Alcohol memoirs that document the author’s struggle with booze have become a sub-genre of their own. The books on this list will stock your bookshelves with hilarious, shocking, and tragic stories about the downward spiral of alcohol addiction. In this memoir, beloved 20/20 anchor Elizabeth Vargas goes beyond her struggle with alcoholism to look at how her experiences and her history led her to the moment where she admitted in an interview that she was, in fact, an alcoholic. She recalls her childhood experiences with anxiety, her time in rehab, and the guilt she felt as a mother who was seemingly never able to find the balance between work and family life. Vargas’s memoir has been described as “honest and hopeful,” and that tone comes across in the author’s accomplished and moving narration of Between Breaths. A memoir of the classic blues and rock musician, Clapton is an intimate disclosure of his upbringing, longstanding addictions, and recovery. Clapton writes about the drugs he turned to and eventually the clinic he started for substance abuse recovery. The musician also recounts his diligence when he discovered his talent for music, the origin of certain songs, interactions with other influential musicians, and musical goals he had for different periods. Clapton also explores his obsession with the woman behind “Layla”, “Wonderful Tonight”, and “Bell Bottom Blues”. Acclaimed, funny, heartbreaking and controversial accounts of addiction and its aftermath, these works present with great immediacy the struggles of individuals with alcohol and substance abuse.

  • TheEmpathy Examsauthor’s stunning book juxtaposes her own relationship to addiction with stories of literary legends like Raymond Carver, and imbues it with rich cultural history.
  • Even with all his talent and jobs coming his way, he was not able to get clean and stay clean, eventually dying from an overdose in 2015 at age 29.
  • These events leave her with a serious case of PTSD that in turn throw her into despair and later lands her into addiction.
  • For Dr. Remy, his job meant waking up one morning to find himself in rehab for alcohol use disorder.
  • That bottle of merlot was all Kerry Cohen could think about as she worked through her day.

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.

What Makes a Successful Addiction Memoir?

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.

Alyssa who is the National Director of Digital Marketing, joined the Banyan team in 2016, bringing her five-plus years of experience. She has produced a multitude of integrated campaigns and events in the behavioral health and addictions field. Through strategic marketing campaign concepts, Alyssa has established Banyan as an industry leader and a national household name. Meth is a powerful and addictive central nervous system stimulant that can affect your brain’s ability to function and communicate with the rest of your body. Our Philadelphia addiction center offers meth addiction treatment that addresses the physical and psychological aspects of addiction and makes long-term sobriety achievable. In this darkly comic and wrenchingly honest story, Smith describes how her circumstances conspired with her predisposition to depression and self-medication in an environment ripe for addiction to flourish. If you’ve wondered what it would be like to live your life sober, this book is for you. More than just a memoir, this book explores the psychology and neuroscience behind the societal traps that lead us to drink and how drinking affects our brains and our bodies.

Drinking: A Love Story

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 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.

Here’s a celebrity memoir from famous actor and comedian Russell Brand that also offers helpful advice for recovery. Brand has suffered from a variety of addictions—heroin, alcohol, sex, fame, food, bad relationships, and eBay—and in Recovery, he offers listeners insights into what he’s learned on the road to recovery for every type of addiction. The actor performs the audiobook himself with the right balance of humor and sincerity. Miller’s memoir, her first book, describes a bizarre life growing up with a heroin-addicted father; a passive, hand-wringing mother; and an abusive brother. The nightmarish quality of her early years gradually emerges as Miller tells her story through a repetitive, almost circular narrative, constantly moving in and out of the past. Her book should appeal to readers interested in learning about addiction and its impact on families. Readers may also be interested in Wurtzel’s first memoir, Prozac Nation, about her struggle with severe depression. If you’ve never read St. Aubyn’s fantastic Patrick Melrose novels now is the time to do so, as the TV version starring Benedict Cumberbach has already aired in the UK and airs in the US on Showtime on May 12. St. Aubyn’s books trace Melrose’s life from living with his rich, terrible parents—dad is actively abusive, mom is a checked out New Ager—to becoming a hardcore drug addict.

Positive Mantras To Get You Started In Sobriety

This book explores the subsequent 15 years of her life and breaks down the stigma and stereotypes surrounding addiction. Every person who struggles with addiction has a different story. And yet, there is something relatable and valuable within every person’s journey. For some, hearing stories about addiction might be triggering when in the thick of their own personal battles. But for many, many others, audiobooks about addiction and recovery help them feel less alone and provide a source of inspiration and empowerment. If you’re among those who find listening to stories about addiction and recovery helpful and reassuring, here are some heartfelt, well-researched, and highly recommended options. Beautiful Boy is a great book for family members and friends of people with addiction. The author does a great job of helping the loved ones of people with addictions to feel supported, understood, and not alone. Beautiful Boy would also be a great read for people in recovery, as it could help them gain insight into what their loved ones experienced during their active addiction and recovery. The book does have the potential to bring up feelings of guilt for people in recovery as they begin to realize what their loved ones went through as a result of their addictions.
Eco Sober House
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.

Her quest for sobriety includes rehabs and therapy—necessary steps to begin a journey into realizing and accepting an imperfect self within an imperfect life. For any mother or person who has felt like an outsider in your own life, you might just relate. Often, we hear the stories of people with addiction finding redemption once they have children—but this is not that kind of story, which is precisely why we love it. It’s about a woman who longs to belong and find comfort in her new life with her husband and baby but instead develops a gripping addiction to wine. Her quest for sobriety includes rehabs and therapy — necessary steps to begin a journey into realizing and accepting an imperfect self within an imperfect life. Often, we hear the stories of people with addiction being redeemed by their children — but this is not that kind of story, which is precisely why we love it. It’s about a woman who longs to belong and find comfort in her new life with husband and baby but instead develops a gripping addiction to wine. 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.

