*Results may vary. The information in this site is NOT to be construed as medical advice. Cirrhosis of the liver is a serious condition and if you have it, you should see a doctor. I am not a doctor and am not able to dispense medical advice. My husband saw a doctor (many of them) and they were able to do things for him that I could not. However, they were unable to recommend alternative treatments, and in MY OPINION they were VERY beneficial to my husband, so I am providing some of that information here. My husband and I tried all of these alternative therapies at our own risk, and if you try them you will be doing the same. At your own risk. No promises are made in this blog. I am not saying there is a cure for cirrhosis or any other condition. However, I believe most people can get well, like my husband did. My husband is alive, happy, productive, functional and has his energy back. He no longer worries about having to go on disability or getting a $577,000 liver transplant. Cirrhosis is a serious condition. He is currently in the fibrosis stage (Stage 2 liver disease), which is still serious. I cannot guarantee you will have the same results. I just want you to know about what worked well for my husband. I hope you will share what you learned with others, and share your story with us as well. This blog was made for YOU! Thanks for visiting!

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

How to Quit Drinking - Some Books on The Subject of Alcoholism and Living with an Alcoholic

I recently found this book (first one below) on Amazon, which I am considering buying, not because of my husband, but someone he knows and still has to have a relationship with because of his kids, and that's all I'm gonna say.

Since I was on Amazon, I saw several other books about addiction, and couldn't help thinking, wow, I wish I had read some of these, years ago. But I just never bothered to see what was on Amazon. Some of them are available on Kindle and also I think some may be available on Audible (my favorite format so I can listen while doing dishes).

Thought these were worth posting, here. I pasted some of the most notable reviews, next to the titles. For most of these books, I just picked one review, but for the first and last ones I posted, I am pasting more than one.  Hope this may be helpful to some people.

Understanding the High-Functioning Alcoholic: Breaking the Cycle and Finding Hope

Format: Hardcover
This is an important book because it fills a gaping hole in the literature about alcoholism. High-powered executives, leading academics and successful artists and authors can all be alcoholics and the problems they face are not the same as those of a skid-row bum. The experiences they have as alcoholism intrudes inexorably into their lives and the choices they make about recovery programs have not been described before in the insightful way that Benton does in this book. Her use of interviews and personal stories complements the thoroughly professional approach she takes to what is a huge issue affecting health and productivity across the world. Alcoholism is not necessarily regarded as a disease by medical authorities, nor are twelve step programs the only kinds of treatment programs, but Sarah Benton has captured the essence of these two tried and trusted principles that have proven to be the most effective ways of dealing with alcoholism over the years. It is especially significant that this book challenges the traditional criteria used by clinicians for diagnosing alcohol dependence and abuse and provides enough information for these criteria to be updated in a useful way. I recommend it warmly to anyone who works in this field and also to people who may wonder if they have a drinking problem despite being a high-functioning person.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Continued (intermittent) heavy drinking a decade into my professional career has left my career, home and family relatively untarnished, but myself increasingly devastated. After a year of unsuccessfully trying to conform my drinking, I explored some books about alcoholism. I read stories of people who triumphed after spiraling to the point of constant drinking and financial ruin. While inspiring, they left me in denial.

This book hit home like nothing else I've read. Benton includes her personal journal entries from various stages of her battle with alcohol and recovery. I literally gasped as I so clearly recognized my own denial, circular thinking and bewilderment. Benton then shares her experience in recovery. In addition to describing her journey through the 12 steps of AA, she gives a comprehensive, objective and evidence-based description of alternative (non-AA) treatment strategies and methods. She is clearly not only a recovering alcoholic, but also a compelling writer and treatment professional. Her combination of warmth, insight, and objectivity is unique and highly effective.

Before finishing the book, I attended my first 12-step meeting. Without this book, I never would have anticipated or recognized the denial that accompanied me at that meeting. I remain in early recovery. I refer to this book often. It reads as a survival manual--real, to the point--but with a deeply caring and personal voice. I highly recommend it to anyone who is contemplating sobriety, especially to those who look outwardly to deny an inner battle with alcohol.
Living with a Functioning Alcoholic: A Woman's Survival Guide

By Luanna on February 4, 2009
Format: Paperback
Dr. Neill succeeds in writing a book primarily for women who live with an alcoholic. "Living with a Functioning Alcoholic" is not a book just about alcoholism. This book helps a woman decide if her partner is an alcoholic, how severe the partner's alcoholism is and what steps she needs to take to help her and her family.

This book truly is a guide. There are questions at the end of each chapter to help a person relate what has been spoken of to her particular situation. Dr. Neill helps take away the hopelessness of being with an alcoholic partner by breaking down the steps of what can be done to help all involved. This book helped me to feel empowered and hopeful about help for alcoholics and their families!

If You Loved Me, You'd Stop! What You Really Need to Know When Your Loved One Drinks Too Much

Format: Paperback
In this author I met a woman who GETS IT. Most importantly, I learned I AM NOT CRAZY. The symptoms and situations described in this book are real and clearly written from first-hand experience. If I didn't know better, I'd think she'd been sitting at my dining table watching us the past 20 years!

