By Crystal Hampton
Let me just start out by saying I did not do too much reading in my active addiction. I got sober and had to learn how to live a completely different life than I had been living. This life was completely foreign to me. Learning new tools and ways of coping with life in recovery were imperative for my continued sobriety. I started with books for recovering addicts that were simpler to read and apply into my life and then integrated books that were helpful to long term recovery and healing. These are the books that have been most helpful to me in my recovery.
Daily Reflections - This is a book of reflections by A.A. members for A.A. members. It was first published in 1990 to fulfill a long-felt need within the Fellowship for a collection of reflections that moves through the calendar year-one day at a time. Each page contains a reflection on a quotation from A.A. Conference-approved literature, such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, As Bill Sees It and other books. These reflections were submitted by members of the A.A. Fellowship who were not professional writers, nor did they speak for A.A. but only for themselves, from their own experiences in sobriety.
This book offers sharing, day by day, from a broad cross section of members, which focuses on the Three Legacies of Alcoholics Anonymous: Recovery, Unity and Service. Daily Reflections has proved to be a popular book that aids individuals in their practice of daily meditation and provides inspiration to group discussions even as it presents an introduction for some to A.A. literature as a whole.
I read the daily reflections every morning without fail with my morning prayer and meditation. It helps me to center myself for the day ahead and to “get my head right”. These daily reading always seem to be dead on for exactly what is going on in my life at that time and offer guidance and insight to carry me through the day.
Drop the Rock - Drop the Rock is a practical guide to letting go of the character defects that get in the way of true and joyful recovery. Resentment. Fear. Self-Pity. Intolerance. Anger. As Bill P. explains, these are the "rocks" that can sink recovery--or at the least, block further progress. Based on the principles behind Steps Six and Seven, Drop the Rock combines personal stories, practical advice, and powerful insights to help readers move forward in recovery. The second edition features additional stories and a reference section. Throughout the book the author shares his personal experiences as well as the experiences of many others.
One of my favorite stories comes from a professor who gained personal insight through a student project she assigned. She asked her class to capture ‘poetry in action’, and a particular group decided to interpret the action in a very meaningful way.
Alcoholics Anonymous: The Big Book - Alcoholics Anonymous (also known as the Big Book in recovery circles) sets forth cornerstone concepts of recovery from alcoholism and tells the stories of men and women who have overcome the disease. Approximately 21 million copies of the first three editions of "Alcoholics Anonymous" have been distributed. This book is the cornerstone for the program of AA and took me through the program of recovery as well as shared stories of others who have recovered and helped me identify with those who have also been where I have been.
Living Sober - Living Sober is an extremely informative book which does not offer a plan for getting sober but does offer us sound advice about how to stay sober. Basic, essential information from Alcoholics Anonymous. As the book states, "Anyone can get sober... the trick is to live sober." This book was one of the first that I read when first getting sober and taught me the tools on how to get through early sobriety. I learned how to change the things in my life to give me a higher chance of success in my new found sobriety. These are things that I have applied throughout my recovery to help me in my goal of living a happy life in sobriety.
There are many many books that are out there to help you in your recovery and finding the ones that work best for you is key. For myself and many people I have met in recovery these have proved to be the most helpful books. If I can offer any advice on these books it is that you do not need to read them all at the same time! These books are best to be taken in small bites over time and as you grow in your recovery. Never forget that wherever you are in your recovery we are constantly evolving and growing every day!