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Reading Material

August 4, 2014 365 comments

What are the the books, blogs, articles and other links that have helped you in recovery?

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  1. The best book I found was Sober is the New Black by Rachel Black. I could have been reading about myself. I also dip back into it whenever the going gets tough and it never fails to inspire me. Highly recommended.

  2. Blog: tired of thinking about drinking
    Movie: lipstick and Liquor
    Podcast: Bubble Hour
    Book: Jason Vale- Quit the drink
    Best free go to meditation- all yoga nidra on soundcloud
    Best Quick Fix if you feel emotionally STUCK- Kia Miller Kundalini Yoga ( if you aren’t in California you can find on website Yoga Glo and do an online class)

  3. I just found a book called, Unwasted: My lush sobriety, by Sascha Scoblic. It’s hilarious in places, and sobering (if you’ll excuse the pun) in others. What I like, though, is that it really looks at the thing that often knocks us off our perch – who am I without drink? She honestly examines this question and the years it took after going sober to really figure out who she wanted to be, and how to make life happen.

    1. I love this book too it’s incredible isn’t it! I love how she describes herself as thinking she was this “fabulous rockstar partier” who was actually so naive and disconnected from reality and what actually matters in life. Hit the nail on the head for me.

    2. I just read this book – it was as if someone had written about me in my late-20s – early-30s and just transplanted the story to the US. I could tell you equivalent anecdotes of the dodgy situations she got herself into; nights when I’ve abandoned seldom-seen friends for a party and a shag; and plenty of all night binges.

      It made me reflect about a lot of my past – particularly my university years and how I allowed my social group to be shaped entirely by whether people got shit-faced or not. Also the amount of lost potential in my career during my 20s and 30s.

      Would definitely recommend this to any ‘party-girl’ type drinkers.

  4. I have just read “All or Nothing” which is a rip-snorter of a memoir by a very successful young chef in the States (Jesse Schenker). One of those books you read and can’t believe the author made it out of their debauchery alive let alone with enough brain cells to actually write a book! Boy was he big into pills and needles etc. It rips along and is really compelling, he seems very honest and upfront. I would have liked more about the getting-sober process and what it’s like to be in recovery and how he works at it but that’s how I always feel after reading a lot of these memoirs. Still a great read.

  5. I’ve just finished reading ‘A Piece of Cake: A Memoir’ by Cupcake Brown.
    I was so encouraged by her story! She is candid and writes in a clear engaging way about her addictions and her recover. Points about recovery that have become embedded in my mind are:
    Having supportive team – people to whom you can explain what you need and who are willing to pick up the phone when ever you call for help or just to talk or to weep etc, and that won’t judge or criticize etc
    Being honest about emotions and be committed to learning How to have that kind of honesty and courage (her story is a great demo)
    That no matter what sad story I have and what my wounds are, I can be more courageous and more self-accepting/loving and do what I dream of doing in life!
    It’s so motivating! Recommended reading :-)

  6. This is a really good article about mindfulness and how it helps us deal with addictive behaviors… “Mindfulness helps individuals pay careful attention to their cravings, such that they can see what they are made up of – thoughts and body sensations. Importantly, with this awareness, they can notice cravings as they arise, see how they change from moment to moment (instead of lasting “forever” as some of my patients have described), and as a result, stay with them and ride them out instead of acting on them. Also, paying attention helps individuals see clearly what they are getting from their behavior in that moment.”

    1. Wow interesting. When I gave up smoking which was a major for me I remember reading about negative and positive reinforcement. I changed my thinking from smoking being adding something positive to the environment (me) to the cigarette only being a tool to stop the negative feelings ie withdrawal. The turnaround in thinking helped me hugely because I was looking forward to the day when I’ didn’t experience the withdrawal. Rather than the notion I was depriving myself of something.
      It did come eventually!

    1. Great talk, I feel very irked by the alcohol industry in general, its a hard slog against all that pressure. Am hoping it will go the way of tobacco, but too must invested.

  7. 1. Drinking: A Love Story by Caroline Knapp (underlined more than most of my textbooks).
    2. The Bubble Hour podcasts (keeping me sober).
    3. The movie The Anonymous People
    4. And for all around peace, anything by Thich Nhat Hanh.

