My recovery began with a book. It was “Women Who Love Too Much” by Robin Norwood. Over the years I have been helped by many other books: personal stories, memoirs, self-help books and spiritual books. All of these in addition to “conference approved” literature like the Big Book and the 12 & 12.
Some of the other books that stand out as especially helpful—books that came to me at the right time or that moved me along on a particular issue are these:
“My Name is Caroline”, by Caroline Adams Miller—one of the first and best books about 12 step recovery for women with eating disorders. A revelation that nice, smart women can have bulimia and anorexia and recovery.
“Seeds of Grace”, by Sister Molly Monahan—a first person description of the spirituality of AA. I love this book and I’ve given it to so many women. A nun who had to find belief, faith and a Higher Power. She describes how she works—actually works—each of the steps.
“The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron—How to be an artist, recover as an artist, and find the creative—often hiding under addiction. I “did” this book over and over. My copy is scribbled in, dog-eared, worn out. Morning pages start here.
Three years ago I added: “Reinventing Your Life” by Jeffrey Young and Janet Klosko. This is cognitive therapy for the lay person. Most easily digestible and most directly applicable. This really helped me when mining the past no longer felt productive and I realized it was my thinking rather than my drinking that was the issue.
This year it has been these two:
“Creating Your Best Life” by Caroline Adams Miller—Yes, this is the same Caroline who wrote about eating disorders—now she’s looking at what makes life good rather than what made it bad. Filled with fabulous research-based tactics and tools to achieve goals. Incredibly helpful; this book led to joining an accountability group.
“The Happiness Project” by Gretchen Rubin—the women who tried almost everything to get happier. She blogged about all of it and then made it into this book. I have to say I’m sorry I waited so long to read this and try some of her great advice.
So please share: What books helped you in recovery? What books do you recommend to friends?