Top Seven Books About Addiction & Sober Recovery:
How to Use Traditional & Cutting-Edge Techniques to Get Clean & Stay Clean
By Stephanie Bridgeman
Are you ready to take the next step to get clean and stay clean? Do you want to start recovery, but also want to be happier in the process? Maybe you’ve been praying for a miracle? If so, you are in luck! — That is, if you’re ready to move forward.
Are you committed?
If you’re committed to changing your life, I have created a list of seven life-changing books. These awesome books are packed with knowledge to help you find the miracle of recovery!
Maybe you are super-committed to getting clean and staying clean? Or, perhaps you lack motivation or inspiration? Maybe you’re thinking, “I am committed, but I feel dead inside.” Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. To help you recover, I have listed the most cutting-edge books along with traditional 12-step books—to re-wire and re-charge you.
Should you start towards the 12-step Program? Or, is it time to step above & beyond?
The books on my top seven list can move you to take that first step—or move beyond the 12th step. All that matters, is that you’re willing to take some action– no matter how tired–or stuck you feel. Please note: I am not suggesting that these books will replace any therapy programs. I simply wanted to find the best books to help you enhance your life. And, if you try these books’ “life-saving tips”, you might just save your life!
How I’ve Organized this Book List:
There were so many awesome, cutting-edge books about how to obtain a sober recovery, along with “miracle” tips. However, I wanted to balance my book list with time-tested traditional books along with most-inspirational ones. Plus, I wanted to list books that share cutting-edge, addiction-therapy news and scientific breakthroughs. That’s why I chose a book that’s packed with new ways to work with the traditional “Medical Assisted Therapy” (MAT) drugs. Additionally, I wanted to provide some fun ways to maintain your sober recovery journey. So, one of the last two books includes a coloring book that doubles as an NA journal! To save you time, I whittled down my list to seven life-changing books. Now, you don’t have to hack your way through billions of nano-bytes!
I have also summarized and optimized the book list. In this article, you’ll see handy charts highlighting my favorite pro-tips. Plus, I share my game-changing takeaways and light-bulb moments! This top-seven list of addictive recovery books could save you years of research. Now, you can see what’s best and skip the rest.
I realize now, that inspiration is key, before taking any action. That’s why I topped my list, with an inspiring book that gives “miracle” tips. What could be more inspiring than miracles?
Okay, who’s with me? Let’s get started towards our miracle recovery, today.
The Miracle Morning for Addiction Recovery: Letting Go of Who You’ve Been for Who You Can Become
|WHO, WHAT & WHY?||BOOK ONE: The Miracle Morning for Addiction Recovery: Letting Go of Who You’ve Been for Who You Can Become Kindle Edition
WHO & WHY? This book is about “Miracle Mornings”. I don’t know about you, I believe that most people love miracles–whether in recovery or not. So, if you’d like to learn how to start your mornings, and you’re ready to receive miracles—this book is for you!
||People who are willing to make small, simple habit-changes to create miraculous lives.|
||Although I am not known to be “a morning person”! I must say, that following these tips really made my day–not just my mornings.|
||Yes, for those who are willing to make their bed! All kidding aside, the book gives Life S.A.V.E.R.S. tips that can change anyone’s life for the better.|
||Those who don’t want a miracle–or those who aren’t ready to do small actions–to achieve big results. However, I would say that this book gives some practical advice—to help you find a happier, sober recovery.|
||The book gives Life S.A.V.E.R.S. tips. One game-changing tip says “Just get up when the alarm rings.” Spoiler Alert! (Don’t hit the snooze button!) Make sure to drink some water, first thing in the morning. It will refresh you. And, making your bed in the morning signals to your brain that you are ready to have a successful day. These seemingly small steps signal: “Let’s get our day started!”|
||Thanks to this book, I also realized that I should say miracle affirmations the night before. So, when I wake up, I am ready to achieve “Miracle Mornings”.|
||You should read this book if you want to know great secrets to turn your life around, —and find the miracles in your mornings.|
MORE ABOUT THE FIRST BOOK:
This book could be the one you’re looking for if you can relate to any of these questions: Have you tried the usual programs to get clean and sober, but you keep falling back into old habits? Maybe you’re looking for a miracle? Or maybe you just need a little inspiration to make small changes–for a better life? Maybe you need some guidance to start your life-long, sober recovery journey?
