I am, probably, by way of my history, more attuned to picking up on it than others. Self-love can be one of the most beautiful things to come from a recovery https://ecosoberhouse.com/ journey. This book provides an amazing framework for embracing our true selves in a society that tries to tell us we’re not already whole as we are.

The fact that even a great artist like Ditlevsen can capitulate to such dictates, if only once, demonstrates how powerful they are. Although I think they can all be considered addiction memoirs, and share a familial resemblance with other examples of best alcoholic memoirs that form, none of them feel remotely imprisoned by its conventions. And yet—even though each of these books goes its own way, never hesitating to flout a trope or trample a norm to serve its story—they don’t go in terror of the conventions either.

The Unexpected Joy of Being Sober by Catherine Gray

Recovery-related books, AKA ‘quit lit,’ can be great for seeing how others have navigated similar experiences, gaining tips that can help you along your journey, and learning more about the science behind substance use. Who are our ancestors to us, and what can they tell us about ourselves? In this riveting memoir, Newton goes in search of the answers to these questions, spelunking exhaustively through her frustrating and fascinating family tree. From an accused witch to a thirteen times-married man, her family tree abounds with stories that absorb and appall, but taxonomizing her family history doesn’t satisfy Newton’s hunger for meaning. Just what do the facts of a life tell us about who we are or where we come from, and what can our personal histories tell us about our national past?

  • Pooley walks us through a year of her life spent battling alcohol addiction and a recent breast cancer diagnosis, two battles — spoiler alert!
  • Obsessed with birds of prey since she was a girl, Macdonald was already an experienced falconer.
  • All these books might have been published as memoir in a less stigmatising age.
  • As a 15-year-old girl, she was shot in the face by the Taliban on the bus home from school, all because she had the audacity to stand up for her right to an education.

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.

“This Naked Mind” by Annie Grace

I learned a lot from Clegg—or I hope I did—about how to convey the terrifying experience of a runaway binge. I tried to be as brutally unsparing of my faults as both those writers. I’d like to think Jerry Stahl’s Permanent Midnight influenced me, too, particularly by encouraging me to try and be harrowing and funny at once. Creating healthy boundaries is one of the most useful practices we can put into place in early sobriety. But what does that mean, exactly, and how do you go about establishing boundaries?

Bright Lights, Big City follows a young man, living in Manhattan as if he owned it, through nightclubs, fashion shows, editorial offices, and loft parties as he attempts to outstrip mortality and the recurring approach of dawn. With nothing but goodwill, controlled substances, and wit to sustain him in this anti-quest, he runs until he reaches his reckoning point, where he is forced to acknowledge loss and, possibly, to rediscover his better instincts. A heart-warming and hilarious novel about the highs and lows of marriage, fraud, and goat’s cheese.


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