Books that have inspired my change

adult book coloring-inspireReading books. Learning. Gaining new perspectives on things. That’s my new goal and one of my new coping skills after quitting alcohol; therefore I want to keep myself accountable to my continuation of reading new books (If you haven’t noticed, that’s why this page is under the parent page of self discipline&accountability. Had to tell you, because I know you aren’t that mindful). Now I know I have to keep reading new books because I have to update my precious list…

Books introduced me to impossible possibility of stopping drinking

Even before I quit, I was listening to audio books on “How to quit drinking”(I actually still do). I think it has pushed me to the point of getting sick of being addicted. With every book my eyes became more open to how chaotic my life was. According to the Smart Recovery handbook, I was in contemplation stage, which is when the person starts weighing the benefits and costs of change and may experience the mixed feelings-ambivalence-that people normally feel about change. Back then I was thinking, how will I ever be able not to drink? Is it even possible? I actually remember exactly what kind of cleaning schedule I was working at the hospital. I was all hungover while listening. How can I ever forget the feeling of dehydration and acid flux that still haunts me till this day, my red sweaty face, racing heart, and being anxious until the end of the shift waiting until I could drive as fast as possible to the store to buy myself some beer. The ironic part was that the schedule consisted of my cleaning a hospital’s lunchroom, which had this separate event room where occasionally Alcoholics Anonymous meetings would be held, so did my previous hospital’s schedule, the first floor in auditorium, there would be AA meetings too. I would occasionally hear the stupid sound of hands clapping. I still think the clapping in AA is stupid even though I see the purpose of it. What prevented me from walking into any of those meetings? Definitely not the fact that Alcoholics Anonymous is religious or spiritual (that’s how they prefer to call themselves). Actually I had no idea what AA was all about besides that it was called Alcoholic Anonymous, but I was conscious of the stigma. I am sure that my co-workers knew that I was a drinker, even if I wanted to pretend that no one ever noticed my fucked up face. I was under an enormous delusion. Even when my mom told me -“you think no one knows…” I chose to ignore it. My ego had to protect itself because it was owned by alcohol. Admitting that would be saying that I have a problem, and if you say you have a problem, that means you have to fix it. Only way to fix it was to quit, and moderation for me is incredibly hard because of the intensity of the cravings that I develop. It’s not that I don’t have a limit where I feel satisfied and okay with not drinking anymore (of course that point is already too many beers lol). But when I start drinking, the cravings are what bring me back for more. The point I am trying to make is that even though everyone around me knew I was a drinker, I even knew it myself deep down, I didn’t walk in to any of those AA meetings because of the stigma. I was ashamed. The worst thing that I was ashamed of was what others would think of me. Who wants to be….”I fucking hate that word.” There is no denial that the best option is to keep your recovery secret, even if it’s a semi-open secret.

Reading has helped me to become more mindful about my drinking problem

Listening to and reading these books did not stop me from drinking. It gave me comfort. Then as soon as I felt better, I would rush to poison myself again. But these books benefited me by making me more mindful about my drinking. Alcohol didn’t taste the same anymore. The problems it caused seemed less acceptable. I was getting closer to my breaking point. I went to my first Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, which didn’t do anything to make me stop drinking, but the balance scale of addiction wasn’t tipped only on the “Drinking” side anymore. Books were the first weight that I placed on the other side of my addiction scale. It was easy because I didn’t have to stop drinking right away, even though I knew I had a problem. So this is the list of books I read before I quit drinking, and the books that I have read during my recovery.

How to get free audio books

By the way, I tend to reread these books, especially the complicated ones, because I take them as study material. There is no point in reading books if I can’t put them to use. I usually do audio books first, since I can listen at work (yay! shitty job) and then buy a cheap paperback copy if I feel like I will be rereading it. Information is useless unless you use it. 🙂   My tip on saving a lot of money on audio books is to use overdrive if you have a library card; if you don’t have one, it’s time you made a trip to your local library. Overdrive is an app that you can download to your smartphone. You register with your library card and it lets you access your library’s digital media, including audio books. You are welcome if you didn’t know about it!

