The summer holidays are approaching, which hopefully for many means finding time to slow down, recoup and re-energise after the year that was. Whether it’s your first, fifth or fortieth year in recovery, there’s capacity within us all to learn a new perspective or find a new source of motivation. So if long days at the beach are calling, or you’ll be knocking off early for a few afternoons over the festive period, we’ve handpicked some fantastic recovery reads to inspire, motivate and set you up for another year.
Fran Hansen, Director:
The Sentence by Louise Erdrich
“The book runs through themes of indigeneity, racism, drug and alcohol addiction, 12 step program, incarceration and mother/child relationships.”
Bronte Ellis, Intake Team Lead
Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl
“I recommend this to anyone. It’s an existential text on life’s meaning and our choice to find purpose even in the darkest moments.”
Diane Young, Director Clinical Supervision:
Letting Go: The Pathway to Surrender by David R Hawkins
“This book will help you surrender in the midst of everyday life.”
The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse, by Charlie Mackesy
“A book for children, those young at heart and of course those who can or want to connect with their feelings”
Andrea Szasz, Program Director
The Myth of Normal: Trauma, Illness & Healing in a Toxic Culture by Gabor Maté
“A collection of stories from those who have trodden the path of addiction, and found themselves in recovery”
How reading reinforces recovery
Whilst there are obvious benefits to picking up a good book, such as reducing stress and screen time, reading can also help bolster our recovery efforts. “Whilst a book cannot be a complete replacement for professional treatment, they can be powerful tools to help cement the skills we learn while in recovery”, says Andrea Szasz, Program Director at South Pacific Private. “This is because in order to change a behaviour, we need to essentially ‘rewire’ our brains. We do this by putting what we learn in therapy into practice, multiple times a day, every day”. Andrea says that by reading recovery literature, we further support our brains to change the neurological pathways we built whilst in our addiction and foster healthier behaviours.
It’s also important not to underestimate the power of reading fiction in supporting our mental health as well. “Apart from the obvious entertainment-factor, reading fiction can help us understand and acknowledge the vastly different behavioural and emotional responses that make us unique as human beings” says Andrea, “it can help us understand the differences in the way others think, feel and behave”. However, Andrea says that we need to be cautious of using fiction as an escape, or to avoid a negative feeling. “If you’re sitting in that moment of avoidance or fear, I’d put down the fiction for a while and go with something that is going to reinforce your recovery efforts. Sometimes we just need a little reminder to get through that difficult moment, and a great recovery read can do just that.”
At South Pacific Private we understand the need for ongoing support with your recovery journey. If you would like to speak to us about available day programs, please get in touch with our Intake Team on 1800 063 332.