01 May. 2020
I’ve always loved reading. Over the last few years I've been re-finding my love for it, reading with a clear mind is great and another benefit of being sober is that I actually remember everything I’ve read before I go to sleep at night!
When I first stopped drinking, I devoured every book I could find on the subject. I thought it might be nice to share some of them here with you. If you know of any others that are worth a read, let me know, I still like to read ‘quit-lit’ even now.
I'll be adding to this as often as I can, but I think I'm only going to be adding inspirational books otherwise I'd fill it up pretty quickly!
16 March. 2020
Kick The Drink Easily - Jason Vale
I loved this book. I didn’t like the cover, I wanted to hide it, even in the privacy of my own home, I felt it shouted out that I had a problem, and even though I clearly did, it made me very self-conscious as I wasn’t ready to announce it to the world! I read it intensely, I referred to it like a text book, and I even have lines highlighted to make me remember them. Jason tackles not only social perceptions but also clearly identified with the way I was feeling, “The main problem is that, if you sense you are in trouble with alcohol, it is seen as your weakness rather than a result of the drug itself.”
Rather than being a story, this is much more a resource to help you quit, although it does have personal accounts too. This is one of my favourites, it talks about the social acceptance we have for alcohol and why we really shouldn’t. I certainly would recommend this book to anyone needing a little bit of support, it was invaluable to me.
15 March. 2020
Mrs D Is Going Within - Lotta Dann
It's like I'm reading this book that Lotta wrote about me! It's so weird, not only has she struggled with so many of the same anxiety issues as me, but she goes on to get a black Labrador (we have one who is ten and called Miley), but she names it Stanley, the name of my youngest son!
I love the way Lotta writes, it is down to earth and unpretentious. A good read, especially for those who are over the initial addiction and are trying to make sense of their new alcohol free lives.
15 March. 2020
Light at the End of the Bottle - Vanessa Bird
Another good read. There were a few points in this book that I found difficult to read, and at times a little frustrating, but all in all a good read. It was sad to read of the judgements the author had because of her addiction and the struggle to get free but it was nice to see the author finally managing to get free of addiction towards the end.
28 January. 2020
Sober Stick Figure - Amber Tozer
I enjoyed this book. So real, so cringeworthy in places, and yet totally honest. The author got into a few scrapes and yet, I could see her denial in a similar way to mine. It's hard to face up to things, and realise you have a problem, and Amber obviously felt that too. The drawings kept me amused all the way through too.
30 December. 2019
Mrs D Is Going Without - Lotta Dann
I've just read this on my kindle. Crikey, it was like reading something I had written. I could draw so many parallels between myself and Mrs D. The only differences are that she went out a lot more than I did, and put herself into situations I wouldn't have done. I stayed at home, but for me that was challenging as it was home where I drank. All in all, a great read, and something I could really resonate with. So good to see another woman out there promoting the benefit of living a sober life, and doing so unashamedly.
06 December. 2019
Drink - Ann Dowsett Johnston
Another version of a love affair with alcohol, someone who understands how it feels to have addiction sidle up until one day you suddenly realise it has overshadowed you. Written by someone who not only has experienced alcohol addiction, but someone who has researched the link between women and alcohol too, this is a really good read.
06 December. 2019
Unwasted - Sasha Z. Scoblic
A great read! It felt truthful and honest, and although every one giving up drinking has a few skeletons in the cupboard, it didn’t feel exaggerated. Quite possibly the book that sparked my love of running. I mean, when I read it I had no intention of taking up running. It was all I could do to function normally, without adding in something so daft as running. But, I think it planted a seed, one that one come to really help me in the later days of my recovery.
06 December. 2019
Diary of An Alcoholic Housewife - Brenda Wilhelmson
This is a beautiful diary of a woman’s struggle to overcome her addiction. It’s well written and you can see her struggle, not only to move on, but to actually admit to her problem in the first place. Most people seem to resent putting on weight after quitting, and it’s not often you hear someone comment about ‘skinny drunks’ but she did, and that comment really hit home for me. As I’ve said before, when you identify with someone, or something, it can be really helpful. It can be the catalyst you are waiting for. A definite recommendation from me.