I wish I'd had this book when I first started to realize my loved one was an addict/alcoholic. It's a great primer for anyone who's just begun to cope with a loved one's addiction, but even years into the process, I still learned new things. It packs so much into less than 100 pages about the nature of addiction and abusive drinking in it's many insidious forms.

Do you know what constitutes alcohol abuse? It's less drinks than I had thought. Did you know that 50% of all alcoholism develops at a quite young age, like cigarette smoking? Did you know that pervasive alcohol consumption actually 'hijacks the brain'? I didn't.

I really appreciated her personal struggles and how she framed the story in terms of HER NEED for help. The chapters have titles like 'You're not crazy, Something Really IS Wrong' and progress through a straight forward explanation of brain chemistry and gave me hope in chapters like 'Now What' and 'Reclaiming Your Life'. She tells a sad story, yet one filled with hope for all of us who have struggled with a loved one's addiction. So much hope!

Living Sober Sucks! (but living drunk sucks more)

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Oh yeah, and I'm still sober. I effing love this guy for making me feel that being selfish, getting sober for someone else or in someone else's honor, and not being an AA drone were all valid ways to maintain a happy healthy sober life. I don't count my days anymore. Before reading this book I thought I had to go to AA, 90 meetings in 90 days, get a sponsor, etc which I had done before and still relapsed. But after reading this book I just had a sense of purpose. I knew I wanted to lead my life without alcohol and that was it. I didn't want to alter many other things/my lifestyle/etc. Now what I'm saying is that whatever I'm doing is working for me, which cannot be entirely attributed to this book, but for the purposes of this review I will tell anyone curious or considering stopping drugs and alcohol give this book a chance and hope you don't mind a little cursing here and there. I personally loved his raw language as addiction is no sensitive topic!

The Sobering Truth

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have read many, many books on alcohol and alcoholism, including a variety of memoirs filled with war stories as well as a Dept. of HHS tome on the subject. However, no other book that I have read does such a complete and detailed examination of the damage that alcohol does to the individual's health as well as its social consequences. After finishing it, the reader is left sharing Dr. Herten's question: why does anyone drink? Any person who questions his or her drinking and is looking for expert advice would be well advised to read this book. Quitting is always difficult, and for some more than others. But this book just blows the denials and excuses out of the water. If a person reads this and continues to drink (beyond the most minimal consumption level) it must be because he or she cannot stop. There is no question that alcohol is poisonous.
I would also recommend Allen Carr's book "The Easy Way To Stop Drinking," which reinforces some of the same themes though it is not as thorough, scientific or detailed as Dr. Herten's. Carr's book focuses on the psychology that causes drinkers to fail in their efforts to quit. One of the best memoirs I've read is "Drinking: A Love Story," by Caroline Knapp. It does not provide the broad scientific perspective that Dr. Herten's book has, but Ms. Knapp is (was) a gifted writer. Betty Ford's memoir, "A Glad Awakening," is also worthwhile.
I do think quitting drinking for a real chronic problem drinker (and perhaps especially a high functioning alcoholic) may necessitate years of coming to terms with the reality of the problem and then years of efforts to discontinue the habit. In this regard, Mr. Carr's book probably oversimplifies the problem, but he at least instills confidence that it is doable. Dr. Herten's does as well, and his is perhaps a more realistic approach. Dr. Herten does say that he found an answer in prayer (unlike Mr. Carr), which may turn some people off, but if one disregards the rest of the book because of Dr. Herten's rather brief references to religion, that person is just looking for an excuse to put his head in the sand (or back in the bottle).

Pocket Sponsor, 24/7 Back to the Basics Support for 12 Step Recovery

Format: Paperback
This little pocket size book has been vital for those times when I need to get out of my own head for a second in a healthy way and gain nurishing food for thought. I've thought many times about the message I've received when I opened it up, it's right where I am emotionally even if I don't really want to see it at the time. I hasn't failed yet to deliver just what I need to hear when I need to hear it.
I've since purchased The Pocket Sponsor for all my sponcees and they love it. I've given them as gifts and used them as topics for discussion groups. There isn't one person that I've shared this little book with that doesn't agree that it has powerful messages.
It's a terrific book!!! I carry it on the motorcycle, in my purse, in my pocket, it even goes to the beach with me.
I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to have acceptance of others, gratitude and some peace of mind in their lives. That's how it works for me anyway, one day at a time and sometimes one minute at a time. Whatever works for you.

12 Smart Things to Do When the Booze and Drugs Are Gone: Choosing Emotional Sobriety through Self-Awareness and Right Action

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have been in recovery for 28 years and am very familiar with Bill Wilson's letter on Emotional Sobriety. I have been reading and studying this piece of writing in an attempt to have my deeper rooted character defects "cast out" as the 12-step process had done with my alcoholism in my early sobriety. It wasn't until I read Dr. Berger's book that not only was I able to identify more fully with Bill's dilemma (one unhealthily dependent person to another unhealthily dependent person), but was provided with awareness and concrete direction as to what I could do about it! Truth is, I sat down to read a few chapters and had a powerful awakening to my problem and its solution... I could not put this book down until I was finished. Dr. Berger spoke to my dis-ease and my emotional recovery. I highly recommend this book for anyone struggling for lasting inner peace.