The reason that I chose this “miracle” book, was not just because of its promising title. As a night owl, I wanted to try out the book’s tips, to see if I could have miracles, too. Don’t get me wrong, I will take a miracle any time. But, if I could have miracles in the mornings? In my book, those are the true miracles! I also wish that everyone trying the book’s tips will achieve miracles, morning, noon, and night!
I know that it may sound naïve, to say that you can magically create miracles, just by the way you start your mornings. But, this book says that it’s been proven that most successful people follow a blueprint to get excellent results. Although some miracles happen by sheer luck, I believe that you need to take steps to achieve your best life, each and every day. This book also gives stress-free steps and the blueprint to ensure your recovery journey…
LIFE “SAVERS” TIPS
S = SILENCE
A = AFFIRMATIONS
V = VISUALIZATION
E = EXERCISE
R = READING
S = SCRIBING
Silence: Silence doesn’t sound like much of a step, does it? However, silence is “key” to help you obtain a healthy recovery. For example, don’t start your day by arguing with your loved ones or answering social media messages, etc. This book says: “Start your day with peaceful SILENCE.”
How many ways to achieve Silence?! And, the book says that there are many choices to obtain “silence” such as prayer, deep breathing, meditation, etc. Then the author adds: “But don’t stay in bed for the silence part of your day! Make sure to leave your bedroom, if possible.” Starting with silence ensures a happier day, as this silent habit will reduce your stress, all day long. And, this “miracle” book gives recommendations for meditation apps to help you achieve a “successful silence”. These meditation apps include Insight Timer, Simply Being, 10% Happier, Omvana, and more.
Scribing: The other LIFE “SAVERS” tips are fairly obvious. But, I’d like to add something about the scribing/writing tip: If you are still feeling anxious or angry at any point during your day, then you might find it helpful to write about it. You might make a note about the time, place, who, what, and how the “person/trigger” made you feel. Then you can use these notes later to reduce the effects of your biggest triggers. You can also use your notes to “tap” away your problems with “Emotional Freedom Techniques” (aka “EFT”). Please skip to Book #3, if you want to learn more about “tapping your troubles away”.
This miracle morning book inspired me so much. It made me wonder, “Could I actually improve my life by following the “miracle morning” tips?” Could it be that simple to achieve morning miracles by not hitting the “snooze button” on the alarm clock–or just by making the bed? So, I decided to try this new game plan!
Was it easy to Follow the new Game Plan?
I must say, that the “miracle-making” tips were easy to follow. But, some strange things happened to me in the process! The first few days went pretty smoothly. I followed the routine and got up an hour earlier. So far, so good! Yet, weird events kept happening. I showed up at an assignment a few hours earlier than usually scheduled. When I got back into my car, I noticed I had a street-sweeping ticket! My mind immediately went into overdrive… I started thinking, “You see what happens when you get up so early?” Whoops! This was a trigger that could’ve easily derailed me if I wasn’t so committed to following these tips. I also used some tapping (EFT) techniques (found in Book #3) that helped me feel better.
Also, I scheduled other appointments, earlier than usual. But, people would arrive a half-hour before the scheduled appointment! What the heck?! I started to think that the universe was playing games with me. Also, problematic was the simple step of making my bed, first thing in the morning. The weird thing is, I’ve always made my bed right away. But, now that I was trying to follow this easy regimen–I noticed that I was avoiding this. Wow, could there be some self-sabotage going on?! I made a mental note of this. Hmm, what could I do to avoid this from happening so often?
A Miracle Program?
That’s when I decided to follow the tip to “program” my mind, the night before. Could this be the key to success? I was willing to find out.
So, I started saying only positive affirmations right before sleeping. Basically, I said positive things like: “I am excited to see what miracles happen today!” And, what awesome results! I noticed that saying positive things the night before, caused me to look for all of the good things. I started my mornings, looking for the miracles, instead of waking up with feelings of dread. The best miracle? I woke up happier! And, best of all, I managed to stay on my new routine! I must say, that I found out a lot about myself, trying to follow this new schedule.
Did I receive any Miracles?
Now, after those first few days of these small struggles, this program really started to work for me! I found that I doubled –even tripled my income! All of my customers treated me with great respect, and I haven’t met a disappointing customer, yet! That IS another miracle. And. I am way more organized. These days, I plan my day, and say positive affirmations, the night before. (I think these are the “keys” to making my days go the way I want them to “flow”.)
Spoiler Alert! Yes, I received Miracles!
