7 Novels That Capture the Pain and Chaos of Alcoholism Literary Hub

After quitting her career in order to dedicate more of her time to her family, Clare Pooley found herself depressed and feeling sluggish. She often wondered if she was an alcoholic but was afraid of the answer. There, Burroughs is finally able to truly examine himself, and something starts to click. This memoir is the story of his drinking, finding recovery, and getting sober while also finding love, loss, and Starbucks as a Higher Power. Have you ever read a book that perfectly blended memoir with cultural history, literary criticism, and reportage? Founder of a church called House for All Sinners and Saints in Denver, Colorado, Nadia Bolz-Weber describes her path from a Fundamentalist upbringing to agnostic comedian to Lutheran pastor. Walking with people who had long been forgotten, dismissed, or condemned by mainstream American Christianity, Bolz-Weber has brought the traditional Reformation message of God’s unconditional love to life in new ways. With stories that range from vulnerable to hilarious, this book is fun to read and full of refreshing insights about God, church, hospitality, and grace.

Janelle Hanchett chronicles the story of embracing motherhood through the devastating separation from her children at the height of addiction. Her quest for sobriety includes rehabs and therapy—necessary steps to begin a journey into realizing and accepting an imperfect self within an imperfect life. For any mother or person who has felt like an outsider in your own life, you might just relate. Often, we hear the stories of people with addiction finding redemption once they have children—but this is not that kind of story, which is precisely why we love it. It’s about a woman who longs to belong and find comfort in her new life with her husband and baby but instead develops a gripping addiction to wine. Today, some of my favorite works of fiction are those which manage to portray the complex multitudes of ways in which alcoholism affects people—not just the addicts themselves, but their friends, family, and co-workers. It is easy to use addiction as a crutch, a way to build plot or signal “here’s a bad dude,” but it is much harder to accurately and humanely depict the life-warping pain of struggling with alcoholism. The books which do it best, in my opinion, are often not consciously “about” addiction at all, but show its effects lingering in the corners of every page. I am, probably, by way of my history, more attuned to picking up on it than others.

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Long COVID-19 patients have a hard time concentrating and remembering things several months after the onset of the disease. Parkinson’s disease could soon be diagnosed early by special brain scans. Written for those of us who struggle with codependency, these daily meditations offer growth and renewal, and remind us that the best thing we can do is take responsibility for our own self-care…. In Alcohol Explained 2 William Porter develops his insight into the alcohol phenomenon….

How do you have fun at a bar sober?

  1. 1) Figure out the alcohol-free fun activities you're passionate about.
  2. 2) Understand what you get out of drinking alcohol.
  3. 3) Realize that you've been lied to.
  4. 4) Change where you hang out.
  5. 5) Make new friends.
  6. 6) Build yourself up.
  7. 7) Learn to enjoy non-alcoholic beverages.

Many famous musicians struggled with various addictions, but many were also able to recover and went on to produce a lot of great music instead of falling victim to the stereotype. Their stories serve to provide strength and inspiration to others on a path of healing and health. For those asking why we’re seeing so much more compassion for the opioid epidemic than we did during the crack epidemic, Dr. Hart is your man. A neuroscientist who made it out of a bad Miami neighborhood ponders in this memoir why he didn’t end up headed down a different path. Now the first tenured black professor in the sciences at Columbia, he has the opportunity to look back and see why he escaped the social forces so many around him didn’t. Dr. Hart takes many preconceived notions about drugs and the U.S drug war and turns them on their head, analyzing them through scientific and then social lenses. Dr Gabor Maté advocates for compassion towards people struggling with addiction, as sick people trying to get well the best way they know how. The simplicity of this idea makes so much sense and is often forgotten in everything from AA to drug law. You don’t need to agree with all of Gabor Maté’s theories to see that he has brought a level of hope and humanity to the conversation surrounding addiction. She is now a certified addiction specialist possessing a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a master’s degree in public administration.

What are the Options for Alcoholism Treatment?