Alcohol addiction books and more that I have read before I stopped drinking

Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book

The fourth edition includes twenty-four new stories that provide contemporary sharing for newcomers seeking recovery from alcoholism in A.A. during the early years of the 21st century. Sixteen stories are retained from the third edition, including the “Pioneers of A.A.” section, which helps the reader remain linked to A.A.’s historic roots, and shows how early members applied this simple but profound program that helps alcoholics get sober today. Approximately 21 million copies of the first three editions of “Alcoholics Anonymous” have been distributed. It is expected that the new fourth edition will play its part in passing on A.A.’s basic message of recovery. This fourth edition has been approved by the General Service Conference of Alcoholics Anonymous, in the hope that many more may be led toward recovery by reading its explanation of the A.A. program and its varied examples of personal experiences which demonstrate that the A.A. program works. You can read PDF version and listen for free here.

Alcohol Lied To Me

Craig Beck was a successful and functioning professional man in spite of a ‘two bottles of wine a night’ drinking habit. For 20 years, he struggled with problem drinking, all the time refusing to label himself an alcoholic because he did not think he met the stereotypical image that the word portrayed. All these ‘willpower’ based attempts to stop drinking failed. Slowly he discovered the truth about alcohol addiction & one by one all the lies he had previously believed started to fall apart. For the first time he noticed that he genuinely didn’t want to drink anymore. In this book he will lead you though the same amazing process. You can stop drinking today. . . No need to declare yourself an alcoholic. No group meetings or expensive rehab. No humiliation, no pain and no ‘will power’ required. Alcohol Lied to Me has already helped thousands of people to escape from alcohol addiction. Newly updated, this third edition of the book includes two new chapters.

Alcohemy

Alcohemy offers real, practical advice and a proven solution to those struggling with an alcohol habit. It reveals the extent of the problems alcohol causes globally and the resulting human suffering. David Norman describes how he innocently started down the casual alcohol-drinking path and the ensuing struggle his full-blown dependency caused him and his family. Based on extensive research and proven by personal experience, Alcohemy is unique in its holistic and practical approach that first addresses the psychology of habits before providing a step-by-step plan for you to work through yourself in the privacy of your own home. Alcohemy delivers a practical, proven, and easy-to-follow plan for a permanent alcohol-free life.

Sober For Good

Finally someone has gone straight to the real experts: hundreds of men and women who have resolved a drinking problem. The best-selling author Anne M. Fletcher asked them a simple question: how did you do it? The result is the first completely unbiased guide for problem drinkers, one that shatters long-held assumptions about alcohol recovery.
Myth: AA is the only way to get sober.
Reality: More than half the people Fletcher surveyed recovered without AA.
Myth: You can’t get sober on your own.
Reality: Many people got sober by themselves.
Myth: One drink inevitably leads right back to the bottle.
Reality: A small number of people find they can have an occasional drink.
Myth: There’s nothing you can do for someone with a drinking problem until he or she is ready.
Reality: Family and friends can make a big difference if they know how to help.
Weaving together the success stories of ordinary people and the latest scientific research on the subject, Fletcher uncovers a vital truth: no single path to sobriety is right for every individual. There are many ways to get sober – and stay sober. SOBER FOR GOOD is for anyone who has ever struggled not to drink, coped with someone who has a drinking problem, or secretly wondered, “Do I drink too much?”

Buddhism For Beginners

At the heart of all Buddhist wisdom lies one astonishing truth: that a way out of suffering and into a more deeply fulfilling life is not a myth, but a reality available to you through the power of skillful inquiry. With Buddhism for Beginners, celebrated teacher and author Jack Kornfield invites us to experience the gifts of this vast spiritual tradition. Created specifically to address the questions of first-time students, this full length retreat guides participants through Buddhism’s cornerstone teachings, the principles of meditation practice, wisdom stories, traditional parables, and inspiring true accounts distilled from Buddhism’s far-reaching legacy.

