What Makes a Successful Addiction Memoir?

Cat Marnell began to unknowingly “murder her life” when she became addicted to ADHD medication her psychiatrist father prescribed to her at the age of 15. Her memoir explores the progression of her addiction, from Xanax to cocaine, ecstasy, and prescription drug abuse. She recounts how she manipulated her doctors, lied to her loved ones, and her challenges with maintaining her career during active addiction. Author Caroline Knapp shares her personal memoir and brings to light the fact that more than 15 million Americans a year are plagued with alcoholism and 5 million of them are women. Caroline describes how she drank through her years at an Ivy-League college, her award-winning career, while masking herself as a dutiful daughter and professional. Readers looking for sobriety books geared towards women will appreciate Caroline’s honest account. In this memoir, he talks about the car accident that killed his mother and baby sister when he was just two years old. Then about how he lost his beloved big brother to brain cancer… and all of the hardships that led to his years-long battle with addiction. Here, he retells his journey from substance use disorder to a torturous path to sobriety.

What are the first signs of liver damage from alcohol?

  • swelling of your liver, which may lead to discomfort in the upper right side of your abdomen.
  • fatigue.
  • unexplained weight loss.
  • loss of appetite.
  • nausea and vomiting.

There’s a long, beautiful history of writers chronicling their battles with alcoholism and addiction. Many celebrated authors have walked the long, painful road to recovery, spinning their experiences into powerful reads. Ahead, see the 15 stories of struggle, failure, recovery, and grace that move us the most. Most people can have one or two cocktails at a work event, or a glass of wine with dinner. But for many alcoholics and binge drinkers, one drink is too many, and a thousand is never enough.

Woman of Substances: A Journey Into Drugs, Alcohol and Treatment

Of those who have had similar experiences can be an excellent compliment to treatment. Baker is a former NBA all-star whose career was derailed by his substance use disorder. In his story, he convinces himself that he is a better player best memoirs about addiction under the influence, but eventually lost everything to his SUD. When she looked around she couldn’t help but notice that she wasn’t alone. In a relatable style, Lush explores the ongoing addiction crisis amongst middle-aged females.

Eventually, she begins a 12-Step program to find relief, if not salvation, from her addictions. You don’t have to be sober to get a great deal from Quit Like a Woman, the first book from Holly Whitaker, founder of the digital recovery platform Tempest. The famous actress started drinking at 9, smoking marijuana at 10, and snorting cocaine at 12. Exposed to addiction at a young age because of her fame, Barrymore went into rehab at 13. Barrymore’s path of healing has helped her to become the very successful – and very addiction-free star she is today.

We Are the Luckiest: The Surprising Magic of a Sober Life by Laura McKowen

Cupcake survives thanks to a furious wit and an unyielding determination and you’ll want to read her inspiring tale. With beautiful prose, Miller’s memoir is about recovering from a lifetime of difficult relationships and a home situation that seems desperate at times. Still, there is redemption at the end of the road as she details a complicated yet loving relationship with her parents, despite the odds. By day, she’s a successful editor, but by night she’s a party girl who can’t sleep. In this tale of self-loathing and self-sabotage, readers can follow Marnell as she battles her inner demons and falls down further into despair — yet eventually making it through to the other side.

You spread versions of yourself around, giving each person the truth he or she needs—you need, actually—to keep them at one remove. How, then, to reassemble that montage of deceit into a truthful past? He does a formidable job of recreating his scheming addict self in order to better understand the sober self he worked so hard to achieve. Jamison writes about her recovery as well as she does about her addiction. “Sobriety often felt like gripping onto monkey bars with sweaty metallic palms,” she best memoirs about addiction writes, describing how it was to quit drinking again after a relapse. Jamison gets sober almost exactly halfway through the book, and avoids the dull tone that can creep into the “sober sections” of these narratives. “The first day of my second sobriety, I crashed my friend’s car into a concrete wall,” she writes, as if to bang home how wild, mistake-filled, and exciting life without drinking can be. The Recovering’s insistence on the need for a different sort of addiction story is a tad unfair.

