong. It took an almost fatal relapse to persuade him that he needed as much help as he could get. This raw and compelling novel tells the story of a man’s road to relapse, recovery, and hope for a better tomorrow.

A Very Fine House: A Mother’s Story of Love, Faith, and Crystal Meth

Almost all detox and recovery services in Canada are currently based in urban areas. According to Otter, Indigenous people who live further away may be reluctant to use these services if doing so requires them to relocate from their community and support systems. She wanted to see treatment centres in every single reserve across Canada. This book shows the challenges and all the things it takes to regain control of one’s life. Intimate, raw, and emotional, “A Very Fine House” is a must-read among other sobriety books.

  • A person of extraordinary intellect, Heather King is a lawyer and writer/commentator for NPR—as well as a recovering alcoholic who spent years descending from functional alcoholism to barely functioning at all.
  • Granted, books certainly can’t replace treatment and professional guidance.
  • These are but five of hundreds of good books about drugs, alcoholism, and recovery that are available to help people heal at their own pace.

Those who are addicted or their loved ones can follow the steps in this book to deal with the problem. There have to be necessary steps taken in order not to return to the addictive life. The author uses the book to reach thousands of women to help them trade fatigue and overwhelm for peace and focus. Ordinary Girls by Jaquira DíazA tale of survival more than recovery, Díaz’s memoir is about unlearning the powerful ideas we are raised with – in this case, that violence and chaos are normal. Díaz writes of her childhood in a public housing project in Puerto Rico and, later, Miami Beach, and an adolescence marked by “juvenile delinquency” and marred by violence, addiction, mental illness, and abuse. Díaz’s resilience – and success – in the face of mighty obstacles registers as part luck, part strength, and part audacity.

The Recovering by Leslie Jamison

While some books will only stir people’s resolve to change their lifestyle, this book provides practical steps that will guide them actually succeed in their desire to quit permanently. It has helped thousands of people have a positive mindset towards leaving their engrossed relationship with alcohol. While This Naked Mind shows that you have the tools to reprogram your mind and live a life free from alcohol, Cold Turkey offers practical steps to get you through the first month of recovery. Like Annie Grace, Mishka Shubaly uses his own messy history with alcoholism and recovery to show just how difficult the road to recovery can be. The author argues that “one-size-fits-all” plans, like 12-step programs, do not set you up for success. Rather, to become truly free from addiction, he recommends finding a way to define sobriety in your own terms.

Compiled and largely written in 1939 by AA co-founder Bill W in collaboration with one hundred AA members, it was named one of the hundred most influential books in English since 1923 by Time magazine. Catalyst is a blog website that offers you a daily dose of inspiration through motivating stories, daily life quotes, life lessons, lifestyle, travel, and fitness-based articles. Our main goal is to help help you find hope, learn new things, and inspire you to keep going.

As a collection of expert opinions, it features conversations with the world’s top experts in addiction. The book, besides covering many types of addiction, also covers issues such as cross-addiction and the causes of addiction. “Rewired…” focuses not only on the achievement of physical sobriety but also of spiritual, mental, and emotional sobriety.

They can transform the way you think about addiction, bust stigma, give you actionable advice to apply to your recovery, and make you feel less alone. The final audiobook on this list is another powerful work of fiction. Only he has no recollection of how he got there—and he’s not sure he wants to remember either. Accomplished actor MacLeod Andrews narrates Benjamin Alire Sáenz’s powerful, beautifully written novel. While this listen might appear to be autobiographical, it’s actually a work of fiction that’s meant to be experienced as if it were a memoir.

He, too, grew up in a family traumatized by residential schools and consequently spent much of his youth alienated from his Indigenous heritage. Among my interviewees was Rufus Pretty Young Man, who said that in every First Nations reserve that he knew of, addiction was killing so many Indigenous Canadians that funerals were happening weekly. His own cousin, who had died of an overdose, was buried just hours before we spoke — and yet it seemed best books about alcoholism to him that no one cared. His views mirrored what I heard when I visited the Calgary Stampede’s Elbow River Camp in the summer, where I interviewed several Indigenous elders and community members regarding addiction. The stories they shared spoke to the devastation wrought upon the province’s reserves, which appear to have been largely forgotten by the rest of society. Create an account or sign in to continue with your reading experience.

  • Intimate, raw, and emotional, “A Very Fine House” is a must-read among other sobriety books.
  • Animals by Emma Jane UnsworthSome of the closest friendships are forged in the crucible of hard partying.
  • For our long answer, keep reading… Books, movies, music and various art forms can do wonders to inform what we know about addiction and recovery.

It’s a theory Szalavitz, a science writer and former cocaine and heroin addict, is uniquely equipped to advance and one that may reframe addiction entirely for you. The Truth of addiction help with addiction is another perfect example of helpful resources that can surely help with nearly any kind of addiction people might be struggling with. Those who have friends or family they want to help can take inspiration and guidelines from this book. Although there are different levels of addiction, this book by Russell Brand explains, in simple and clear terms, how best to pull away from the shackles of addiction. To vote on books not in the list or books you couldn’t find in the list, you can click on the tab add books to this list and then choose from your books, or simply search.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *