Recovery is a time for healing, introspection, learning, and growing. While the first few days of recovery are often focused on detoxification, rest, and allowing the body to heal, the subsequent days are about establishing a new healthier routine and learning new skills for relapse prevention. Some recommended activities that promote the goals listed above include meditation, exercise, and reading for recovery. To provide some direction on where to start when it comes to recovery-related books and readings, here is a list to consider and what each text has to offer.
Alcoholics Anonymous – The Big Book
Alcoholics Anonymous and its 12 steps to recovery are outlined in the text more commonly referred to as The Big Book. The book is an incredible resource for individuals in recovery whether they are working the 12 steps or not. One of the best aspects of this book is that it actually includes true recovery stories from AA members. These stories are updated when new editions of the book are released so that the stories are relatable to people today. People in recovery may find these stories helpful because of the fact that the stories are relatable, demonstrate that they are not alone, and provide insight as to what the recovery process can look like.
12 and 12
If you are working on the 12 steps, this book is a tremendously helpful resource. This book goes into detail with full chapters dedicated to each of the 12 steps and 12 traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous. The brief 1-2 sentences that identify each step can feel vague and confusing to many individuals. This book breaks down what each step means and how to apply the step to the recovery journey. It also goes into the traditions, a lesser-known, but equally important aspect of the program.
As Bill Sees It
Bill was one of the co-founders of Alcoholics Anonymous and he was a man full of many insights and much wisdom. He also was a man who wrote a lot when it comes to the topic of recovery. In his lifetime, Bill put pen to paper and documented these insights and wisdom. The writings were compiled into a book titled As Bill Sees It, “a daily source of comfort and inspiration.”
Containing 365 quotes from AA literature, Daily Reflections is a book that offers exactly what is in its title – a written reflection for each day of the year. Each quote is accompanied by personal reflection from an actual member of Alcoholics Anonymous. A common approach for recovery is taking it one day at a time. This book provides a quick and direct source for recovering addicts to take a moment each day and re-center their focus to recovery. Use it to get through the first year of recovery and pass it on to a new member, or keep it and read through the reflections year after year. There is no wrong option here.
Buying Reading Materials for Recovery
You can easily buy The Big Book or any other AA books and reading materials from the Alcoholics Anonymous website, or you can reach out to your local AA chapter. Oftentimes, AA chapters have used books available for those who do not have the means to purchase a copy.