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Addiction Memoirs Are a Genre in Recovery The New York Times

Not just another celebrity memoir, Fisher’s book strikes the ideal balance between gossip-y entertainment and razor-sharp commentary. The second major problem for anyone writing an addiction memoir—and it’s often connected to the first—is how to conclude it. Only in rare cases—as when the subject of a biography dies—is the answer simple. In other kinds, as in novels, endings are artifices of form, and the trick is not to let this feel true for the reader.

best alcoholic memoirs

What happens when an ambitious young woman is keeping a secret of addiction? High-profile writer Cat Marnell answers the question in the gripping memoir of her life as she battles bulimia on top of an addiction to alcohol and prescription drugs. Although the details of our addiction and recovery stories may be different, the core of our experiences is often the same. Identifying with others who have been through the hell of addiction and made it to the other side can provide a cathartic sense of relief, providing both hope and the opportunity to feel seen and perhaps a little less alone.

Best Quit Lit Books and Sobriety Memoirs to Inspire Your Recovery

A captivating story of a highly accomplished well-known professional in the spotlight who was brave enough to share her story. Elizabeth Vargas takes off her perfectly poised reporter mask and shows you the authentic person behind the anchor desk. She shares her personal lifelong struggle with anxiety, which led to excessive substance use, rehab, and her ultimate triumph into recovery. You are likely already familiar with Chanel Miller, if not by that name. Under the pseudonym Emily Doe, BuzzFeed published Miller’s victim impact statement the day after her rapist, Brock Turner, was sentenced to a mere six months in jail for three counts of sexual assault.

  • Sometimes, a slow realization of enough being enough is all it takes to start your recovery.
  • Jeanette Walls narrates her nomadic and adventurous childhood with her dreaming, ‘brilliant’ but alcoholic parents.
  • As a reader and television viewer, I am drawn to stories that do the same.
  • The Sober Diaries follows the narrative of author Clare Pool’s journey in quitting drinking.
  • Second, they contain sections describing the lurid drama and dreadful effects of addiction in unsparing detail.

Quit lit books and addiction memoirs are powerful ways to connect with other people who have been exactly where you are. You can learn more about addiction and relate to authors through their stories, reminding yourself that you aren’t alone in your journey. Although both men and women struggle with substance abuse, the issues that influence a woman’s descent into addiction and journey to sobriety are unique. These memoirs by female writers may strike a cord with women in treatment or help their loved ones better understand the experience of a female substance abuser. Ditlevsen’s failure of nerve, causing her to wrap up three volumes of the most trenchant and unillusioned autobiography ever written with a feeble daydream, is easily explained.

Original Sins: A Memoir

Survival Math is an incredible look at race and class, gangs and guns, addiction and masculinity. Mitchell S. Jackson frames the narrative around his own experiences and those of his family and community. Weaving together poems, historical documents, and photos, this is an essential book about, among many other things, alcoholism and survival. best alcoholic memoirs Interestingly, Russell Brand was fourteen years sober at the time of writing Recovery. Overall, this book is perfect for anyone who’d enjoy an entertaining and surprisingly uplifting story about ending the cycle of addiction. One valuable point from this book is that not everyone needs to reach a “rock bottom” before quitting alcohol.

  • Coulter shares her struggles with alcohol use and also the challenges of getting sober.
  • Although I think they can all be considered addiction memoirs, and share a familial resemblance with other examples of that form, none of them feel remotely imprisoned by its conventions.
  • Ms. McKowen is a former executive in public relations and advertising who has produced podcasts about recovery.

This is a lesser known series of essays on the intersection of alcohol and womanhood. The author, Kristi Coulter, engages the reader with her deep insight and quick wit. This combination makes her story heartening, funny, and thought-provoking at the same time. Coulter shares her struggles with alcohol use and also the challenges of getting sober. This is a very refreshing book in the world of recovery memoirs.

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

In this autobiography, Ta-Nehisi Coates, one of the century’s greatest writers and thinkers, shares firsthand the trials and truths of racism and violence prevalent in American culture. It contains hard, insightful, important truths about race in the United States, all told with the urgency of a man communicating essential realities to his son. Annie’s book is so important (and she’s a wonderful human to boot).

best alcoholic memoirs

Whether you’re well-versed in the subject or totally new to it, here are nine of the smartest and most moving examples. 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. Next we have Mary Karr’s Lit, which is also the third book in a trilogy; it followed The Liars’ Club and Cherry. It’s a memoir of her addiction to alcohol, and her subsequent recovery, and her conversion to Catholicism. Meanwhile successful writing always surprises and challenges us, perhaps by defying the conventions of the form to which it belongs or simply by refreshing them in some way.

Stoicism is an ancient philosophy that believes self-control, courage, justice, and wisdom are the keys to happiness. This book functions as daily devotional with reflective meditations and modern day translations on how to improve your mental health. This book is for everyone, but learning to ‘tame the inner dragon’ is especially helpful to people in recovery. This book serves as a guide for anyone starting their journey with a 30 day sobriety challenge. The Dry Challenge can be especially helpful for people who drink socially, and are looking to take a structured step back to re-evaluate their habits.

  • And yet—even though each of these books goes its own way, never hesitating to flout a trope or trample a norm to serve its story—they don’t go in terror of the conventions either.
  • Decades later, Cat reminisces about those days with Marlena and learns to forgive herself and move on from those days.
  • With little guidance and less experience, she begins her life-changing journey in a pair of too-small hiking boots.
  • And I can’t think of a better compliment to a writer of addiction memoir – or, indeed, any writer – than that.

That bottle of merlot was all Kerry Cohen could think about as she got through her day. She did all she had to do but always with this reward on top of her mind. It took her until she was forty to realize this was neither normal nor healthy.

The Unexpected Joy of Being Sober by Catherine Gray

“It’s like penguins. Penguins, in nature, when one is sick, or when one is very injured, the other penguins surround it and prop it up. They walk around it until that penguin can walk on its own. That’s kind of what the cast did for me.” Publicly acknowledging at the time that he suffered from a gastrointestinal perforation, the actor had actually spent weeks fighting for his life after his colon burst from opioid overuse. He spent two weeks in a coma and five months in the hospital and had to use a colostomy bag for nine months. Rising to the top of the pyramid required Paulson never to take no for an answer. As a result, Paulson achieves millionaire status, but it costs her the expense of loved ones, her sobriety, her health, and her moral compass.


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