T-10: Sober Reading

During my sobriety last year, I read quite a few books about getting sober. Each author left me with a nugget or two to ponder, some nuggets more helpful than others. Here are some of my personal take-aways:

Allen Carr – Alcohol is poison. This poison is always harmful and if you can convince yourself of that, quitting is easy.  I found this line of thought helpful to a point, but I still struggled with the fact that alcohol is so normalized in society and among my own friends and family.

Caroline Knapp – Wine is awesome until it destroys your life. The first part of her book, where she describes her love of wine, made me want to drink. And since my own life had not been destroyed, I had trouble relating to the second part.

Augusten Burroughs: To give up alcohol, you have to have a thing you want more than you want to drink. In his case, it was writing. This scared me. What if I don’t have a “thing”?!

Sarah Hepola: Drinking makes you insane and quitting is terrible. Her book was entertaining but didn’t help me.

Ann Dowsett Johnston: Alcohol is particularly dangerous for women because of our body chemistry. And the alcohol industry has begun specifically targeting women in recent marketing campaigns. Now this made me want to not drink! I found her book very helpful and am rereading it again now.

Mrs. D: Give it up for good. Walk away and then figure things out as you go. Life in the raw is not easy, but it’s better. Nice! Love it! But where are the second thoughts? I need to learn how to manage those. And I have trouble with the idea of forever.

I read other authors too, but these are the ones I remember best. I’d love to hear suggestions for my reading list if you have them!


3 thoughts on “T-10: Sober Reading

  1. None of there’s are sober books exactly, but each changed my life.

    Brene Brown the Gifts of imperfection
    Pema Chodron the places that scare you.
    The shack
    I loved Ann’s book and Allen Carr. I also really loved drinking, a love story. Less because of her drinking, but more how I could relate to her feelings of inadequacy and anxiety.


    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi there Without Wine. Just wanted to say I am newly into this sober journey too, and I also planned my quitting. One to the amazing things I have learned through my explorations over the past year or so (books and also the internet) is that there are as many ways to create and live a sober journey as there are people seeking. In other words, the ways that work for you are the perfect, or at least best fit for you in every moment.

    I also did a lot of reading before I quit and since. Here are a few I love:

    Brene Brown: Rising Strong (bet you can see from this and Anne’s list above Brene has a lot of great stuff out there)
    Jason Vale: Kick the Drink… Easily (like Allen Carr’s book but super up beat and sometimes funny. Also has the focus on “forever” which is scary when you first read it, but I just read it again after being sober for awhile and was reminded why I liked it so much
    Lotta Dana: Mrs. D. is Going Within Her second book focuses on the “what to do next” part. I have found that the quitting part hasn’t been too bad (depends on the day:) But the emotional rollercoaster is a bit insane and I am determined not to be an unhappy sober person. So now I am thinking a lot about the second part of going without which is about addressing the life stuff that kept me drinking and firming up my tool box so I have strategies to support my sobriety and to help me become a stronger, more balanced, more authentic version of me.
    I liked hearing that you are planning to work with Belle. I have found that beyond reading, and using my sober tools, that finding a tribe and consistently reaching out to seek support and offer support has been the most important part of my journey. I feel calmer (even in the midst of an emotional storm) and seen when I post and read others’ posts.

    Good for you for planning your journey your own unique way. Good for you for starting this blog and reaching for support. Keep taking good care of you.

    Blessings and Peace

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Deb – thanks so much for this beautiful and thoughtful post. I am also determined not to be an unhappy sober person and I also see this journey as creating a more authentic, stronger version of myself. Your words really resonated with me. 🙂


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