Reviews of books to help those recovering from alcohol and other addictions that are not AA or 12 step based..
Ihave found it really useful to read as much as possible, about different methods of overcoming my problems, to find solutions that had worked for others, and adapt them for myself. I am glad that Amazon now exists, because there are not a great deal of worthwhile books on the subject in my local bookstore, and I live in a big city. It must be even harder for most people. You won’t find any of the books by Stanton Peele or Lance Dodes on sale in most UK shops but Amazon and Kindle can sort out this problem. Many of the American books are much more progressive in outlook, which I find slightly surprising as the 12 step solution seems to be accepted as the key method, by many there. There are more books in my “blog category Books” , but the few highlighted here are a great selection for those wishing to explore alternatives to 12 step recovery or to find a method that works for them.
One of the things that surprised me about AA, was how old and out of date most of the literature was. I was surprised that nobody had bothered to write anything up to date. “Living Sober” is almost funny these days and the “Big Book” still fails to make sense and has taken the place of the Bible, in the eyes of many “Old timers”. Chapter 5 is generally read out at meetings, and held up as a solution for anyone, but in reality, it is probably why most people leave 12 step groups, after a few meetings. Many do not want to try a solution that relies on “God” these days. They need a rational solution.
Most modern books tend to contradict the “religious/spiritual approach” of AA, and look at the reasons many turn to drink in the first place. Many drinkers have low self-esteem, or have suffered a loss, and learning to deal with these issues are the core to a long-lasting recovery. I have found other more general, health books have become important for me as my recovery becomes longer. I tend to read books about mindfulness that really helps me to visualise the world in a new calmer way.
After reading some non 12 step literature, I could see many problems with the 12 step methods and began to question what I was being told. It was one of the things that gave me the strength to move on, and I am glad that I did. Books such as the “Diseasing of America” by Stanton Peele talks about the way the 12 step culture has taken over in America, and is very critical of the methods used. I agreed with most of it. I must put it on here soon! He had another book come out in February with Ilse Thompson, who runs the “Stinkin Thinkin” website called “Recover”. Stinkin Thinkin was the first recovery blog I went on, in the years after AA, and it felt good to connect with others who had rejected the 12 step world, for a more rational solution. I only discovered Lance Dodes through starting this blog, and I feel his work is superb.
I will add to the list of books over time and have discovered that there are many out there that I have not read. This will take some time as I have limited time to spend on the blog at the moment. Let me know if there are some good books out there, that you have come across!