For now I’ll mention one more convention of addiction memoirs, although it differs slightly from the others because it’s more directly concerned with how they’re read than with how they’re written. The pleasures we expect from the form range from the edifying (empathy, inspiration) to the unseemly (voyeurism, vicarious transgression) to mention just a few. But many readers —like the one I was during my time in rehab in 2015—also come to it seeking something often considered antithetical to art.
For Caroline Knapp, as it is for many, alcohol was the protective friend that allowed her to get through life. Her protector became her lover and this is the memoir of their twenty-years-long destructive relationship. This is a darkly comic book about the slow road through recovery, really growing up, and being someone that gets back up after screwing up.
Recovery Memoirs to Inspire You to Quit Drinking
This is a different memoir because it focuses not on the road to sobriety, but on what happens with your life now that you’ve done the thing that once seemed impossible. Jowita Bydlowska could not have expected things to go this way. She had already beat alcohol in the past, but there was nothing wrong with celebrating the birth of her child with some champagne, right?
From her first taste and throughout her young adult life, her increasing dependence on alcohol would lead to hospital trips, blackouts, and dangerous and destructive tendencies that eventually helped her see she should quit drinking for good. 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. Whereas my progress was from religion to addiction, Mary Karr’s was the other way around. But though our world-views are in some ways profoundly different, few books have enriched me as a reader and a person more than hers. Dove “Birdie” Randolph is doing her best to be a perfect daughter. She’s focusing on her schoolwork and is on track to finish high school at the top of her class.
Resources to Help Explore Your Relationship with Alcohol
In this book, McKowen talks about her personal story along with how she faced the facts, the question of AA, and dealing with other people’s drinking. Although she doesn’t sugarcoat how difficult sobriety can be (and yes, it’s not without its struggles), she continues to write about the many blessings of living an honest life without the debilitating shame of addiction. Have you noticed that our world is increasingly obsessed with drinking? Work events, brunch, baby showers, book club, hair salons—the list of where to find booze is endless. Holly Whitaker, in her own path to recovery, discovered the insidious ways the alcohol industry targets women and the patriarchal methods of recovery.
All these books might have been published as memoir in a less stigmatising age. Before his death in 2015, Carr was a beloved New York Times journalist. Calling on his skills as a reporter, Carr used 60 videotaped interviews, legal and medical records and three years of research and reporting to share his journey from crack-house regular to lauded columnist. Fact-checking his own past, Carr’s investigation of his own life dives deep into his experiences with addiction, recovery, cancer and life as a single parent. Journalist Jenny Valentish knows treatment, AA, and the pathways to addiction and recovery.
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Julie Buntin’s Marlena is a stunning look at alcoholism, addiction, and bad decisions, and how they haunt us forever. In college, my friends and I joked that it’s not alcoholism best alcohol recovery books until you graduate. Then I told myself it was because I was a journalist working the night shift. Then I insisted the daily drinking was just part of adulthood.
I mean help, whether in the form of identification, solace or instruction. I said this convention concerned reading more directly than writing, but—since all good writing involves deep sensitivity to the reader’s experience—the two things are ultimately inseparable. For one kind of author, helping the reader is the whole point of writing an addiction memoir; for another, even to consider doing so would be aesthetically fatal. My guess is that most addiction memoirs involve some kind of compromise between the author’s aesthetic and ethical impulses. This ethical dimension (or an aesthetic impurity) is a distinctive aspect of addiction memoir as a literary form. Although she makes faltering progress in building a simulacrum of grown-up life, her relationship with alcohol—“I had an appetite for drink, a taste for it, a talent”—steadily overtakes everything.
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It’s brutally honest, and her story reads like so many others – some who didn’t make it to recovery. She further educates the reader with research and a better understanding of the psychology and physiology that drive female addiction with humor and exceptional insight. These authors have shown incredible bravery and resilience as they share their most painful experiences and deepest vulnerabilities in public. https://ecosoberhouse.com/ Eventually, she runs through a series of nine-to-five jobs, but ultimately, she ends up living behind a dumpster as she descends into crack cocaine use. In this gripping memoir, she turns it all around with the help of a family of eccentric fellow substance users, friends, and strangers who come to her aid. This gripping tale is about the resilience of spirit combined with the worst of modern urban life.
You’ve probably already heard the name Augusten Burroughs or at least his first memoir (and later film), Running with Scissors. But in this memoir, Burroughs recounts his very regular and ordinary life of working in advertising and enjoying a drunken Manhattan life—until his employers force him to attend rehab. But wherever that journey starts, these memoirs prove that struggle can lead to something beautiful in the end.
Powerful Women’s Recovery Memoirs to Inspire Your Own Journey
as one of their favorite books, and they share
why you should read it. You may have heard about Hunter Biden before (after all, he is the son of the 46th President of the United States of America) and maybe even know that he published a memoir about his struggles with drug and alcohol addiction. This vulnerable, sobering book is a deep look into gangs and guns, near-death experiences, sex work, masculinity, composite fathers, the concept of “hustle,” and the destructure power of addiction. It is all told through the eyes of Jackson, his family, and his community. There, Burroughs is finally able to truly examine himself, and something starts to click.
- These movies and books let me know I was not alone, that there were other people walking around who drank like I did.
- He lost trust of people around him and in his field, but through sobriety he has been able to regain that trust and help many people along the way.
- For Dr. Remy, his job meant waking up one morning to find himself in rehab for alcohol use disorder.
- Work events, brunch, baby showers, book club, hair salons—the list of where to find booze is endless.