12 Stupid Things That Mess Up Recovery & 12 Smart Things to Do When the Booze and Drugs Are Gone: Avoiding Relapse and Choosing Emotional Sobriety through Self-Awareness and Right Action

Verified Purchase
Informative and helpful.

Format: Paperback
As a very good friend...all I can say is that this book is a must read for ALL! It will not only help everyone trying or trying again and again to be in recovery, but also for the family and friends who need a little insight on what they might have missed or not fully understood about being an addict. My feelings were truly changed from the pages of this amazing book and I have a better appreciation and understanding from the "other side"...I can not wait for a follow up to get more information and knowledge of what to do to help and encourage the ongoing process of recovery.

Format: Paperback
I bought this book off the title alone. So many times, people struggling with sobriety look at a sober life as "boring". Sacha Scoblic takes us on the journey of discovering that its not. Whether you are currently a lush or have "no problem", this book is a wonderful read. It is about discovering who you are, why you do things, what you are telling yourself you deserve, and figuring out how to be true to yourself and real in every moment. Sacha shares it all from the nitty-gritty dark side of addiction to the sober observations of the crazy world around her. I laughed out loud at her no-holds-barred wit, and her tell-it-like-it-is candor. But what lingers me with today is how brutally honest Sacha has gotten with herself, about everything. My life may not outwardly resemble hers, but I want to live in such honesty. And after you read her story, you will as well. I recommend this book to anyone. But if you are by chance someone who occasionally asks, "do I have a problem?", buy it and read it now.

Format: Paperback
I read your book in a day and was astounded by Rachel's bravery, and honest account of her life with alcohol. HER STORY IS MY STORY. So many times I was nodding my head saying "yep, that's me, my behaviours and my thoughts". I have had to face up to the fact that I don't drink alcohol like the rest of my friends do, and that has taken me a couple of years to admit and numerous attempts to modify my behaviour. If you think you're the only one going through what you're going through, thinking what you're thinking, ....you're wrong.
I cannot recommend this book strongly enough. Cheers (pun intended).

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
For a female attorney who drank and used as copiously as Lisa Smith did, I'm surprised most anyone who had any contact with her in her firm wasn't well aware that she had an addiction problem. I practiced law for many years as an active alcoholic, basically of the binge drinking variety. So even though I only drank on weekends for the most part, I learned you get pegged pretty quickly. There's just too many ways for people to tell and for the firm's lawyers to figure it out, no matter how good you are at maintaining. A little mouthwash in the mornings isn't going to hide it.

So while I didn't believe Smith's version of how she was skating by undetected, I found her amazing somewhat repetitive drunkalogue both entertaining and scary. Anyone with an alcohol or coke problem will find themselves here in full debilitating glory. The intense pressure we put on ourselves as active alcoholics is a crushing experience right up until we "stop digging."

The recovery portion of this memoir is the best part. The fact that she never relapsed after initially seeking in-patient treatment and her willingness to change and grow into a sober person is an enlightening guide to all those who want to know what it really takes to turn it all around. If you're having trouble grabbing hold of a program or path to sobriety, this just might be the book that helps you figure out what it takes.

By lakemomof2 on July 29, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I loved it! I am also a recovering drunk mom. So many things she did throughout her journey, I can totally relate to. I have learned that I am not alone in this journey, but reading her book just strengthened that for me, like a validation. We can overcome alcoholism, but it takes the help of others, and our decision to QUIT.
(I am including three reviews for this book)
By Shan344 on July 10, 2012
Format: Paperback
Anybody who is newly sober, or not so new, should read this book. I've been sober for 37 days and have read at least 10 books on how to get there and how to stay there and Mark Tuschel's books have been the best. Yes he can be a little "cocky" at times but I think thats why I enjoy them so much. I love the fact he says what he thinks (alot of the times I'm thinking the same thing). I ordered both books on my Kindle Fire and have highlighted the things he says that I think are most important to me and my sobriety. When I'm feeling down or just need extra reassurance I can go back and read those sentences or paragraphs. Read "Living Sober Sucks" and then "Okay, I Quit, Now What?" I have no regrets ordering these books because they have given me 37 days of enjoyment when that same $20 would have been spent on booze and regret!!
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By Glezos on April 18, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Mark, I never write reviews but wanted to take a moment to sincerely thank you for this book.

I share similar views on having a positive attitude, AA alternatives, not letting sobreity impede fun or parties and holy crap how much money I saved from not spending it on alcohol. Spoiler alert, those are key points for those of you who have not read this EXCELLENT and HILARIOUS book.

I drank for 20 years. Woke up one day and said I'm gonna quit. I read this book to start me down the path and so glad I did. As of this review, I'm 7 months hangover-less.



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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Loved the honesty of this book. I have always had a difficult time with AA. I know AA has helped millions of people but I was never comfortable at the meetings. I have enjoyed sobriety and this book made me feel like "less of an oddball" for not loving AA. Again, I want to stress that AA is a godsend for so many, but if is just not you thing, I think this book canbe very helpful.

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