Before I stopped drinking, I barely read. I might finish a book whilst on a sun lounging holiday but apart from that, I was not interested. It was when I (unknowingly) became sober curious that books really became a lifeline for me. I stumbled across audiobooks completely by accident… I had bought Russell Brands book Recovery (I’ll cover this in more detail later) he is so eloquent and articulate and quite honestly, I really struggled to read a lot of the words he used. This meant I’d lose interest and focus.
Now, for some reason I was committed to reading this book. I was struggling but I really wanted to make it work between Russell and I. So, I put the book title into YouTube and it was there that I found the audiobook FOR FREE.
From then on, I would walk to work listening to this book on YouTube, I’d listen to it on the bus or in my home and before I knew it, I’d finished a whole book!
Then, I found Audible and as they say, the rest is history. My love for books, stories and learning grew. I binged audiobooks and even started to very slowly read physical books too.
I’d say that 75% of the books I have read have influenced my sober journey in one way or another. Whether they’ve made me feel grateful for the life I lead OR given me tools and resources to help me along the way.
I thought it would be good to share some of my favourite quit lit books. Here they are in no particular order!
‘Recovery: Freedom From Our Addictions’
by Russell Brand
This was the first book I read about sobriety/addiction/recovery. When I picked this book up, I wasn’t thinking about changing my relationship with alcohol, I was going through a minimalist/vegan research phase and I thought that this book would help me change my buying habits. Little did I know that this book would change my world forever.
The book takes the reader through the 12 steps chapter by chapter but it covers all manners of addiction from drugs and alcohol to spending and food. At the end of each chapter, Russell asks the reader a series of questions. Now, these questions are what got me. I’d picked up the book to change my spending habits but was answering the questions about my relationship with alcohol. My mind was blown!
This book finally made it clear to me that my drinking was becoming a big issue in my life. It made it clear that I needed to make a change. And it also made it clear that I wasn’t alone or bad or wrong for having such a relationship with alcohol. The book well and truly planted the sober seed for me. And lead me to the first step in my sober journey.
‘The Unexpected Joy of Being Sober’
by Catherine Gray
This was the second book I read about sobriety. I could really relate to Cath. She was a young woman working in an industry that was big on booze. She had been through similar processes as me, like making drinking rules which included anything from only drinking on certain days to having a glass of water after every alcoholic drink.
Unknowingly, I’d tried loads of ways to change my drinking habits and none of them had stuck. This book gave me the confidence to try the odd sober night out where I soon realised that I had as much fun sober but without the hangover. Most importantly this book showed me the joy that sobriety could add to my life and showed me that I was not alone.
‘Glorious Rock Bottom’
by Bryony Gordon
I read this book when I was three years sober and although there are key differences in our stories – Bryony is married with a child and AA helped her get sober, I’ve never related to a book more. Bryony and I were both party girls that never knew when to stop! We took pride in being the last person standing.
I’ve come to realise that I drank because of low self worth and other thoughts that I couldn’t control. Because I thought I was weird or mad or bad. Because I wanted to fit in but never really could. Because I thought I deserved to feel like shit and be treated like shit because I was a piece of shit. This book made me realise that I wasn’t the only person in the world that felt this way.
‘The Sobert Girl Society Handbook’
by Millie Gooch
This is the perfect book for those starting their sober curious journey! You can read it all in one sitting or dip in and out of it when you need it. It tackles sober nights out, sober dating, sober holidays and so much more. The Sober Girl Society Handbook made me think about activism in a completely different way too. It is full of amazing excerpts from fellow sober folk, giving you a greater insight into other peoples sober lives.
If you’re thinking about stopping drinking. Read one of these books. I promise you won’t regret it!