I think of my journey through the Land of Addiction to walking through a pitch-black forest in the dead of night. Tree branches snagged my clothing, I stumbled over gnarly roots and animals bared their teeth. I couldn’t see these dangers, but I could sense them. They haunted me night and day.
At the same time, I also experienced the kindness of others who reached out to me and, like a fireman’s bucket brigade, passed me ahead to the next set of helping hands. These hands were the hands of wisdom, compassion and sisterhood. Sometimes they belonged to real live people who had navigated through the black woods before me; sometimes it was the wise hands of authors who supported and guided me.
Here are some of the most powerful books I’ve encountered along the way, in no particular order:
- The Lost Years by Christina Wandzilak describes a daughter’s addiction and recovery from the perspective of both mother and child.
- Beautiful Boy by David Sheff, a dad’s memoirs and self-discoveries as his son struggles with a meth addiction and he struggles with his own deadly co-dependency.
- The Mood Cure by Julia Ross provides critical information about the nutritional foundation of recovery.
- Moments of Clarity: Voices from the Front Lines of Addiction and Recovery by Christopher Kennedy Lawford. This is a collection of turning point memoirs by “famous” addicts and alcoholics whose moments of clarity propelled them into recovery. It offers an inspiring and humbling reminder that we are all vulnerable to this disease, even the rich and famous.
- Saving Jake – When Addiction Hits Home by D’Anne Burwell. This articulate chronicle of a young man’s chemical dependency could be written by so many of us: a loving family, a talented child, the search for answers, the hope of recovery. The book is sprinkled with resources and evidence-based information about the epidemic of chemical dependency that is gripping our nation.
Check out our recommended reading list to find other powerful books that can help you through the darkest night.