Books About Recovery
Here are a few recommended reads for our Discover Recovery Scavenger Hunt:
Quitter: A Memoir of Relapse and Recovery, by Erica C. Barnett
A startingly frank memoir of one woman’s struggles with alcoholism and recovery, with essential new insights into addiction and treatment. KCRC hosted Erica for our August KCRC Community Conversation (the recording is available here).
With remarkably brave and vulnerable writing, Barnett expands on her personal story to confront the dire state of addiction in America, the rise of alcoholism in American women in the last century, and the lack of rehabilitation options available to addicts. At a time when opioid addiction is a national epidemic and one in twelve Americans suffers from alcohol abuse disorder, Quitter is essential reading for our age and an ultimately hopeful story of Barnett’s own hard-fought path to sobriety.
Rising Strong, by Brene Brown
“…living a brave life is not always easy: We are, inevitably, going to stumble and fall.
It is the rise from falling that Brown takes as her subject in Rising Strong. Regardless of magnitude or circumstance, the rising strong process is the same: We reckon with our emotions and get curious about what we’re feeling; we rumble with our stories until we get to a place of truth; and we live this process, every day, until it becomes a practice and creates nothing short of a revolution in our lives.”
Clean: Overcoming Addiction and Ending America’s Greatest Tragedy, by David Sheff
Based on the latest research in psychology, neuroscience, and medicine, Clean is a leap beyond the traditional approaches to prevention and treatment of addiction and the mental illnesses that usually accompany it. Clean offers clear, cogent counsel for parents and others who want to prevent drug problems and for addicts and their loved ones no matter what stage of the illness they’re in. But it is also a book for all of us — a powerful rethinking of the greatest public health challenge of our time.
Recovery: Freedom from Our Addictions, by Russell Brand
With a rare mix of honesty, humor, and compassion, comedian and movie star Russell Brand mines his own wild story and shares the advice and wisdom he has gained through his fourteen years of recovery. Brand understands that addiction can take many shapes and sizes and how the process of staying clean, sane, and unhooked is a daily activity. He believes that the question is not “Why are you addicted?” but “What pain is your addiction masking? Russell has been in all the twelve-step fellowships going, he’s started his own men’s group, he’s a therapy regular and a practiced yogi—and while he’s worked on this material as part of his comedy and previous bestsellers, he’s never before shared the tools that really took him out of it, that keep him clean and clear.
Turtles All the Way Down, by John Green (YA, fiction)
If you’ve ever wondered if you have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, or if you suspect someone you love has it, read this novel! Narrated in the first person by a teenager who is continually hi-jacked by thought spirals, the story takes the reader into the mind and body of one who is paralyzed by anxiety.
This unflinching look at mental illness is undoubtedly the work of someone who has grappled with it for decades. Having been a school psychologist for thirty-four years, I applaud Green’s courage, candor, and the hope he conveys. If I could recommend only one book to teens and helping professionals this year, it would be Turtles All the Way Down.