    1. me too, reading Alan Carr was a turning point for me….I only intended to cut down! life changing…also Jason Vale very good for me…plus he got me into juicing and giving up chocolate at the same time I stopped drinking! Can’t believe this is me!!
      still got a bit to go on other junk food though.I find it is easier to cut out than cut down on unhealthy things…a work in progress

  8. My recommendations aren’t about drinking/sobriety specifically, but are extremely helpful to get one’s thinking back on track and just generally dealing with life better.

    “The Work” of Byron Katie has helped me immensely. If I’d found her years ago, she would’ve saved me so much therapy. She has several books (“Loving What Is” and “Who Would You Be Without Your Story?”, just to name two), and a YouTube channel filled with videos of her working with attendees of her seminars. Check her out at http://www.thework.com.

    Also really enjoying “The Bubble Hour” podcast. If you’re interested in Easter philosophy (I am), I recommend Thich Nhat Hahn, Pema Chodron, and Suzuki Roshi, and Alan Watts.

  9. I went a bit mad on reading sobering books. Typical of my addictive personality I suppose. I started off with Mrs D of course and then, in this order:
    Allen Carr, The Easy Way to Stop Drinking
    Jason Vale, Kick the Drink Easily
    Jill Stark, High Sobriety
    Gretchin Rubin, The Happiness Project
    Sarah Turner and Lucy Rocca, The Sober Revolution
    Rachel Black, Sober is the New Black
    And in between I visit blogs. Right now I’m searching Amazon trying to decide what to read next. I’m 64 days sober today and I’ve spent a lot of that time reading and gaining confidence that this is the right choice for me and that I can do it. Each and every one of those books has helped me in some way so I recommend them all.

    1. Drunk Mom
      Drinking: A Love Story
      Ann Dowsett-Johnston’s book ‘Drink: The Intimate Relationship Between Women and Alcohol’
      High Bottom
      Why You Drink and How to Stop
      Just a few to be going on with! I, too read obsessively in my early days. I’m now nine months sober!

    2. Please add to your list:
      Rational Recovery by Jack Trimpey – this book is a great complement to Allen Carrs book, helps explain that voice in your head that has tempted you to drink! And The Law of Sobriety by Sherry Gaba/Beth Adelman, helps once your sober.. great feelgood, positive ‘happy to be sober’ read :)

    1. This is great. As the webmaster for Club East, a facility for AA and NA groups in Indianapolis, IN, I’m constantly on the lookout for resources I can refer our folks to. This is an invaluable source of contemporary information. Thanks so much.

  10. Hi Have just read this interesting article on Alcohol is Destroying Us here is the direct link
    If you cant just click on it, highlight from http to end digits, right click and the grey box that comes down gives you selections, e.g go to http…., if it doesnt then copy and paste it into address bar happy reading

    1. That book is, in your face. You know, Marion Keyes is now sober. Which is very inspiring. She has a new baking book out where she talks a little about her sobriety.

  11. I have a few books I found really helpful:
    Every Silver Lining has a Cloud: Relapse and the Symptoms of Sobriety, by Scott Stevens
    Scott writes so well about his own experiences and the psychological processes that go with recovery. But what I found fascinating and a very compelling argument was his research and discussion about the neurological effects of the disease, particularly the role elevated levels of cortisol play in sabotaging recovery and how stress during recovery can spike already high levels in the recovering alcoholic. It’s a great explanation of why we recovering alcoholics are more sensitive to everything as we recover.

    In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction, by Gabor Mate, MD
    Gabor Mate has spent several decades working with Vancouver’s community of alcohol and drug addicts, and he presents one of the better explanations of how long-term use of alcohol and drugs affects the brain and also some interesting research about why some of us are pre-disposed to abusing alcohol and drugs as a result of things that happened long before we picked up a drink.

    Both of these are available for Kindle and other formats.

  12. Susan Powter puts it like this in ‘Sober… and Staying That Way

    If you are going to get sober and stay that way, you are going to have to give it up.

