Addiction memoirs, for some people, can be cringe-worthy to some recovering individuals, who might feel the “story of an addict” has already been told time and time again to the point of being cliché. How many times can a person read about someone hitting rock bottom, getting treatment, and going to an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting to find God, right?
Well, not all addiction memoirs are the same. While some may play true to a Hallmark formula, some of the best addiction memoirs written encompass various aspects of the authors’ lives into their substance-abuse stories. As is learned, addiction is rarely the only issue going on a person’s life, with mental illness, socio-economical struggles, and life stress all being potential factors to why someone enters the world of substance abuse.
Presented are a list of addiction memoirs that will be published later in 2016, which show great promise at portraying an honest depiction of addiction in the authors’ lives. From celebrity accounts to investigative journalism, these addiction memoirs provide evocative, raw, and intimate narratives of people who battled addiction along with other issues and who are continuing to recover as each day goes by.
A Common Struggle by Patrick J. Kennedy
Patrick J. Kennedy, a former Rhode Island congressman and son of the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, starts our list of addiction memoirs with his upcoming book, A Common Struggle: A Personal Journey through the Past and Future of Mental Illness and Addiction.
In the memoir, Kennedy weaves personal and political narratives that illustrated his addiction to prescription painkillers, his bipolar disorder diagnosis, and the treatment he sought after crashing his car into a traffic barrier on Capitol Hill.
Since taking responsibility for the night of the accident, where it was discovered he had taken Ambien and Phenergan, Kennedy has devoted his life in recovery to advocating for mental illness and addiction both in and out of Congress in the US, with one of the highlights of his career being the landmark passing of the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act.
Throughout his memoir, Kennedy covers delicate topics about mental illness, the death of his father, his decision to leave Congress, and his determination to make both mental and addiction an open dialogue rather than a “family secret.”
Pour Me by A.A. Gill
A.A. Gill, or Adrian Gill, is known to be a journalist for the London Sunday Times, notorious for his restaurant reviews filled with wit and criticism.
Also the author of The Angry Island: Hunting the English, Gill has written several memoirs and books of nonfiction, but Pour Me: A Life presents itself as the first close look at his personal history with alcoholism. With clever observations and sharp insights, Gill displays deep introspection through memories of his childhood, drunken conquests in his raging 20s, and time spent in a 30-day rehab treatment center.
Throughout the narrative, Gill touches upon other prevalent issues that coincided with his addiction; namely his diagnosis of dyslexia, the mental impact of the disappearance of his brother even decades later, and childhood isolation he felt while attending boarding school and how it transcended into his adulthood.
Though the memories of the height of his near-fatal alcoholism are sparse, the moments that stayed with Gill have transformed him as a person and are detailed with sobering honesty. His memoir sheds light on addiction and the sabotaging relationship it holds on a person, noting the difference between an alcoholic who quits because he wants to or if his body can no longer go on.
Potentially the next classic among addiction memoirs, Pour Me is A.A. Gill pouring his soul out to the world and recovering.
Running Man by Charlie Engle
Before Charlie Engle was known as a world famous ultramarathon runner, he was addicted to crack-cocaine and on the verge of dying from it. In his captivating and incredibly candid memoir, Running Man, Engle lays out the raw truth of his near-death experience from a six-day binge with crack-cocaine, the ultimate rock bottom of his life that led to treatment and his life-changing passion: running.
As time progressed in his sobriety, Engle would take on marathon challenges one right after another, but his legs ached for a greater adventure. Thus came on his ultramarathon successes, races that spanned across treacherous paths for 35, 50, and hundreds of miles.
One of his most amazing feats occurred on film in Running the Sahara, which was produced by Matt Damon and showed Engle breaking records with his 4,500-mile run across the Sahara desert. In his memoir, Engle tackles the challenges of addiction, his running career, and a mortgage scandal that would send him to prison—all in vivid detail and charming wit.
With the goal as most addiction memoirs, Running Man serves to be an inspiration for others as an example of what a person can accomplish as they face life’s struggles head-on and keep on running toward success.
Not Dead Yet by Phil Collins
Phil Collins released a tell-all memoir in October with his second published book, Not Dead Yet. Within the book, Collins explores his alcoholism, his three failed marriages, and his health gone ill, leaving no detail out of his raw narrative.
Collins has been out of the musical spotlight since the ‘90s, so fans may or may not be shocked to hear his life’s story depicting his personal struggles with alcohol, fame, and marriage.
Still, the beloved drum icon and pop-vocal star promises to give fans a “warts and all” view of his life from his perspective and states in a Rolling Stone article, “Throughout [my life], there have been lots of highs, and more than a few lows. I’m being completely honest about all of them, embarrassingly so in some cases.”
While some addiction memoirs focus on addiction, Not Dead Yet also plays tribute to Collins’ musical career advancement throughout the emerging progressive rock era in the ‘70s.
From playing drums and then singing vocals in the band Genesis to an impressive solo career in the ‘80s, Collins presents some behind-the-scenes stories to his music and fame. His fan base as spanned across the globe, allowing Collins to be one of three singers—along with Michael Jackson and Paul McCarthy—to be able to say he’s sold more than 100 million albums as both part of a band and a solo artist.
Not Dead Yet encompasses a raw depiction of a musical artist at the height of success as he battled alcohol addiction and love lost.
The Ice Age: A Journey into Crystal Meth by Luke Williams
Luke Williams was a freelance journalist who found himself in the pitfalls of addiction during an investigative research journey on crystallized methamphetamine, or crystal meth for short.
In his part-memoir, part-feature journalism book, The Ice Age: A Journey into Crystal Meth, Williams gives readers a first-person account on the prevalent meth epidemic in Australia and much of the western world while also questioning whether the media and population have inflated the issue to divide social classes.
For three months, Williams would fall prey to the elusive drug, entering a state of psychosis that he would have to struggle to climb out of. Informative while evocative, Williams’ memoir shows readers in-depth glimpses at meth lab productions, the effects of crystal meth on users, and the role healthcare plays within the substance-abuse industry.
Filled with interviews from crystal meth addicts and law enforcement officials familiar with the drug, The Ice Age presents a thorough discussion and reports on addiction while providing intimate firsthand experience from Williams that reevaluates what addiction memoirs can be.
Let These Addiction Memoirs Inspire You to Get Treatment
The reason addiction memoirs tend to resonate with recovering individuals is because they give comfort to readers that they are not alone in their struggle and doubts.
Connecting with others is an important aspect of recovery, which is why Citrus Recovery aims to give each client an opportunity to build everlasting relationships with other like-minded people wanting to change their lives and conquer their addictions.
Our representatives are available 24-7 to assist you in forming the right treatment plan for you. Call today at (844) 318-0072 and discover a new chapter in your recovery.