In recovery from substance use disorders, reading and studying books related to recovery is recommended. Educating oneself about any health challenge is important. Addiction is no different in this respect.
However, beyond simply gaining knowledge about the condition, real recovery means embracing a new, healthier way of life. Recovery from addiction requires self-discovery, motivation and daily emotional and mental self-care. After reviewing the AA Big Book and NA’s Basic Text, consider some of the following books to enhance your new, exciting life.
1. Sermon on the Mount: The Key to Success in Life by Emmet Fox
If you spend any time around 12-step meetings, you will hear of this book. Emmet Fox reviews Jesus’ teachings from his sermon and offers practical suggestions for how to implement these teachings into your life. For people looking to expand the spiritual experience and awakening outlined throughout the process of working the steps, this book is a must have.
2. The Mindful Addict: A Memoir of the Awakening Spirit by Tom Catton
Seeking a spiritual life has always been a quest for Tom Catton. His memoir recounts stories from his heroin and drug addicted days along with stories from early recovery. He met a mysterious, mystical woman named Flobird who changed his life. This feel-good tale of their adventures also offers personal tips about how Catton’s experience can be replicated through meditation and spiritual practices.
3. Dry: A Memoir by Augusten Burroughs
This memoir leaves the reader vacillating between raucous laughter and sobbing heartbreak. Gritty, truthful and startlingly descriptive, Burroughs describes his journey into the depths of alcoholism. The reader is left rooting for his comeback. Burroughs is encouraging of anyone fighting addiction, but identifies as agnostic. Recovery for him is a personal journey back from the depths of dysfunction and despair.
4. 365 Ways to Have Fun Sober by Lisa M. Hann
This book is a must for people new in recovery and even those who have been clean for a period of time. Addicts find themselves constantly seeking the next high. Hann outlines practical games and activities that are fun for anyone. Combatting boredom is key in recovery. This book gives lots of options for fun in recovery. A few are listed below:
- Build a blanket fort
- Have a neighbor over for tea
- Make paper airplanes
- Take an online course and learn a new skill
5. Buddhism and the Twelve Steps: A Recovery Workbook for Individuals and Groups by Kevin Griffin
This book is great for an individual or group interested in studying the steps as they integrate with mindfulness meditation practice. Working the steps requires a great deal of honest self-reflection that can be daunting for any addict. Gentle mindfulness integrated with Buddhist principles make the process a joyful treasure hunt for the practitioner. Griffin is a master teacher of the steps for this journey.
6. The Camel Knows the Way by Lorna Kelly
This delightful story retells Lorna Kelly’s experiences in meeting Mother Teresa and working with addicts in recovery. Detailing her interactions with the Blessed Mother and her intensive work with suffering addicts from the streets of Calcutta, Kelly thoughtfully connects how unselfish actions led her to a deep, meaningful experience. For recovering addicts looking to explore the benefits of working with other addicts, this story is enlightening about the joys inherent in giving freely.
7. The Varieties of Religious Experience by William James
Not only is William James the father of modern psychology, his recovery philosophy is the cornerstone of the program outlined in the book Alcoholics Anonymous. Even the founders of AA recognized the importance of approaching alcoholism from a psychological vantage point. This book offers a view of recovery from its foundational roots. Further, James’ work has expounded exponentially.
Counselors and addiction specialists have developed new, evidence-based practices based on his beginning research. For more information about counseling specific to historical addiction recovery, call 800-895-1695 (Who Answers?) today.
AA (2017). Alcoholics Anonymous. Retrieved on April 21, 2017 from: http://www.aa.org/assets/en_US/alcoholics-anonymous/b-1-alcoholics-anonymous
CRP (2017) Bio. Central Recovery Press. Retrieved on April 21, 2017 from: http://www.centralrecoverypress.com/authors/tomcatton.html#/