    Drinking has got you by the throat and throttles you every time you do it. You will never ever win when you step into the ring wit Muhammad-yes, The Man – Ali. And that’s what you do every time you put the bottle to your lips. Fighting the world champion of all time. Not one of us has a chance against Ali. Put the gloves down and walk the hell out of the gym.

    Retire, surrender. It’s over.

    Think of it this way, a couple of times a week someone suggests you go down to your local gym (Rocky neighbourhood gym) and fight. One on one. You and the strongest person on the planet. Mr. World Champion…

    Get yourself a robe (shiny red usually works well for boxers..) Make sure you’ve got yourself someone to go down with you to rub your shoulders, shove some water in your mouth, to be there to slap you in the face a couple of times in between each round…. Very boxing.

    How many rounds in this sport – ten, fifteen, or something? Who knows, who cares? “Cause you ain’t gonna last ten seconds, let alone ten rounds, of nothing with Ali!

    Give it up, ‘cause you ain’t gonna win, ever!

    Hold the flag up, walk out with your hands high in the air, up against the wall, cause it’s over…. It’s time to surrender. (And that is the first step in sober how.)

    1. Thanks for sharing this. I am in the process of accepting I lost the moderation battle so this has put my feelings of weakness and failure into perspective . Susan Powter is one crazy chick but she is straight up and I got some good insights from one her you tube clip on alcoholism not so long ago.

  13. The reading that has helped me most has been Allen Carrs book, Mrs Ds blog and Belle’s Tired of drinking.
    Receiving daily messages keeps me strong and focussed together with reading about all the reasons I don’t need this anymore.
    Day 30, early days but feeling strong

  14. Hi just wanted to share my experience, in the hope it helps set someone free. I first became a nondrinker again 2888 days ago after some 17’885 days on the planet. For me I’m not recovering or abstaining, I have simply become a nondrinker again. How? I read the book called ‘How to Control Alcohol’ by Allen Carr. (after great success with his ‘The Easy Way to Stop Smoking’ book).

  15. I have been struggling for 35 years with alcohol and been trying to quit for at least the last ten – read loads of books but the one which has hit the nail on the head for me is Veronica Valli’ “Why do you drink and how to stop – a Journey to Freedom”. It made me realise that I will never be successful at sobriety until I deal with the pain of my past which turned me to drink in the first place. I read the book this week and have already organised addiction and childhood trauma counselling as I can at last see the way ahead – it is a brilliant book.

    1. Thank you for saying you have been trying to quit. I keep reading posts where everyone has quit ( which is fantastic btw ) but unlike me has slipped up, ive been unsuccessful now for about two years, I thought am I the only person who cannot do this ! But my view is changing and I can do this !

  16. Could I ask a question. I often feel like alcohol is making me become more, kind of “disconnected” from my self. Does anyone feel the same? I was talking to a close friend who recommended a book by Russ Harris called “The Confidence Gap”. This guy has been on TED.com and is a genius at something he calls mindfulness.

    So if you fancy indulging in yourself I’d recommend spending some money and some newly found free time and dive in! The book offers some wonderful tips so you can get to know yourself again. It’s quite introspective and requires clear thinking – perfect for us soberites who are trying to find ways to to improve our lives without alcohol.

    1. Brene Brown is another good resource I found, she has two Ted talks on line which are fantastic and helped me alot, one is on shame and the other on vunerability

    2. When I first gave up drinking I used mindfulness, meditation and just basic breathing techniques. I find I don’t need to focus on it so much anymore as I’m generally much calmer. I am living more authentically now, so the breathing and mindfulness naturally and I don’t even realize I’m doing it…..if that makes sense. Sobriety just gets better and easier every year

  17. A really nice read that isn’t anything to do with alcohol addiction but is a book on life/issues/stuff/beliefs/attitudes in general that anyone and everyone can read, relate to and benefit from is Heart Thoughts – A Treasury of Inner Wisdom by Louise Hay.
    It’s a very easy read, not a book you have to read all at once – even a page a day is wonderful. It puts a positive spin on things and provides easy to use affirmations and shows there is always another way to look at any given situation. I find it really inspiring and calming.