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

Having been in recovery for many years, and working here at Shatterproof, I often get asked to recommend books about addiction. So here’s a list of my all-time favorite reads about substance use disorders. If you’ve ever looked around the room and wondered why there is alcohol everywhere, then this is the book for you. From drinks at baby showers to work events, brunch and book clubs, graduations and funerals, alcohol’s ubiquity is a given and the only time that people get uncomfortable is when someone doesn’t drink. In this powerful book, founder of Tempest and The Temper, Holly Whitaker embarks on a personal Sober Home journey into her own sobriety and along the way discovers the insidious role that alcohol plays in our society. Journalist Jenny Valentish knows treatment, AA, and the pathways to addiction and recovery. 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. When I stopped drinking alcohol, I was desperate to know the stories of other people who’d also taken this road less traveled.
Eco Sober House
Why else would I have been mesmerized by When a Man Loves a Woman or 28 Days in my early 20s? These movies and books let me know I was not alone, that there were other people walking around who drank like I did. This is the book for you if you’re looking for masterful prose. It is also the book for you if you consider faith to be a necessary piece for the puzzle that addiction recovery entails. This is a story of faith and love through the journey of recovery, more than just a tale from alcoholism to sobriety. Allen’s story of being a young woman in a teenage marriage that eventually runs away to Cincinnati, where she begins the destructive pattern of weekend partying and drinking, is a powerful tale. Eventually, she finds sobriety through a commitment to God and humanity to spend the rest of her life doing anything she can to help anybody suffering from alcoholism.

After getting sober, Allen devoted her life to recovery, and her memoir explores the life she lived through to get to where she is today. I could not put this book down , talk about gut-wrenching honesty and not holding anything back. When I worked in beauty, Cat was a beauty editor at Lucky and xoJane.com, so I knew of her. I found this book uncomfortable at times and very funny at other times. It is the real deal and Cat is a talented writer, but most of all a survivor. Terry achieved long-term sobriety at one time, and she helped many women. It made me realize the pain I would have brought to my parents if they had lost me.
best memoirs about addiction
In this dark but incredibly comedic memoir, Smith tells all about her story and the road she finally took towards recovery from her perpetual numbing. Kristi Coulter stopped drinking, she began to notice the way that women around her were always tanked, and how alcohol affected those around her. But wherever that journey starts, these memoirs prove that struggle can lead to something beautiful and healing in the end. We’re a modern recovery company that helps you stop drinking and start feeling better.By using evidence-based treatment and peer support, we can provide you with the education, tools, and community you need to recover. I loved it because I felt like it dealt with the subject of depression and self-harm in a really relatable and compassionate way. I also liked how it relayed that music can be healing no matter what genre the music may be. Recommended by Jay CrownoverFrom Jay’s list onthe best books to read if you love the Warped Tour. New in recovery, a chance encounter with Gray Hawk, a 74-year old Native American, showed her that healing herself would include looking within, taking Steps, and creating a house of healing for other women. Former Salon editor Sarah Hepola doesn’t hold back in this book.

The Recovering: Intoxication and Its Aftermath by Leslie Jamison

And the second part centers on his life after rehab and his subsequent relapse after the death of a close friend. This autobiography is proof that addiction memoirs can be funny. But it doesn’t mean you have to restrict yourself from anything fun just because you’re in recovery. Author Maia Szalavitz shows us, through her own history, how the current disease model of addiction is not accurate. Science is used to back up the theory that addiction is not just willpower, or a “broken brain” but instead a learning/developmental disorder that lies on a spectrum.

  • Her confessional style of writing has left an indelible mark that remains influential today.
  • In the tradition ofBlackoutandPermanent Midnight, a darkly funny and revealing debut memoir of one woman’s twenty-year battle with sex, drugs, and alcohol addiction, and what happens when she finally emerges on the other side.
  • Patrick J. Kennedy, the former congressman and youngest child of Senator Ted Kennedy, opens up about his personal and political battle with mental illness and addiction for the first time.
  • 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.

