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Carrie Fisher, Augusten Burroughs, Leslie Jamison: 15 great recovery memoirs EW com

And self-sabotage, set in the glamorous world of fashion magazines and downtown nightclubs. Times Best Seller and memoir has been described as “unblinking honesty and poignant, with laugh-out-loud humor.” It’s about giving up the thing you cherish most–but getting yourself back in return. Learn more about Tempest’s unique approach to alcohol recovery. As a child, Helaina Hovitz witnessed the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center. Being so close to this leaves her with a serious case of PTSD throws her into despair and later lands her in the throes Sober House of addiction. The information on this website is not intended to be a substitute for, or to be relied upon as, medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a physician or qualified health provider with questions regarding a medical condition. The paperback will be coming out in January 2021 everywhere books are sold, (but preferably from your local, independent bookshop!). Discover new workout ideas, healthy-eating recipes, makeup looks, skin-care advice, the best beauty products and tips, trends, and more from SELF.

Hopefully, this can help you help your loved one with their recovery. So that’s two memoirs about addiction that are worth adding to your book list. If you want more, here are five others you’ll want to check out. Annie’s book is so important (and she’s a wonderful human to boot).

The best books shedding light on the opioid epidemic (nonfiction)

Ryan Hampton is a former White House staffer and opioid addict who is now a national recovery advocate with ten years clean. Overall, the message is uplifting, giving hope of new directions and possibilities for treatment. We’ve broken down the most important reads on substance use — covering everything from lived experience in memoir, to the latest research, to explorations of what society gets wrong about addiction, and creative interpretation. A tale of survival more than recovery, Díaz’s memoir is about unlearning the powerful ideas we are raised with – in this case, that violence and chaos are normal. Díaz writes of her childhood in a public housing project in Puerto Rico and, later, Miami Beach, and an adolescence marked by “juvenile delinquency” and marred by violence, addiction, mental illness, and abuse. Díaz’s resilience – and success – in the face of mighty obstacles registers as part luck, part strength, and part audacity. These authors have shown incredible bravery and resilience as they share their most painful experiences and deepest vulnerabilities in public.

What is the best way to stop drinking?

  1. Make your intentions known. Tell your family and friends that you're aiming to stop drinking alcohol and explain why.
  2. Avoid temptation. In the early stages, it's a good idea to avoid situations where you may be tempted to drink.
  3. Try something new.
  4. Reward progress.
  5. Enjoy the benefits.

” British writer Catherine Gray tells us, and the good news is that what happened next for her was pretty amazing. When Cupcake Brown was 11, her mother choked to death during a seizure. The young girl ended up in the foster care system, where she was physically and sexually abused. She soon became involved in alcohol and drugs and was being sexually exploited in order to get money to survive. In his first novel, Burroughs gives a vivid, semi-autobiographical account of heroin addiction in the early 1950s.

Powerful Women’s Recovery Memoirs to Inspire Your Own Journey

Maybe you enjoyed a successful Dry January, so you’re questioning alcohol’s role in your life. Maybe you’re a pretty moderate drinker, but you feel like booze just isn’t your friend anymore. Maybe none of these things apply to you when it comes to alcohol, but there’s something else in your life that’s not a positive force. The bestselling author of Running With Scissors takes on his years as an alcoholic adman in this harrowing yet hilarious personal account among a depressing landscape of drunkenness, crack addiction, and the harsh realities of AIDS. Not every book on this list will resemble your personal recovery journey. But they’re still worth picking up if only to remind yourself that you’re not alone. A memoir recounting the author’s upbringing in the Northeastern part of the country and her struggle with alcoholism as she moved from job to job, earned a law degree and dreamed of one day becoming a writer. Author of The Liar’s Club and Cherry, Mary Karr’s writing style is sharp, witty and compelling.
best memoirs about addiction
A person of extraordinary intellect, Heather King is a lawyer and writer/commentator for NPR — as well as a recovering alcoholic who spent years descending from functional alcoholism to barely functioning at all. From graduating cum laude from law school despite her excessive drinking to languishing in dive bars, King presents a clear-eyed look at her past and what brought her out of the haze of addiction. In his follow-up to his first memoir, Tweak, which dealt with his journey into meth addiction, Sheff details his struggle to stay clean. In and out of rehab, he falls into relapse, engaging in toxic relationships and other self-destructive behaviors that threaten to undo the hard-won progress he’s made. At the age of 15, Cat Marnell began to unknowingly “murder her life” when she became hooked on the ADHD medication prescribed to her by her psychiatrist father. Her addiction left her lacking in the tools to be an adult; she’s unable to maintain relationships and unclear about sex without an alcohol buzz. One of the best alcoholic memoirs, Dry chronicles Augusten Burroughs’ decade-long battle with alcoholism. The first part talks about the intervention staged by his boss and co-workers, as well as his stay at a rehab facility.