During the most unsettling time of my life, I craved all the messy, tragic, complex, wonderful stories that could show me what was on the other side. Nobody in my real life could meet that need, so I turned—as I always do when I need comfort, encouragement, or inspiration—to books. Based on Fisher’s hugely successful one-woman show, Wishful Drinking is the story of growing up in Hollywood royalty, battling addiction, and dealing with manic depression. Her first memoir is an inside look at her famous parents’ marriage and her own tumultuous love affairs (including her on-again, off-again relationship with Paul Simon). Most notably, it’s a brutally honest — and hilarious — reflection on the late writer’s path to sobriety. TheEmpathy Examsauthor’s stunning book juxtaposes her own relationship to addiction with stories of literary legends like Raymond Carver, and imbues it with rich cultural history. The result is a definitive treatment of the American recovery movement — a memoir in the subgenre like no other.

Audiobooks to Support You in Your Addiction & Recovery Journey

This book is powerful because it removes the stigma and takes a 21st-century look at an age-old problem. If you are wondering how you or your loved one got to a place where addiction took hold this book will help to provide you answers. These are some of the best memoirs about sobriety that highlight the impact of addiction and breakthroughs in recovery. These books are proof that addiction does not discriminate and can affect anyone. A raw page-turning memoir spans Tiffany’s life as an active opioid addict, her 120 days in a Florida jail and her eventual recovery. You may have heard about Hunter Biden before and maybe even know that he published a memoir about his struggles with drug and alcohol addiction. Janelle Hanchett chronicles the story of embracing motherhood through the devastating separation from her children at the height of addiction.
best memoirs about addiction
Dresner offers an honest and shameless account of her struggles with meth abuse and recovery. She writes about her admittance into a psychiatric hospital, financial struggles, and divorce. Dresner also shares her struggles with sex addiction and achieving sobriety again in her 40s. This is a great book for people who hit rock bottom in addiction. In this memoir, Vargas recounts the childhood that led to her anxiety and panic and how alcohol gave her a release from her painful reality. Predictably though, addiction eventually became part of her painful reality. Writing honestly about her secret dependency and time in rehab, Vargas helps those of us who deal with co-occurring disorders understand taking on both mental health and alcoholism—and how we cannot heal one without addressing the other. I started reading addiction memoirs in college, well before I admitted to having an alcohol use disorder.
best memoirs about addiction
You can have freedom from alcohol, and This Naked Mind wants to help you get there. There are countless memoirs about addiction and recovery, but not quite so many about stopping drinking and its aftermath. When author Kristi Coulter stopped drinking, she began to notice the way that women around her were always tanked, and how alcohol affected those around her. 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. In her literary debut, Carrie Fisher creates Sober Home the character Suzanne Vale to narrate her personal struggles with having fame and being around the famous. Suzanne/Carrie turns to addictions and rehabs, learning to live without drugs to help solve life’s problems. The story reads fast going from dialogue between characters to narratives, as the process of addiction is told through Fisher’s voice. 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. This candid memoir focuses on the years from his ‘coming out’ about suffering from bipolar disorder and addiction to the present day, and examines his journey toward recovery while reflecting on America’s treatment of mental health.

What does 3 weeks without alcohol do to your body?

  • More energy.
  • Better sleep.
  • More free time.
  • Weight loss.
  • Better memory.
  • Improved skin.
  • Reduced anxiety and depression.
  • More money.

SELF does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Any information published on this website or by this brand is not intended as a substitute for medical advice, and you should not take any action before consulting with a healthcare professional. In one scene in the book, Brown describes losing her apartment and going on a four-day crack binge.
best memoirs about addiction
But wherever that journey starts, these memoirs prove that struggle can lead to something beautiful in the end. A new horror film explores how the hardest person to learn to love is sometimes yourself. I very much related to her always feeling “less than” in normal life, and only becoming confident and alive once she poured alcohol down her throat. Here, Nikki shares best memoirs about addiction the diary entries—some poetic, some scatterbrained, some bizarre—of those dark times. Joining him are Tommy Lee, Vince Neil, Mick Mars, Slash, Rick Nielsen, Bob Rock, and a host of ex-managers, ex-lovers, and more. When we aren’t posting here, we build programs to help people quit drinking. When we aren’t posting here, we build programs to help people quit drinking.

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.

Each of these authors demands that we face addiction as an intimate, human story as well as a broad public health and safety issue. Sethe is haunted, literally and figuratively, by the daughter she killed while escaping slavery in this devastating Pulitzer Prize-winning classic. This is a book about the abject horror and howling trauma of slavery, but it’s also about how we metabolise the nightmares of our lives before. In my own healing, I have even questioned the use of the word “recovery” in this context at all, since it implies a retrieval of something lost. Some new habits and practices have had to be built from the ground up. Although everyone’s addiction and recovery stories are different, the core of these experiences is often the same. More than a journey through addiction and recovery though, this is a tale about how trauma shapes us and how we can only free ourselves by facing it. It’s a testament to how one moment, completely out of our control, can drastically change our lives. There’s a new kind of thinking in the recovery world, and all of that is thanks to McKowen’s memoir. After quitting her career in order to dedicate more of her time to her family, Clare Pooley found herself depressed and feeling sluggish.