It’s like scarfing a bacon cheeseburger and washing it down with a shot of wheatgrass. Mary Karr’s memoir, set in Boston , chronicles her path toward sobriety with crackling honesty and wry humor as she effectively connects her family dynamics as a child living in a chaotic home to her adult state of perpetual chaos. As a mother, I relate to her story so deeply—our children were the same young age when we stopped drinking. She’s an iconic, witty literary voice, an engrossing storyteller, and this book too is a great study in memoir. When I first read this book over ten years ago it felt like I was reading my own journal . I almost wanted to snap it shut, but instead finished it in one day and have read it at least three more times since. Knapp so perfectly describes the emotional landscape of addiction, and as a literary study it’s as perfect a memoir as I’ve ever read. I often think about what it took to publish this when she did, in the 90’s, as a female and a journalist in Boston.

But despite that success, Stahl’s heroin habit began to consume him, derailing his career and destroying his health until one final, intense crisis inspired him to get clean. It is a stunning panorama of the turbulent decade when Joplin’s was the rallying voice of a generation that lost itself in her music and found itself in her words. If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, Rehab After Work can help. Contact us to schedule an intake appointment today, or check out our programs to learn more about treatment options. The seven we mentioned here are only the tip of the iceberg, so to speak. You can find good recommendations online or on apps such as GoodReads. It’s when you can laugh at your struggles later in life, that you know you’re going to be just fine. And that’s one of the best takeaways you can get from this memoir. If you’re not into movies and prefer books, you’ll be glad to know that Beautiful Boy is actually based on not one but two memoirs.
best memoirs about addiction
I used to work in fashion/beauty/celebrity PR, and I related to her lifestyle before she got sober. I thought my party-girl ways were so glamourous, but it was really sad and unfulfilling, despite the glitz and glamour. I did many things I am deeply ashamed of, and reading her book taught me that I am not alone. This 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. 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. She had already beat alcohol in the past and there was nothing wrong with celebrating the birth of her child with some champagne, right? Beneath her perfect life and incredible success hides a girl who thought she had cheated her way out of her anxiety and stress via alcohol, but now has completely surrendered to the powers of this magical liquid. You could never tell, but she is the perfect example of a high-functioning alcoholic who looks like everything is perfect, even when it clearly isn’t. She’s just someone who uses alcohol to muster up courage, and well, survive life.

Bibliotherapy’s power lies in the opportunity it offers readers to relate to someone facing similar challenges, and when the story is told firsthand, the link between reader and writer is all the more intimate. The Recovering is a wide-ranging and frequently excellent book about addiction, but it is stymied when it attempts to be too zoomed-out. Addiction, with its cyclical copping, its single-minded want, is a monotonous thing. But the experiences of those addicted differ vastly, based on race, class, the substances in question, the time and place. Jamison set out to write a different sort of addiction memoir, and she wrote one of the most exhaustively researched, lyrical, and thoughtful additions to that canon in recent years. The book flags only when she reaches for universality instead of focuses on writing her own story, which is already an expansive account of a woman confronting her addiction and her obsession with writers who drink. This book explores the next fifteen years of her life, including the various lies that she told herself, and others, about her drug use.
best memoirs about addiction
While many know her as Princess Leia in the Star Wars franchise, her memoir explores her experiences as she grew up among Hollywood royalty while battling addiction and manic depression. Wishful Drinking is a brutally honest and light-hearted take on addiction and mental illness. At Banyan Treatment Centers Philadelphia, we understand how addictive and harmful heroin is. It’s a powerful opioid that’s difficult to quit without professional help. We’ve helped numerous people recover from heroin addiction and stay sober with our heroin addiction treatment. Among several of Leslie Jamison’s books about addiction, The Recovering describes Jamison’s experience with addiction. In this book, she also highlights the struggles of addiction based on the lives of addicts famous for their talents, including John Cheever, John Berryman, Jean Rhys, and Amy Winehouse. It’s a book that emphasizes the lack of discrimination in addiction by highlighting common addiction problems that occurred in people from all walks of life. This memoir tells of her painful descent from depression into drug addiction and, eventually, how she broke free. Despite its dark beginning, this is ultimately a hopeful book that inspires readers to root for her throughout.

Geef een reactie

Het e-mailadres wordt niet gepubliceerd. Vereiste velden zijn gemarkeerd met *