A family friend gave me this book, telling me that it had kept him from drinking for the decades since he’d last had a drink. It is best read one page per day, since each page contains a short passage and explanation of its meaning. This reflective work can allow you to appreciate the value of the present moment, rather than attempting to live in the past or in the future. When you quit drinking for a year or more, you’ll find that you have the energy to move forward and tackle new projects. This book can supply you with the internal resolve and concrete strategies you’ll need to make progress in all aspects of your life. The only part I took issue with was the diet chapter, which promotes some dated myths about meat. While this book does not discuss biochemical repair, it can be extremely liberating to realize that you can shed the “diseased” label and move on with your life. This view is not accepted by most mainstream recovery programs, but Dr. Lewis makes a compelling case that these institutions have lagged behind the times . Marc Lewis is a neuroscientist with a personal history of opiate addiction, and this book is a masterpiece.

  • But wherever that journey starts, these memoirs prove that struggle can lead to something beautiful in the end.
  • But rather than heightening their senses and allowing them to enjoy a “technicolor life,” they found alcohol just made them numb.
  • Walking with people who had long been forgotten, dismissed, or condemned by mainstream American Christianity, Bolz-Weber has brought the traditional Reformation message of God’s unconditional love to life in new ways.
  • This book isn’t about alcoholism exactly, but it’s an in-depth dive into how our parents, grandparents, and other influential figures in our lives affect our trauma.
  • The hospital has varying programs that can be tailored to patient needs, as well as the traditional 28 day inpatient treatment program for patients with dual diagnosis issues.

In Blackout, Sarah clearly explains why there’s nothing benign about it and describes what is actually happening to the brain when we reach that point of alcohol-induced amnesia. I love her perspective on drinking as an act of counter-feminism—that in reality it actually dismantles our power, our pride, and our dignity as women, though we intended the opposite. Twelve-step programs are popular for a reason – for many, they work. This book works as a great supplement to a twelve-step program and provides better understanding of the psychotherapy behind the steps. Lawyer and veteran William Porter struggled with alcoholism at various points in his life.

If you make your entire life about perpetual recovery from alcohol addiction, then alcohol will always be on your mind by default. Neuro-linguistic programming is a fascinating system for reprogramming behavior by altering cognitive associations. This book is the most basic guide for NLP that I have found, and the authors describe how using NLP has changed the lives of people they care about. Dr. Linus Pauling was the only scientist to have won two unshared Nobel Prizes, and this book is easily the best nutritional guide that I have read. While this book is not explicitly about recovering from alcoholism, the information is very relevant for people who want to repair their brains and bodies after conquering acute alcohol withdrawal. Narrower in its scope than the previous book, The Vitamin Cure conveys a simple approach to using basic nutrients to fight alcohol withdrawal and cravings. Unlike 7 Weeks to Sobriety, this book answers some questions about why the addiction treatment industry tends to ignore nutrition. Alateen is part of Al-Anon and focuses on young people who need help affected by addiction.

At 430 pages long, “A Million Little Pieces” largely takes place in an alcoholic rehabilitation center, where Frey winds up to get sober after a brutal series of terrible events. The treatment center focuses on the 12-step process, which is also used by Alcoholics Anonymous. Following the same trend as other similar memoirs, King’s suffering is explained over the course of her life in a very relatable way, and that is one reason why readers who suffer with addiction might find solace in her story. King was an attorney who developed alcoholism, and then found Sober Home recovery through spirituality, chiefly Catholicism, to which she converted. King herself refers to “Parched” as, “the dark years” of her life, which should give some indication as to just how severe her experiences with alcohol were. Written by Anna David and published in 2009, “Party Girl” is the story of a young woman in Los Angeles who falls into a habit of excessive partying and drug addiction. While at first her lifestyle as an entertainment journalist seems enviable, it becomes increasingly unhealthy, breaching on the point of self destructive.