05 December. 2019
The Unexpected Joy of Being Sober - Catherine Grey
A great read, this book has personal experiences, but also has tools to help you on your journey. I particularly like the point where she says you should leave the past alone. I’m still working on that one, but I think it’s a great point. There’s also a section on sober heroes, she doesn’t call them that, but I’m going to. Anyone out there showing a way forward for others is a hero in my book. All in all a great read!
04 December. 2019
Drinking, A Love Story - Caroline Knapp
I identified with this book on so many levels. I love this line, “I fell in love and then, because the love was ruining everything I cared about, I had to fall out.” In this one line, the author sums up my drinking and recovery too. It is something that affects many women who drink, many people like me, who associate drinking with fun, with relaxation, with rewards, until one day they realise it isn’t anymore. Definitely one I’d recommend.
03 December. 2019
A Happier Hour - Rebecca Weller
A memoir by a woman only a few years older than me, this is the sort of book I sought out. A health coach who only intended to ever have a few glasses which inevitably often turns into a few bottles, she embarks on a lifestyle experiment which turns into something much more. Full of challenges and her thoughts, it is definitely worth a read. This quote sums it up, “I was afraid of what would happen if I stopped drinking. But I was more afraid of what would happen if I didn’t.” I remember that feeling only too well.
02 December. 2019
Blackout - Sarah Hepola
So, so honest! Heartbreakingly so, the effects of blackouts are shocking, and the author shares it all with us. A true story of recovery, and overcoming the hell of drinking, the reader is invited along for the journey. You know she hasn’t found the journey easy, but you know that it’s worth it. A great read.
01 December. 2019
Staying Sober - Binki Laidler
Literally written like a diary, this is a blow by blow account of the author and her journey from day 1 to 100 of her recovery. You feel like you’re sharing a conversation at times with the author, and this makes it all the more real as you face each and every new challenge with her. She doesn’t sugar-coat or dramatise it though, and this is refreshing. A very honest account of one woman’s path.
30 November. 2019
The Sober Revolution - Sarah Turner and Lucy Rocca
“Adopting a lifestyle of sobriety restores the mind and body to what they once were, and allows us to fill the shoes of the person we were born to be.” The first part of this book is the reasons behind drinking and the experiences of getting sober. The next part are stories from various people showing their own experiences.
29 November. 2019
The Sober Diaries - Clare Pooley
This is one of the most recent reads on my list. This is a hard one because I did enjoy it, but it didn’t have the same realism as some of the other books on my list. I found I couldn’t really relate to the 3 week holidays in Cornwall, (despite living here), after shorter trips to Scotland. I know she has a busy life, as a lot of mothers and wives do, I just found it a little bit difficult to relate to. But as another book to read on this subject, it’s definitely worth the read, we just obviously have different lifestyles.
28 November. 2019
Freedom From Our Addictions - Russell Brand
I read this about two years after I stopped drinking. I still like to read books of this kind even now, I think it helps remind me how far I’ve come. It has a focus on the 12 Steps, but as I didn’t go to AA, (I had another support group), it wasn’t so relevant in this way to me. What was nice though, was Russell’s very honest approach to his addiction and the way he put his own interpretation of the 12 Steps into words. Again, I really think that the more I read about other people in a similar situation overcoming their addictions, the more it made me feel less like a freak and more like I could do it too.
27 November. 2019
This Naked Mind - Annie Grace
“Alcohol does not relieve stress; it erases your senses and ability to think. Ultimately it erases your self.” I couldn’t have said it better myself! Annie’s book is full of science and facts, backing up her claims, this book really makes you think. I found it a bit if a heavy read, but it is a bit of a heavy subject. It’ll definitely make you think.
26 November. 2019
Don’t Let The Bastards Grind You Down - Georgia W.
Written by a recovering alcoholic, this is a guide for things that would have helped the writer in her darker days. Broken down into bite size chunks, like ‘The First 30 Days” and “Trigger Happy”, the majority of these points are really useful. There are a few that personally, I don’t think needed including, they certainly didn’t apply to me, but there are people who might find them useful. A good addition to the recovery book shelf.