Buddhist Meditation For Beginners

Known for bringing Insight Meditation to the West and for his many best-selling books, including A Path With Heart, Jack Kornfield now offers a collection of his most popular teachings with Buddhist Mediation for Beginners. This specifically designed gift set includes four complete audio learning courses:

  • Meditation for Beginners. A comprehensive introduction to the practice of Vispassana (“Insight”) Meditation to cultivate a profound inner calm and awaken to the truth. Includes four complete meditations.
  • The Beginner’s Guide to Buddhism. Jack Kornfield illuminates Buddhism’s most essential teachings, and how they make it possible to overcome challenging mental states, such as fear, confusion, and anger.
  • Meditations of the Heart. Step-by-step meditations cast light on Buddhism’s cornerstone, the Four Noble Truths. These meditations take less than 10 minutes each to practice, yet will take you to the heart of essential Buddhist teachings on opening to the truth, forgiveness, fearlessness, and more.
  • The Beginner’s Guide to Forgiveness. Drawing from his background in meditation and psychology, Jack Kornfield reveals the path to forgiveness and the way out of our pain.

Mahamudra For The Modern World

What if you could learn the ultimate teachings of Tibetan Buddhism as they were meant to be received – guided every step of the way by an experienced master? This practice, known as Mahamudra or “The Great Revelation”, was once taught only to elite students in secluded monasteries and cloisters. Now renowned teacher Dr. Reginald Ray has created an unprecedented audio learning course to make this profoundly transformative path available to listeners everywhere, with Mahamudra for the Modern World. This program features meditations and insights never before available to a general audience.

The First Phone Call From Heaven

The First Phone Call from Heaven tells the story of a small town on Lake Michigan that gets worldwide attention when its citizens start receiving phone calls from the afterlife. Is it the greatest miracle ever or a massive hoax? Sully Harding, a grief-stricken single father, is determined to find out. An allegory about the power of belief—and a page-turner that will touch your soul—Albom’s masterful storytelling has never been so moving and unexpected.

Readers of The Five People You Meet in Heaven will recognize the warmth and emotion so redolent of Albom’s writing, and those who haven’t yet enjoyed the power of his storytelling, will thrill at the discovery of one of the best-loved writers of our time.

Books that I have read in my recovery so far

Jonathan Livingston Seagull

Read this while in rehab, borrowed it from counselors office and had to buy one for myself.

People who make their own rules when they know they’re right…people who get a special pleasure out of doing something well (even if only for themselves)…people who know there’s more to this whole living thing than meets the eye: they’ll be with Jonathan Seagull all the way. Others may simply escape into a delightful adventure about freedom and flight. Either way it’s an uncommon treat.

Tuesdays with Morrie: An Old Man, a Young Man, and Life’s Greatest Lesson

This was the second book that I read while in rehab, the counselor was kind enough to let me borrow it. It has helped me to get in touch with my true self. Must to read and own.

Maybe it was a grandparent, or a teacher, or a colleague. Someone older, patient and wise, who understood you when you were young and searching, helped you see the world as a more profound place, gave you sound advice to help you make your way through it.
For Mitch Albom, that person was Morrie Schwartz, his college professor from nearly twenty years ago.
Maybe, like Mitch, you lost track of this mentor as you made your way, and the insights faded, and the world seemed colder. Wouldn’t you like to see that person again, ask the bigger questions that still haunt you, receive wisdom for your busy life today the way you once did when you were younger?
Mitch Albom had that second chance. He rediscovered Morrie in the last months of the older man’s life. Knowing he was dying, Morrie visited with Mitch in his study every Tuesday, just as they used to back in college. Their rekindled relationship turned into one final “class”: lessons in how to live.
Tuesdays with Morrie is a magical chronicle of their time together, through which Mitch shares Morrie’s lasting gift with the world.
It’s been ten years since Mitch Albom first shared the wisdom of Morrie Schwartz with the world. Now–twelve million copies later–in a new afterword, Mitch Albom reflects again on the meaning of Morrie’s life lessons and the gentle, irrevocable impact of their Tuesday sessions all those years ago.

