Recovery can feel incredibly lonely, even with the support of recovery groups, friends, or family. While addiction memoirs can be difficult to read (especially in early recovery), they can also be a source of comfort—proof that you’re not alone. These five memoirs handle addiction and recovery with honesty, humor, and introspection.
1. Drinking: A Love Story by Caroline Knapp
Despite what the name might suggest, Knapp’s memoir of alcoholism is not sentimental. Her clear, honest essays explore the infatuation she had with alcohol without diving into sensationalist accounts of her worst days. Her distance and wisdom pepper her analytical writing.
2. How to Stop Time: Heroin from A to Z by Ann Marlowe
Ann Marlowe’s cerebral book explores the drug heroin and her experience with addiction. The Village Voice writer spent much of the ‘90s on heroin, and organized her memoir as an encyclopedia of brief vignettes.
3. Parched:A Memoir by Heather King
NPR commentator Heather King wrote a deeply affecting memoir about her alcoholism. While King never reached some of the horrifying rock bottoms often found in addiction memoirs, her own emotional journey to the bottom and back is full of introspection and wisdom that make it worth a read.
4. Tweak: Growing Up on Methamphetamines by Nic Sheff
Nic Sheff first got drunk at age eleven. He moved on to cocaine, ecstasy, crystal meth, and heroin. His unflinching memoir explores the story of his relapse after a sober stint, and the difficult road to recovery.
5. Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget by Sarah Hepola
Sarah Hepola’s recently released bestselling memoir explores her relationship with alcohol, and the way her addiction escalated to the point of regular blackouts. Hepola navigates the difficult subject of addiction and recovery with humor and honesty.
Remember, it does get better.
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