This may be our new favorite book in the addiction space.
Rewired: A Bold New Approach to Addiction and Recovery posits that people need to work on some to all of the following in order to overcome addiction (not to alcohol specifically, but alcohol is heavily mentioned in the book):
So it has 10 steps instead of 12, and none of them are directly spiritual in nature. They also don’t have to be done in order, and you may focus on the parts that matter most for you.
The book provides tips on how to grow in all ten of these areas and stories about each from the author’s therapeutic practice, but we’ll leave the details for your own reading. What we liked is the following:
This book felt like a much-needed antidote to modern American culture. We seem to spend most of our time on work, perpetually stressed out and rarely inspired; because we aren’t growing or learning in our work, we cheer ourselves up by pretending things are better than they are. We lie to ourselves; we paper over the problem. We have too little time for friends and for ourselves; the work culture of competition bleeds into personal life and we’re rarely grateful for what we have. In other words, whether you have a drinking problem or not, you could benefit from reading this book and implementing the ideas it describes.
We agree with what seems like the underlying philosophy of this book - that to make lasting changes to your drinking, you must not only on resist urges to drink in the moment, but address why you’re unhappy enough to want to be drunk all the time. Drunkenness is a way to numb pain, escape difficult circumstances, or let loose. We believe some form of unhappiness, ranging from listlessness or boredom to heartbreak or tragedy, generally drives people to drink frequently and heavily enough that their behavior results in addiction.
A big part of why many people are unhappy, per this book, is that they do not spend their time in accordance with what they value. The result is they lack a feeling of purpose. This is not just the “time management” principle at work. Addressing this mismatch of priorities and reality requires “authenticity,” “honesty,” and “evolution” as well. We so agree with this. It’s why we have a whole course of exercises in Drinker’s Helper dedicated to developing a sense of purpose.
It’s a quick read, too; we highly recommend you read Rewired and begin exploring which of these 10 facets you most feel you need to address to change your drinking.
If you have decided to change your drinking, we’d love to help. Drinker’s Helper doesn’t have one set program but designs a program for you based on what you need to work on, and provides a support group of people with similar drinking histories. We hope you’ll give it a try!