Jul 11, 2020
There's a lot of awesome "quit lit" out there: books about walking away from alcohol. When you're first quitting alcohol, if you're like me you'll have a LOT of free time on your hands to start reading and be looking for a lot of good reads to reinforce the messages of how awesome being alcohol-free is. Hearing other's voice on the subject can be super helpful in understanding you're not alone. Grab a cup of tea and curl up with these books. Let me know what you think!
1. The Unexpected Joy of Being Sober by Catherine Gray The first book I need to mention is my absolute favourite book and the first one I read when I quit alcohol. I LOVE THIS BOOK! It is not at all preachy. It's funny, witty and relatable. I highly, highly recommend it if you want a laugh. However, I recommended it to one of my male coaching clients and he didn't quite relate to it, so it might be more relatable for women's experiences with alcohol. 2. This Naked Mind by Annie Grace This book is heavy on scientific facts. This was a book that I chose to listen to on a road trip. I just wanted all the facts about how alcohol was bad for me to sink into my subconscious to convince me to not want to drink again. I don't think I would have finished this book if I were actually reading it, because it was too scientific and informational for my taste, and not super relatable. But listening to it as an audio book worked for me. 3. Dry by Augusten Burroughs I remember this book being another funny and emotional memoir. It wasn't entirely relatable for me as Augusten had to go to rehab, a level of alcoholism that I don't connect with, but I could still connect to the grip that alcohol had over him. It wasn't my favourite but again was another great one to explore. 4. Blackout by Sarah Hepola I remember this book being an extremely emotional read, but a good one. Definitely brought back some memories for me and allowed me to connect the dots on where I had adopted a bad relationship with alcohol as a young teenager. 5. Quit Like a Woman by Holly Whittaker How is alcohol a feminist issue? If you have no idea - READ. THIS. BOOK. It explains how alcohol marketing is targeted at women's lives in particular. She also explains how the current models of recovery are archaic and patriarchal. An enlightening read! 6. We are the Luckiest by Laura McKowen What could be lucky about addiction? “those of us who answer the invitation to wake up, whatever our invitation, are really the luckiest of all.” This is an inspirational read about truth, walking away from shame, and the benefits of sobriety. 7. Meditations from the Mat by Rolf Gates Okay, if I'm honest, this book is not exactly one about sobriety overall. It's more a deep dive into yoga philosophy, as taught through the wisdom of Rolf Gates' life experiences. One of his significant life experiences was alcoholism and recovery, so it comes up often in the book. Alcohol is not necessarily the theme of the book - but I couldn't not put it on the list! If you have been to any of my yoga classes over the years, you know that I LOVE Rolf Gates' books. When I first quit drinking, I didn't really know anyone else that was alcohol-free or any other resources to turn to. But I knew this book had a lot of inspiring messages about quitting alcohol. I had read this book several times over my career as a yoga teacher. So I picked it up again, and started re-reading. I highly recommend this book if you have an interest in yoga and being alcohol-free. It's a beautiful book that weaves in stories about sobriety that are inspiring. A favourite passage is about the power of making something a priority and how if drinking is your priority, "you will do it whether you have a roof over your head or not." "By choosing to practice yoga, we are saying that our spiritual growth is important to us. We are making it a priority." 8. Daily Reflections on Yoga, Addiction and Getting Well by Rolf Gates This is the second book that I read after going alcohol free. I remember doing some research on Rolf's work many years ago and seeing he had a second book on addiction and recovery, but feeling like it didn't really apply to me. Well, my mood has changed ten years later! If you've done sober coaching with me you know that I don't like the terms alcoholic or addict - I think these words place blame on the person, rather than the substance (which is addictive.) I wouldn't describe myself as an alcoholic or an addict and I also never participated in 12-step recovery. However, I do like Rolf's explanation and understanding of what it means to walk the walk of leaving alcohol, while also integrating the eight limbs of Classical Yoga and the Buddhist approach. This is another book I highly recommend you check out! There are a LOT of amazing books about alcohol and going alcohol-free out there - and I'm sure I've missed many - these are just some of the ones that I've come across that have inspired me over the years. What books have you read and found inspiring? Comment below and I will check them out! -Alex