Are you feeling stagnant in your recovery process? Maybe it’s time for some much-needed inspiration. Winter is the perfect time for self-reflection and hibernation, and diving into stories about someone else’s addiction journey will give you the boost you need to stay focused on your sobriety. The number of motivational books on addiction recovery, mental health, and the road to redemption is endless. To help you narrow down your search, here are eight compelling stories to consider reading this winter season.
“For Sarah Hepola, alcohol was ‘the gasoline of all adventure.’ She spent her evenings at cocktail parties and dark bars, where she proudly stayed till the last call. Drinking felt like freedom, part of her birthright as a strong, enlightened twenty-first-century woman (Amazon).” Blackout, by author Sarah Hepola, is a brutally honest and humorous memoir of a woman stumbling into sobriety. Through her journey, she discovers her true self – sometimes amid multiple blackouts. Her story will resonate with anyone who has been forced into necessary change.
Described as fearless, raw, and powerful, Laura McKowen’s book is written with incredible vulnerability. The author states on her website, “What could be ‘lucky’ about addiction? Absolutely nothing thought McKowen when drinking brought her to her knees. As she puts it, she ‘kicked and screamed – wishing for something, anything else’ to be her issue. The people who got to drink normally, she thought, were so damn lucky.” In her story, McKowen invites the reader to look at their addiction and recovery stories with compassion.
In Crank, author and poet Ellen Hopkins takes you on a journey of the main character Kristina as she battles her addiction to crystal meth. “Kristina is a gifted high school junior, quiet, and is never in any trouble. Then, Kristina meets the monster: crank. And what begins as a wild, ecstatic ride turns into a struggle through hell for her mind, her soul, and her life (Crank).”
Author Lori Gottlieb (psychotherapist and national advice columnist) offers a glimpse into the author’s relationships with her patients and her own therapist “Gottlieb explores her patients’ inner demons – a young newlywed diagnosed with terminal cancer, a woman who finds life meaningless and intends to commit suicide on her next birthday, and a woman stuck in a cycle of alcoholism and damaging relationships (New York Times, 2019).”
If you need a good laugh this winter season, this book will come in handy. Dana’s Bowman’s memoir takes an honest look at recovery as a mother of young kids and discusses the “mommy wine culture” that pervades our society. Bottled explains the challenges moms face with drinking and describes the author’s journey to recovery, from hitting rock bottom to her first few months of sobriety to her current world filled with more moments of peace than insanity. The book offers “practical suggestions on how to be a sober, present-in-the-moment mom, and provides much-needed levity on an issue too often treated with deadly seriousness (Amazon).”
Elizabeth Wurtzel’s book is a compelling memoir and important cultural touchstone about the longing and emptiness experienced by many women with mental health issues and how they attempt to fill that void with substances. “Elizabeth Wurtzel writes with her finger in the faint pulse of an overdiagnosed generation whose ruling icons are Kurt Cobain, Xanax, and pierced tongues (Amazon).”
Author Nic Sheff shares his descent into substances such as crystal meth, cocaine, and the club drug ecstasy. The book Tweak offers a compelling picture of the lies those with substance use disorders tell themselves to deny they have a real problem. This story inspired the motion picture, Beautiful Boy.
Award-winning journalist and author Ann Dowsett Johnston combines research, her story of recovery, and examines the alarming rise in drinking among women and girls. “Battling for women’s dollars and leisure time, corporations have developed marketing strategies and products targeted to women. Equally alarming is a recent CDC report showing a sharp rise in binge drinking, putting women and girls at further risk. Johnston illuminates this epidemic, dissecting the psychological, social, and industry factors that have contributed to its rise and exploring its long-lasting impact on our society and individual lives (Amazon).”
These books deal with everything from addiction, substance use disorders, and mental health issues to therapy, relationships, and much-needed comedic relief. Addiction recovery can feel isolating, but reading stories filled with inspiration and hope can help you realize you are not alone during this journey. If you or a loved one is suffering from a substance use disorder or addiction, it’s time to get help. The staff at The Kimberly Center understands the needs of those wanting to break free of addiction. We offer evidence-based treatment that is dedicated to giving you the attention and tools required to live your life completely substance-free. We focus on your inner strength and the importance of a strong support system. To learn more about our intensive outpatient program and long-term treatment services and to find out if our center is right for you, contact us today at 855-452- 3683.