Quit Like a Woman: The Radical Choice to Not Drink in a Culture Obsessed with Alcohol by Holly Whitaker

There’s the firecracker-bright memory of the first time using, often recounted in crackling prose. Substance-fueled revelry begets accelerating recklessness—blotted-out nights, disastrous sexual encounters, careers skidding into limbo, glee followed by horror. It’s fun until it is scary-fun until it is scary, an entropic best memoirs about addiction joyride that ends in an inevitable, spectacular crash. There’s a climactic epiphany snatched from a debauched bottom, then an earnest striving toward sobriety. For the most part, the story arc is tidy, allowing readers the rubbernecky thrills of second-hand vice with a dose of hard-won redemption as a chaser.

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. 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. You will never be able to forget this powerful story about, well, trying to remember your life and what happened while Carr was addicted to crack and alcohol. Eventually, he goes on to become a regular columnist for The New York Times. But this tale is all about the three years of reporting that it took Carr to figure out his past. Anyone who has ever suffered from panic and anxiety might understand the allure of alcohol to help cope. That siren song eventually led broadcast journalist Elizabeth Vargas to admit her addiction on national television. It tells the story of her addiction and eventual recovery in San Diego, California.

When you hear about celebrities checking in and out of rehab, you may think, “Oh but it’s a common thing in Hollywood.” And then you read about memoirs like In My Skin, and you wonder if everyone could be an addict. Burroughs eventually gets clean and even helps another alcoholic friend with his recovery. And many who are going through the same thing or have a loved one who is an alcoholic or an addict will be able to relate. Sure, there will be ups and downs, and the book demonstrates that.
best memoirs about addiction
Blackouts are a special horror and humiliation, and not all drinkers experience them. In this memoir, Hepola shares the science of blackouts and traces her own drinking life, focusing on the blank spaces where memories should be – piecing together nights out, near misses, bad decisions and also the kindnesses of strangers. Hepola’s tone is often funny and loose but she writes with a journalist’s precision and the book reads almost like a thriller. After one particularly harrowing experience in a hotel, Hepola gets sober and the reader realises she has been holding her breath for a couple hundred pages. In Amy Dresner’s memoir My Fair Junkie, she recounts her life from her idyllic childhood to her methamphetamine addiction.

Beautiful Boy by David Sheff

She has a passion for raising awareness in the addiction treatment, recovery, and public health space. 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.
Eco Sober House
Her work has appeared in many publications, including The New Republic, the LARB, The Believer, TLS, the CBC, and Lit Hub, where she is a contributing editor. She is also a columnist and contributing editor to Crime Reads, which she helped found. She is currently finishing her MFA at Goucher College where she is working on a collection of essays called The Impatient an account of her transformation from literary critic to a desperate patient to defiant impatient. Using her critical skills and the writings of fellow migraineurs like Sigmund Freud, Susan Sontag, Edgar Allan Poe, and Virginia Woolf, she created an idiosyncratic history of migraine within the current context of chronic illness. As an impatient she becomes a literary and diagnostic detective determined to crack the case of her 20-year migraine. According to Inspire Malibu, the relapse rate for drug abuse is around 60%. What’s good though is that she was able to get clean with the help of methadone and her family. A prude who experimented with drugs, which became a full-blown addiction. Weekly inspiration, new podcasts and music, reading and watching recommendations, and encouragement for your week.