But then she falls for Booker, and her aunt Charlene—who has been in and out of treatment for alcoholism for decades—moves into the apartment above her family’s hair salon. The Revolution of Birdie Randolph is a beautiful look at the effects of alcoholism on friends and family members in the touching way only Brandy Colbert can master. Port St. Lucie Hospital is a 75-bed, inpatient mental health facility located on 20 acres near the beautiful Savannas Preserve. Common co-occurring substance use disorders is alcohol use disorder . Wolynn is a trauma specialist and director of the The Family Constellation Institute in San Francisco. If you’re looking to uncover more of your trauma , then you may want to give this a read. Living through recovery, however, taught her something powerful; that being able to live honestly, to feel the full weight of her emotions, was the luckiest thing in the world. Author Laura McKowen thought those who could drink casually were “lucky.” Her experience with alcohol, and the reckoning that forced her to come to terms with it, were anything but lucky. Choosing Therapy partners with leading mental health companies and is compensated for referrals by Monument. My daily devotional that I read every day and cycle through every year.

His sobriety inspired him to heavily research alcohol and its effects on the body, mind, and we continue to drink even when we know it harms us. The result is a thorough, in-depth scientific look that is still easy to digest. Author Veronica Valli is an addiction therapist and recovered alcoholic herself, offering a deep and sincere understanding of an alcoholic’s journey. Veronica Valli, an addiction therapist and recovered alcoholic, wrote “Why You Drink and How to Stop” as a clear, insightful, and informational self-help book that is meant to do exactly what the title outlines. At a concise 162 pages, and published in 2013, the book is considered short, but informative, and incredibly useful. Phillips’ father, core member of a popular rock n’ roll band, led what many would consider to be a very hedonistic lifestyle, exposing his daughter to drug fueled party culture very early on. For that reason, Phillips herself became an addict, and “High on Arrival” intertwines her personal battle with addiction with her perception of her father. This kind of realization can happen for many people seeking sobriety, and Unwifeable resolves with Stadtmiller seeking rehabilitation and recovery from her addictive habits. In this book, celebrated journalist Anne Dowsett Johnston intuitively intertwines her own life story of alcohol use disorder with some great in-depth research and relevant interviews. Her book includes the perspective of those leading the charge in this field, shedding some much-needed light on this crisis and the factors that have contributed to it.

Top 10 books about recovery

Jack Canfield and Dave Andrews’ The 30-Day Sobriety Solution presents a sensitively written yet no-nonsense guide to help you cut back or quit drinking entirely in the privacy of your own home. It is organized into 5 phases that span 30-day periods and guides you through each day with practical exercises that allow you to more easily make positive best books on alcohol addiction choices that lead you towards recovery. In this honest discussion of mental health, the founder of Therapy for Women explores our reasons for drinking alcohol – and the benefits of taking a break…. Ann Dowsett Johnston combines in-depth research and her own story of recovery in this important book about the relationship between women and alcohol.
best books on alcohol addiction
Marlena’s dark habits worsen, though, and she ends up dead within the year. Decades later, Cat reminisces about those days with Marlena and learns to forgive herself and move on from those days. Julie Buntin’s Marlena is a stunning look at alcoholism, addiction, and bad decisions, and how they haunt us forever. I recently came to terms with my own problematic relationship with alcohol, and my one solace has been in books. I’ve dug into memoir after memoir, tiptoed into the hard science books, and enjoyed the fiction from afar. The following are a smattering of the books about alcoholism I’ve found meaningful.

Mate describes how he believes much of addiction in your adult years stems from childhood trauma. Implicit memory is memory without recollection of the actual event. Here are some other books we believe will provide you with strong insight into addiction and the obstacles that both families and drug addicts face. Regardless of the book you choose, it is always recommended that family members of addicts and alcoholics check out support groups such as Al-Anon, Families Anonymous, and ACOA meetings, along with individual therapy. When 15-year-old Cat moves to a new town in rural Michigan, she’s ecstatic to find a friend in Marlena, a beautiful, pill-popping neighbor. She’s drawn to Marlena’s world and joins her on an adventure of drinking, smoking, and kissing.

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