I've never really got on all that well with self-help books. I've never really tried all that hard. Self-help wasn't for me, I was quite happily drunk - even while I was very very unhappy indeed.
This book has played a very important part in my recovery. I've read it so many times that it's dog-eared and I know parts of it off by heart. I still go back to it though, it's become a totem of my sobriety, a sign that I'm still in the Recovery fight.
I've shared a video to illustrate and that works quite well. I discovered the book after desperately surfing YouTube looking for help and coming across Beth's videos - she posts as Beth SMYLS after the name of her company, Sort My Life Out Solutions.
She writes as she talks. It's very straight forward and practical stuff and that was vital for me. She's also very positive, and I've clung on to that.
The Recovery Formula divides the process of early-stage recovery (or getting into recovery) into four equally vital parts: Get Real, Get Held, Get Committed, Get Replacements.
"Get Real" means just that (I did say she was very straight-forward). It's about facing up to what the problem is and what you can do about it.
"Getting held" is about support, particularly in the super-vulnerable early stages of recovery. It may be medication, it may be a fellowship group, but you'll need support. For me, it was, and is Antabuse.
"Get committed" again you should understand.
"Getting replacements" is about replacing your addicted behaviour with healthier alternatives. It might mean ditching people too, and a cupboard full of pub freebies (I've spent periods of my adult life almost entirely outfitted by breweries, landlords love customers like me so I'm always in their mind if there's a box of t-shirts to give away). It's here that some of the deeper psychological stuff comes in - you have to change your way of thinking - and the acknowledgement that there is more hard work ahead.
It's all illuminated by Beth's own addiction and recovery. It's not preachy, it's not in away way airy-fairy or pretentious. It's happy and supportive and It's been a good friend to me.
I have criticisms, of course, but they're pretty minor and The Recovery Formula is one of the reasons I'm here writing this blog now.
As I say, check out some of the author's YouTube videos, and if those work for you I think the book will too.
Here's where to buy: The Recovery Formula. An Addict's Guide to Getting Clean and Sober.
This is Beth's YouTube channel. And her counselling practice website.