17 Lies That Are Holding You Back and the Truth That Will Set You Free

Steve Chandler may be the best-kept secret in the world of motivation. His first book, 100 Ways to Motivate Yourself, has shipped over a hundred thousand copies. The audio edition listed for three consecutive weeks as the top-selling selection of the Audio Book Club. His second book, Reinventing Yourself¸ published in 1999, is showing even greater strength. His clients include US West, Motorola, and the IRS. 17 Lies That Are Holding You Back & the Truth That Will Set You Free lists over twenty lies that most of us tell ourselves to prevent us from being everything we could be, lies such as: “It’s who you know”, “That’s just the way I am”,  “I’m not good with people”, “I’m too old . . .”, “The longer I have a habit the harder it is to break”, “Winning the lottery would solve everything”, “I don’t have the time”, and “There’s nothing I can do.” Actually, as Chandler points out, you already have all the power you need to free yourself. And part 2 of his book outlines these truths and shows you how to recover them and use them to change your life

Practicing The Power Of Now

Eckhart Tolle is rapidly emerging as one of the world’s most inspiring spiritual teachers, sharing the enlightenment he himself experienced after a startling personal transformation. His views go beyond any particular religion, doctrine, or guru. This book extracts the essence from his teachings in The Power of Now, showing us how to free ourselves from “enslavement to the mind.” The aim is to be able to enter into and sustain an awakened state of consciousness throughout everyday life. Through meditations and simple techniques, Eckhart shows us how to quiet our thoughts, see the world in the present moment, and find a path to “a life of grace, ease, and lightness.”

In Defense Of Food

Food. There’s plenty of it around, and we all love to eat it. So why should anyone need to defend it?
Because in the so-called Western diet, food has been replaced by nutrients, and common sense by confusion–most of what we’re consuming today is longer the product of nature but of food science. The result is what Michael Pollan calls the American Paradox: The more we worry about nutrition, the less healthy we see to become. With In Defense of Food, Pollan proposes a new (and very old) answer to the question of what we should eat that comes down to seven simple but liberating words: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” Pollan’s bracing and eloquent manifesto shows us how we can start making thoughtful food choices that will enrich our lives, enlarge our sense of what it means to be healthy, and bring pleasure back to eating.

Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal

“Schlosser has a flair for dazzling scene-setting and an arsenal of startling facts . . . Fast Food Nation points the way but, to resurrect an old fast food slogan, the choice is yours.”—Los Angeles Times
In 2001, Fast Food Nation was published to critical acclaim and became an international bestseller. Eric Schlosser’s exposé revealed how the fast food industry has altered the landscape of America, widened the gap between rich and poor, fueled an epidemic of obesity, and transformed food production throughout the world. The book changed the way millions of people think about what they eat and helped to launch today’s food movement.
In a new afterword for this edition, Schlosser discusses the growing interest in local and organic food, the continued exploitation of poor workers by the food industry, and the need to ensure that every American has access to good, healthy, affordable food. Fast Food Nation is as relevant today as it was a decade ago. The book inspires readers to look beneath the surface of our food system, consider its impact on society and, most of all, think for themselves.
“As disturbing as it is irresistible . . . Exhaustively researched, frighteningly convincing . . . channeling the spirits of Upton Sinclair and Rachel Carson.”—San Francisco Chronicle
“Schlosser shows how the fast food industry conquered both appetite and landscape.”—The New Yorker
Eric Schlosser is a contributing editor for the Atlantic and the author of Fast Food Nation, Reefer Madness, and Chew on This (with Charles Wilson).

A New Earth

With his bestselling spiritual guide The Power of Now, Eckhart Tolle inspired millions of readers to discover the freedom and joy of a life lived “in the now.” In A New Earth, Tolle expands on these powerful ideas to show how transcending our ego-based state of consciousness is not only essential to personal happiness, but also the key to ending conflict and suffering throughout the world. Tolle describes how our attachment to the ego creates the dysfunction that leads to anger, jealousy, and unhappiness, and shows readers how to awaken to a new state of consciousness and follow the path to a truly fulfilling existence.
The Power of Now was a question-and-answer handbook. A New Earth has been written as a traditional narrative, offering anecdotes and philosophies in a way that is accessible to all. Illuminating, enlightening, and uplifting, A New Earth is a profoundly spiritual manifesto for a better way of life—and for building a better world.