It has been going smoothly, after the first few days of trial and error. These mornings, I am not nervously rushing around. Now, I can actually take the time to smell the coffee. I’m really starting to enjoy the mornings. I am feeling and looking much more refreshed these days–now that I’ve gotten some sleep. And, spoiler alert! Yes, I have received true miracles, and it’s been less than a month!
In conclusion, I have given the book’s first, easy steps to help you start your miracle mornings. These “miracle morning” steps give you the keys to jump-starting your miracle life. Wow, there are just too many hints in this book to list them all in this article. So, if you want to learn more about having “miracle mornings”, I recommend you grab your copy of this book today!
Narcotics Anonymous: 6th Edition
NARCOTICS ANONYMOUS (The traditional 12-step book):
This book is considered by many to be the best foundational “bible” for people who want to get sober. This book is “tried and true” and it has helped many people–possibly in the millions. It provides a solid foundational game-plan to help people start (and stay on the path) towards sober recovery. Here’s a link where you can find the 12-Steps (if you don’t already know them by heart).
This book is famous for helping people get (and stay) clean and sober. However, this awesome book is known to be more effective, if one attends the Narcotics Anonymous (NA) support groups. Following the 12-step program in this book, along with attending 12-step meetings with like-minded people can keep you on track. Attending the 12-step, NA meetings will help you stay sober, as these group-members know what you’re going through. They will all say, that It’s best to surround yourself with people who have the same goals of recovery–especially in the beginning. It is sad, that well-meaning, but naïve friends and family members can accidentally do the wrong things to trigger your addictive behaviors! With that said, any action taken towards sobriety (such as following the tips in these self-help books) is better than taking no steps at all.
What I Discovered by Interviewing NA and AA Members:
I wanted to do this book justice, and I didn’t want to give a one-sided opinion about NA’s “bible”. So, I decided to interview long-term NA & AA members about why” this NA book with its 12-step process was so helpful to them.
I asked them point-blank, “Why are you so committed to the 12-step program?” And, “Why do you think this program works so well?” At first, they looked shocked that I asked such unnerving questions. Yet, I have noticed that most people in 12-step programs always seem eager to help anyone who asks about this program. Why is this? I guess it’s because of the “12 Traditions” that the NA and AA Groups follow.
“The 12 Traditions”
The people I interviewed, seemed to take the rules of the “12 Traditions” to heart. Briefly, “Tradition #1” is all about “group unity”. And, “Tradition #3”, says: “The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop using.” Then, “Tradition #5”, says: “Each group has but one primary purpose—to carry the message to the addict who still suffers.” As far as I could tell, the people I interviewed, seemed eager to spread the groups’ messages. They certainly welcomed anyone into their groups with open arms!
Long-Term Sobriety IS Possible
All the NA & AA Members who answered my questions offered similar reasons, “why” the 12-step program helped them stay sober. They basically said: “The 12-step program taught me to be less self-centered, and be in service to others.”
Another person said that the program helped him to “be less selfish. He added, “Taking care of other people, is what helped me stop my bad habits.” Two NA members said that attending the 12-step meetings and “working the steps” in the NA book, “really kept them on the path of sober recovery”.
Two interviewees said they were clean and sober for many years. One was sober for 10 years. Another said that he was sober for 32 years. They both said: “I am done doing drugs and alcohol!” Both looked honest, and I feel they really meant what they said. They all had an almost religious fervor about the 12-step program and sharing the 12-step “gospel”. Honestly, they were just so excited about how well they were doing, thanks to the NA and AA programs. Normally, their intensity would’ve scared me away! But, they had such a humble demeanor about them, I couldn’t help but be impressed.
Wow, I feel that I can definitely recommend the “Narcotics Anonymous” book, after my interviews! However, I realize that the 12-step program isn’t everyone’s “cup of tea”. I have known people to get “stuck on one of the steps”, and never complete the “program”. Some people never can get through the first step, to “admit they are powerless against their addiction.” I’d have to say, that I can certainly understand this problem. It can be very difficult to admit you’re powerless! And, knowing that some people can get frustrated with the program, led me to look into the third book.
The next book expands upon the original 12-steps. It promises to give us some new (and possibly more empowering) 12-steps to help people overcome their addictions… If you like the idea of feeling empowered, instead of powerless, then let’s look at the next book that I call: “12 New Steps”.
