5 Books to Read When You’re New to Recovery

In recovery, there’s a lot of free time, especially if you’ve just begun detox. For example, Boca Detox clients participate in a temporary blackout period where they abstain from communication with loved ones, so they can fully immerse themselves in the recovery process.

We encourage clients to use their free time productively. Reading is a fantastic way to turn inward, learn more about yourself and examine your addiction from an entirely new perspective. These five recovery books will expand your worldview and boost your recovery journey, something that’s crucial in the early stages.

1. The 12-Step Buddhist: Enhance Recovery from Any Addiction

Although the 12-step program gives you all the tools you need to break an addiction and lead a sober life, it can be challenging to put those tools into practice. In The 12-Step Buddhist, author Darren Littlejohn provides a supplement to the traditional 12-step program, drawing upon his own experience through the study of Zen and Tibetan Buddhism. The combination of Buddhism and traditional therapies allows readers to look inside themselves and uncover the true root of their suffering, leading to a total spiritual awakening.

2. This is Water

David Foster Wallace delivered a commencement speech in 2005 that has since been reprinted as This is Water. In the early stages of recovery, it’s common to question the meaning of life, higher powers and god. Wallace posits that we all worship is some way, regardless of what we believe or don’t believe, and warns that if you worship objects and other falsities–be it money, power, a bottle of liquid or a syringe–they will “eat you alive.” This is Water will force you to question what you’re worshipping right now if it’s meaningful because if it’s an object, it likely has an intense hold on you.

3. Get Up: A 12-Step Guide to Recovery for Misfits, Freaks, and Weirdos

Author Bucky Sinister is an atheist and fundamentalist, so he was skeptical of the 12-step program’s higher power concept when he decided to get sober. Despite his doubts, he stuck with it. Now he’s leading the group he first joined. In Get Up, Sinister uses the wisdom he obtained from his journey as an initial skeptic to encourage others to join and get clean. It’s a raw, honest approach that those in recovery can learn from, especially those who are turned off by traditional recovery books.

4. The Diet Cure

It’s no surprise that addiction compromises overall health, but how can you restore your physical well-being once you’ve decided to get treatment? In The Diet Cure, author Julia Ross explores the link between nutritional and neurochemical imbalances and how they manifest in the body. Addiction exacerbates those imbalances, but recovery is an opportunity for your body to reset. Although The Diet Cure isn’t a recovery book, it lays out your nutritional needs and offers practical methods you can integrate into your lifestyle for a better recovery.

5. Breathing Under Water

People can be addicted to a number of things besides substances, whether it’s the need to control others, food, greed, exercise or negative thought patterns. In Breathing Under Water, Richard Rohr builds on the gospel principles of the traditional 12 steps and reminds readers how many of us are drowning in addiction without even realizing it, and how important it is to let negative, unhealthy behavior go. Readers must learn how to breathe underwater to create space for compassion, liberate ourselves and lead fuller, more enriching lives.

Knowledge is power, and reading recovery-related books can help you examine your addiction in new ways and expand your perspective. Devoting an hour or two of each day to reading is such a useful way to build upon your recovery and continue to grow. If you’re ready to recover, there’s no better place to start your journey than with Boca Detox. Contact us at 561.271.7312 to learn more about our detox programs and amenities.

Reviewed for accuracy by:

Serving as the Inpatient Clinical Director at Immersion Recovery Center, Susan will work directly with staff members, clients, and family members to ensure the clinical program remains as effective and individualized as possible. Susan is no stranger to the fields of behavioral health and addiction. She has over 25 years of experience, working in an inpatient setting, an outpatient setting, acute stabilization and nearly all other settings in the realm of addiction recovery.

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