On 10th January 2017 I consumed the last alcoholic drink of my life. During a GP appointment to discuss crippling anxiety and insomnia, the doctor suggested I take a break from alcohol for the sake of my mental health. Too exhausted to argue, I unwittingly committed to the biggest challenge of my life.
I thought sobriety would be easy. I didn’t drink every day, but once I started a bottle I had to finish it – and I frequently drank to the point of blackout. Alcohol was a permanent fixture in my social circle and I was frightened to let it go. Isn't it odd that alcohol is the only drug in the world where the people who don’t use it are presumed to have a problem, not the people who do?
My friends and family are all drinkers, which made sobriety an isolating experience at first. I needed inspiration and motivation on the days I wanted to drown my sorrows in wine, so I turned to my favourite pastime – reading – to find out how to live a happy, fulfilling booze-free life.
The thing is, there are a lot, a lot of books out there about getting sober and staying sober. And even more so in January, when self-improvement is on everyone's mind. So how to know which books are actually helpful? Ahead, I've compiled a list of my favourite female-written books – from the ones which helped me get going, to the ones I return to when I'm struggling. Here's hoping that if you're looking to explore sobriety, they give you a helping hand too.