Let It Go: 12 New Steps for Tapping the Power of Your Mind to Overcome Addiction with FasterEFT
After I realized that the NA book may not help a small percentage of people, I started researching this book that I’ll call “12 New Steps”. I also figured out that there are some people that need help, but they don’t want to follow the NA book’s advice (or attend the meetings). The idea of this powerful “12 New Steps” book looked so promising, I had to research it. “12 New Steps” basically spins the original 12-steps into (what they call) more empowering statements. This book also gives us an “Emotional Freedom Technique” (EFT) tool, to help anyone overcome addiction by using “tapping” techniques. If I had to describe the EFT/tapping techniques, I would say that tapping is like you’re injecting statements filled with positive energy, which can clear your body and mind–without painful needles!
Ok, now let’s compare the first statement of the original 12-step program to the first statement of the “12 New Steps”.
|Step 1 (ORIGINAL) 12-Step Statement:||vs.||Step 1 (NEW) 12-Step Statement:|
|1. We admitted that we were powerless over our addiction, that our lives had become unmanageable.||vs.||
So, the “original” Step 1 says: “We admitted that we were powerless…” and the “new” Step 1 says: “Take Ownership.” Basically, to take responsibility (or own) your actions!
Now, presenting the 12 New Steps! (You can compare these steps by clicking this Original 12-Steps link.)
I really like these “12 New Steps”, including “Releasing the Pain And Hurt”, “Make Peace Inside Every Memory”, or ”Live With Passion”. These all sound awesome to me! With that said, you might be wondering, “Hey, that’s easier said, than done.” Yes, but the book gives us a fabulous “tapping” (EFT) tool to help us “tap away” our bad feelings. Basically, you just tap on about 7 pressure points such as the side of your hand, the middle of your forehead, the bridge of your eyebrows, etc. While you “tap” (gently!) you say certain statements.
Yes, I have actually tried these tapping techniques when I have felt triggered by certain people and situations.
Real Life Example: If I can “Tap”, then you can, too!
Remember, when I talked about getting upset that I got the “street sweeping ticket”? This tapping technique helped me calm down. That’s because I remembered, “Hey, I can get rid of this bad feeling by tapping!” So, I got in the car and started tapping the side of my hand, while saying: “Even though I am so angry that I received the ticket…. I still love and accept myself, unconditionally!”
Then I moved on to the next statements by saying things like this: “Even though I feel really angry at getting a ticket, I still love myself, unconditionally.” Or, “Even though I feel like a stupid idiot for getting a ticket, I still love and accept myself, unconditionally.” And the next statements can be similar… Just make sure that you end the very last tapping point with the statement, “I still love and accept myself, unconditionally.” That’s basically all there is to it!
Why do we have to say Negative Statements to get Positive Results?
You may be wondering why you have to say something negative, to get a positive result? The reason the book gives is that you want to bypass your rational mind–and correct your subconscious mind’s thinking. (It’s the subconscious mind that causes your unconscious behaviors and habits.) And, the book says that your subconscious mind knows when you’re lying–it only accepts truthful statements. That’s why affirmations don’t work that well. Telling your subconscious mind, “I am a millionaire!” does not work so well.
You might also be thinking, “Tapping seems too hard to get it right.” Yes, I have thought this, before I actually tried it, I have even tried tapping different ways–even doing some of the tapping points out of order. I found that I felt better, no matter what order I tapped on the points. It didn’t matter so much, as long as I ended the statements with “love and accepting myself, no matter what happens”.
The book gives all of the tapping hints that you’ll ever need to get started. If you follow the “New 12 Steps” tapping tips, I’ll bet you’ll feel better in no time! I recommend that you give this “New 12 Steps” book a try.
Next up: A completely different book that doesn’t give advice at all.
It’s a Kind of a Funny Thing: That happened on the road to… (It’s a Funny Thing: Part 1 & Part 2)
You might find this book “Kind of Funny” because it doesn’t give much advice! This unreal book provides the harrowing antics of “what happened” to an addicted Blues drummer (who got a liver transplant).
This book is a cautionary tale. It reads like fiction, but it is “based on a real-life drama”. So, why did I put this book on this list? My reasoning is because I feel that all the self-help books or attending 12-step groups won’t help you get clean and sober…. That is unless you’re truly committed to a life of sobriety. It is sad but true. Sometimes positive reasons don’t motivate people to change.
That’s why I have listed this strange and “funny” book that explains loud and clear, “why” a liver transplant is never a good option. This book gives all of the pitfalls that many addicts fall into –before they decide to become clean and sober. I am hoping this doesn’t happen to anybody!
