There’s never a bad time to get lost in a good read. And if you’re working on your sobriety, it can be helpful to reflect on the fact that other people have been through many of the same experiences and have gone through similar ups and downs along the way. These compelling memoirs of others’ addiction and recovery can remind you that you are never alone in the quest to break free of the cycle of substance misuse.
1. How to Murder Your Life, by Cat Marnell
At only 15 years old, Cat Marnell unwittingly became addicted to ADHD medication. Later, a worsening Xanax dependence led to her trying cocaine, ecstasy and a variety of prescription medications as she lived a double life as a drug addict with a glamorous job as an editor at Lucky magazine. This book shows addiction can happen to anyone, regardless of their age.
2. We All Fall Down, by Nic Sheff
Sheff, a former meth addict, wrote this book as a sequel to his original addiction memoir, Tweak. It chronicles his efforts to stay clean despite relapse setbacks, and his honest writing about his hard-won victories can provide you with a glimpse of hope if you are facing many of the same struggles.
3. Permanent Midnight, by Jerry Stahl
Screenwriter Jerry Stahl seemingly had every reason to feel happy and fulfilled, but his heroin use threatened to bring it all crashing down. This raw and unflinchingly honest memoir shines a light on how addiction doesn’t discriminate, derailing even the most successful people.
4. Dry, by Augusten Burroughs
Burroughs, bestselling author of an earlier memoir called Running With Scissors, cataloged his descent into alcoholism and subsequent recovery in this reflective account. This book is unique for its perspective – as a gay man, Burroughs entered a treatment facility catering to the needs of the LGBTQ community.
5. Girl Walks out of a Bar, by Lisa Smith
Despite having a promising career as an attorney at a prominent New York City law firm, Smith became addicted to both alcohol and cocaine. Though her outward appearance projected absolute control, her inner life was anything but regimented. This cautionary tale shatters the myth of the “high-functioning” addict by showing how people in high-pressure jobs can be more vulnerable to substance abuse problems.
Reading Tips to Help You Get Started
If you’re new to exploring the addiction recovery memoir genre, here is some advice you might find useful.
- If reading books about sobriety in public makes you feel embarrassed, download a digital version onto your phone or tablet, or buy an audiobook instead.
- Some authors or stories may not resonate with you, and that’s OK. Keep reading. There are plenty of books in the world, and finding a memoir that hits home for you can change your entire attitude.
- Don’t forget, there’s more than one way to achieve your sobriety goals. Read a variety of books, so you can put yourself in different people’s shoes.
- Hold on to every book, even the ones you don’t love. A few months, or years, into your sobriety, you can return to them and appreciate them from a different perspective.
Comprehensive Recovery Support When You Need It Most
At Segue, we know the first 12 months of addiction recovery can be a critical time in determining your long-term success. Through our unique programming model, we offer the valuable encouragement you need as you progress on your continuum of care. Contact us today to learn more about how we can benefit you.