One of the best ways to keep busy and on the sobriety path is to read. And what better books to read than the brutally honest memoirs of successful, Addiction Recovery who have been in your shoes? These books not only help you educate yourself on addiction, but inspire you to continue to thrive and give you an understanding of your journey and the ways you share it with millions of others. Here are five books to read that will make you appreciate your personal experience and how far you have come, and grasp the willpower it takes to always push forward.
1) Permanent Midnight: A gritty, no-holds-barred account of one heroin addict’s journey to what he refers to as a “self-resurrection.” Written from a sober point of view, he recounts his days as an up-and-coming writer who lost himself to his addiction.
Quote: “Not until I stopped doing drugs altogether did I feel like a man. Not until I walked out of that fire did I have any idea what the word even meant.”
2) The Big Fix: Hope After Heroin. This memoir from writer Tracey Helton Mitchell tells the story of her heroin addiction, which first began with opioids following a wisdom teeth extraction. It reveals that no one, not even the most promising talents, are exempt from the falling into an addiction. In addition to describing her personal experiences, she sheds light on today’s drug epidemic and how it affects the country.
Quote: “My drug-induced confidence was quickly replaced with anxiety; my painless days were followed by sleepless nights. I lost everything that I hadn’t already sold or traded for this drug, until I was brought into my new life in handcuffs.”
3) Drinking: A Love Story. Caroline Knapp’s memoir of alcoholism is raw and clear, written with the prose of a passionate writer, without overdone language. Knapp had a good upbringing, and doesn’t bother tracing her addiction to any deeply rooted psychological issues, but rather dives headfirst into a captivating sequence of events.
Quote: “The hard things in life, the things you really learn from, happen with a clear mind.”
4.) Lit: Mary Karr shook the literary scene with her memoir “The Liar’s Club” and “Cherry.” Lit focuses more on Karr’s journey to faith, as catalyzed by her alcohol addiction. Chockful of self-awareness, this memoir is all about finding yourself after the storm has passed.
Quote: “Joy, it is, which I’ve never known before, only pleasure or excitement. Joy is a different thing, because its focus exists outside the self – delight in something external, not satisfaction of some inner craving.”
5) The Night of the Gun: This New York Times writer had an alcohol and cocaine addiction, and writes this moving memoir using the same investigative techniques he employs at the Times. Here, Carr is determined to fill the gaps and holes of his life caused by his addiction, searching for the truth of his past.
Quote: “As I sit today, I am a genuine, often pleasant person. I am able to imitate a human being for long spurts of time, do solid work for a reputable organization, and have, over the breadth of time, proven to be an attentive father and husband. So how to reconcile my past with my current circumstances? Drugs, it seems to me, do not conjure demons, they access them. Was I faking it then, or am I faking it now? Which, you might ask, of my two selves did I make up?”