So, I chose this story about a real-life Blues drummer that’s meant to “bring home” the idea that no one can keep doing drugs without consequences! How many car wrecks and overdoses do you need before you’re “scared straight”?! Would five car accidents –or overdoses in a year be enough to get you to start your 12-step program? And, trust me, a liver transplant is not a win-win situation!
The book has some twisted humor, which is meant to keep it from being deadly-boring. I sure hope this book will help people see the light–especially if they’re considering getting a liver-transplant because they can’t stop using drugs! Hint: You have to have healthy kidneys to be considered for a liver transplant.
I recommend this book to long-term addicts. I also recommend it to their family and friends, who need to know what great lengths their addicted loved-ones will go through (to keep on abusing drugs or alcohol). It’s mind-boggling to me, that some people will keep abusing drugs –even after getting a liver transplant.
Now that we’re armed with the truth and consequences of addictive behavior, let’s get off the ‘not-so-merry-go-round’! With that in mind, let’s take a look at a kinder and gentler book that’s actually based on science, to help people change.
Beyond Addiction: How Science and Kindness Help People Change
by Jeffrey Foote (Author), Carrie Wilkens (Author), Nicole Kosanke (Author), Stephanie Higgs (Author)
Amazon Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1476709483/ref=rdr_ext_tmb
This fact-filled book talks about the different Medical Assistance Treatments (M.A.T.) for all the substance abuse/addictions: from opioid abuse to alcohol abuse to tobacco abuse. This book has it all covered!
Judge not, lest ye be judged?
This “kinder” book talks about how some people judge addicts. It says that judging addicts does not help them get better. The book discusses how many people think. And, I’ll sadly admit that I was one of those people. I used to feel that former addicts weren’t really sober when they used traditional (M.A.T.) therapy-drugs like methadone to “assist” their recovery. This book’s philosophy, basically says that people shouldn’t be so quick to judge since what works for one person, may not work for others.
Is Tough Love the only way to “Love” an Addict?
This book also talks about how many people secretly want their addicted loved ones “to get a tough therapist” who will “come down hard on them” to give them “tough love”. However, this book says that “tough love” usually won’t work, since addicts will put up all their defenses. The result? They won’t listen. And, they may end up with no “support team” of people to help them fully recover.
This “kinder” book also says that well-placed kindness can go a long way to help someone’s addicted loved one recover. The book says that it is usually better to treat your loved ones with more respect rather than kicking them out of your life (and onto the streets – where they are likely to meet more addicts for their “support team”). Once on the streets, the addict will usually lean on other addicts to “try and recover”. However, if they’re on the streets “supported” by other addicts, they’ll probably end up doing more drugs than ever before. That’s why this book recommends joining 12-step programs, to find the most-supportive people.
12-Step Programs are recommended for Group Support
This book also recommends 12-step programs for group support. Many times, group support–or lack thereof, can make or break your sober recovery. Why go it alone? Wouldn’t be better to make a few new friends that are committed to staying sober–than your old friends. It may be true, that your old friend may only like you, for “the way you were”.
Your old friends are likely to keep you in the same old rut and are not likely to help you change–even if it’s for your own good. When you join a dedicated recovery group such as NA or AA, you will have a proper support group of people, who are diligently working towards a sober recovery.
In conclusion, I recommend this “Kinder Book” that’s “Based on Science” because it has so much content. This book gives you so much information that you can’t find anywhere else. That’s why, I believe it’s kindly worth taking a look at, even though its (not-so-kind) price is higher than other self-help books.
Okay, now let’s have some fun!
Can Fun Coloring Books actually help you enjoy Sober Recovery Process?
Maybe getting sober doesn’t always have to be such hard work? Isn’t it time for some fun?! That’s why I’m presenting these “companion books”, which may complement your 12-step program. I won’t spend too long on these last books. – Yet, I really want to give everyone a fun activity, while still focusing on recovery.
HONORABLE MENTIONS —ART & WRITING/JOURNAL THERAPY “COLORING” BOOKS:
Inkspirations for Recovery: A Coloring Companion that Celebrates and Supports Living One Day at a Time
12 Step Coloring book Journal (Paperback)
Final Thoughts: I hope I’ve given you the extra steps to help you go the extra mile for12-Step Program…
I sure hope that I’ve given you enough tips –even some fun ways to get clean and sober. Please let me know if there are any other books that you’d like to see on the list. I wish that everyone has a successful (and even fun) sober recovery journey!