Mary Karr is known for her wit and charming style, and in these pages, she discusses pretty much all her life struggles, not only those with alcohol. This memoir is poetic and a treat for lovers of beautiful writing. There’s a new kind of thinking in the recovery world, and all of that is thanks to McKowen’s upcoming memoir . After quitting her career in order to dedicate more of her time to her family, Clare Pooley found herself depressed and feeling sluggish with a daily drinking habit to keep her company. Eventually, she goes through a series of 9-to-5 jobs that end with her living behind a Dumpster due to a descent into crack cocaine use. But in this gripping memoir, she turns it all around with the help of a family of eccentric fellow substance users and friends or strangers who come to her aid.

This is just how it has always been since her introduction to Southern Comfort when she was just fourteen. Especially not when you’re a crucial part of the cultural phenomenon called Star Wars. Things get even more interesting when you have to do all this while battling manic depression, addiction, and visiting all sorts of mental institutions as a result. Freefall deals with some really heavy issues facing a lot of young adults, and because this is one of the few books I’ve ever picked up where the hero is into rockabilly and physcobilly. This book is also very age-appropriate, so it can be enjoyed by a wider audience than my books and some of my more grown-up recommendations. Engaging, readable, and honest, this book is like getting a hug from your best sober buddy.

  • Memoirs give a unique insight into a person’s life, their experiences and how they view the world.
  • She writes about her admittance into a psychiatric hospital, financial struggles, and divorce.
  • The Recovering, when it operates as a memoir, is equally lucent; the reader is ferried into the perils of addiction by a nimble, stylish narrator.
  • In this darkly comic and wrenchingly honest story, Smith describes how her circumstances conspired with her predisposition to depression and self-medication in an environment ripe for addiction to flourish.
  • Learn more about Tempest’s unique approach to alcohol recovery.
  • SELF does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

But humans recover from all manner of trials and they do so in ways that defy the traditional arc of addiction lit – a hero’s journey through denial to rock bottom and back up again. Have you ever read a book that perfectly blended memoir with cultural history, literary criticism, and reportage? That’s what you will get with Leslie Jamison’s The Recovering. The book re-examines the stories that we tell about addiction from the perspective of Jamison’s own struggles, and also includes her ongoing conversation with literary and artistic geniuses such as David Foster Wallace and Billie Holiday. It takes guts to admit that you have an addiction to drugs or alcohol . These twenty-six authors have shown incredible bravery and resilience in sharing their most painful experiences and deepest vulnerabilities in public as they recount their roads to recovery. 5,387 authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books aboutalcoholism,substance abuse, androck music. It is the account of his relapse after being sober for some time.

Many of them, like Caroline Knapp, started in their early teens and began to use alcohol as “liquid armor,” a way to protect themselves against the difficult realities of life. In this extraordinarily candid and revealing memoir, Knapp offers important insights not only about alcoholism, but about life itself and how we learn to cope with it. 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. Writes with a rare mix of honesty, humor, and compassion about his own wild story and shares the advice and wisdom he has gained through his fourteen years of recovery. There are certain jobs that are simply more difficult; being an Emergency Room physician is certainly one of them. This may be why so many ER doctors get burned out or deal with addiction issues. For Dr. Remy, his job meant waking up one morning to find himself in rehab for alcohol use disorder. She decides to try anyway and becomes the subject of her very own three-month sobriety experiment.
A handbook for an over-medicated generation, as some may see it, and a good look at clinical depression, Prozac Nation also delves into substance abuse and a variety of timely issues facing a generation of young people. Some critics of this book state the story is overly self-indulgent, while others applaud her honesty and treatment of the topic of severe depression. Addiction is a secondary subject here, but as many addicts also suffer from depression, it qualifies for the genre. It’s usually written with an eloquent yet irreverent type of honesty, a rawness that so many recovering addicts can relate to. Humor is often part of the package and there is frequently a theme of hope and redemption in these memoirs — though not always.

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