Every Fifteen Minutes

Dr. Eric Parrish is the Chief of the Psychiatric Unit at Havemeyer General Hospital outside of Philadelphia. Recently separated from his wife Alice, he is doing his best as a single Dad to his seven-year-old daughter Hannah. His work seems to be going better than his home life, however. His unit at the hospital has just been named number two in the country and Eric has a devoted staff of doctors and nurses who are as caring as Eric is. But when he takes on a new patient, Eric’s entire world begins to crumble. Seventeen-year-old Max has a terminally ill grandmother and is having trouble handling it. That, plus his OCD and violent thoughts about a girl he likes makes Max a high risk patient. Max can’t turn off the mental rituals he needs to perform every fifteen minutes that keep him calm. With the pressure mounting, Max just might reach the breaking point. When the girl is found murdered, Max is nowhere to be found. Worried about Max, Eric goes looking for him and puts himself in danger of being seen as a “person of interest” himself. Next, one of his own staff turns on him in a trumped up charge of sexual harassment. Is this chaos all random? Or is someone systematically trying to destroy Eric’s life? New York Times best selling author Lisa Scottoline’s visceral thriller, Every Fifteen Minutes, brings you into the grip of a true sociopath and shows you how, in the quest to survive such ruthlessness, every minute counts.

Fascinate: Your 7 Triggers to Persuasion and Captivation

A newly revised and updated edition of the influential guide that explores one of the most powerful ways to attract attention and influence behavior—fascination—and how businesses, products, and ideas can become irresistible to consumers.

In an oversaturated culture defined by limited time and focus, how do we draw attention to our messages, our ideas, and our products when we only have seconds to compete?

Award-winning consultant and speaker Sally Hogshead turned to a wide realm of disciplines, including neurobiology, psychology, and evolutionary anthropology. She began to see specific and interesting patterns that all centered on one element: fascination.Fascination is the most powerful way to capture an audience and influence behavior. This essential book examines the principles behind fascination and explores how those insights can be put to use to sway:

• Which brand of frozen peas you pick in the case

• Which city, neighborhood, and house you choose

• Which profession and company you join

• Where you go on vacation

• Which book you buy off the shelf

Structured around the seven languages of fascination Hogshead has studied and developed—power, passion, innovation, alarm, mystique, prestige, and alert—Fascinate explores how anyone can use these triggers to make products, messages, and services more fascinating—and more successful.

Adventures In Human Being

We assume we know our bodies intimately, but for many of us they remain uncharted territory, an enigma of bone and muscle, neurons and synapses. How many of us understand the way seizures affect the brain, how the heart is connected to well-being, or the why the foot holds the key to our humanity? In Adventures in Human Being, award-winning author Gavin Francis leads readers on a journey into the hidden pathways of the human body, offering a guide to its inner workings and a celebration of its marvels.
Drawing on his experiences as a surgeon, ER specialist, and family physician, Francis blends stories from the clinic with episodes from medical history, philosophy, and literature to describe the body in sickness and in health, in life and in death. When assessing a young woman with paralysis of the face, Francis reflects on the age-old difficulty artists have had in capturing human expression. A veteran of the war in Iraq suffers a shoulder injury that Homer first described three millennia ago in the Iliad. And when a gardener pricks her finger on a dirty rose thorn, her case of bacterial blood poisoning brings to mind the comatose sleeping beauties in the fairy tales we learn as children.
At its heart, Adventures in Human Being is a meditation on what it means to be human. Poetic, eloquent, and profoundly perceptive, this book will transform the way you view your body.

Tears To Triumph

The internationally recognized teacher, speaker, and New York Times bestselling author of A Return to Love argues that our desire to avoid pain is actually detrimental to our lives, disconnecting us from our deepest emotions and preventing true healing and spiritual transcendence.

Marianne Williamson is a bestselling author, world-renowned teacher, and one of the most important spiritual voices of our time. In Tears to Triumph, she argues that we—as a culture and as individuals—have learned to avoid facing pain. By doing so, we are neglecting the spiritual work of healing.

Instead of allowing ourselves to embrace our hurt, we numb it, medicate it, dismiss it, or otherwise divert our attention so that we never have to face it. In refusing to acknowledge our suffering, we actually prolong it and deny ourselves the opportunity for profound wisdom—ultimately limiting our personal growth and opportunity for enlightenment. Frozen by denial, we are left standing in the breech. Whole industries profit from this immobility, and while they have grown rich, we have become spiritually poorer.

As Marianne makes clear, true healing and transcendence can only come when we finally face our pain and wrestle with what it has to teach us. Written with warm compassion and profound wisdom, Tears to Triumph offers us a powerful way forward through the pain, to a deeper awareness of our feelings, our lives, and our true selves.

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