There are so many ways to get sober: detox, treatment, Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Women for Sobriety, SMART Recovery, Rational Recovery, Moderation Management, Life Ring, Secular Organizations for Sobriety, and probably more than that.  I knew when I was getting sober that AA/NA wasn't going to be my route but I needed something more to hold onto than just the chair that I was white-knuckling.  

Something about Women for Sobriety really resonated with me, but being on a tiny island in the Caribbean, I had no opportunity to attend meetings or meet up with any other women that were familiar with the program.  So I wrote the Thirteen Affirmations  down and posted them on my mirror so I saw them every morning.  I picked one to focus on for the day, and prayed to Baby Jesus that I stayed strong.  If you're living in the States, it's a lot easier to find meetings and support, or to even get literature mailed to you.  Mail here is dodgy and can take up to a month to get here, if it gets here at all.  

So with that in my mind, I went to the local used book store and bought any of the self-improvement (they apparently stopped calling them self-help for some reason) and meditation books that spoke to me.  "The Saint, The Surfer, and The CEO" by Robin Sharma was the first book that I read and I was blown away. I didn't really know what to expect, except that it was some deep shit and everybody had been raving about it. This book changed my life. It really made me take a step back and look at what I was doing. Granted, it took me about 6 months after that before I finally quit, but it's all about planting seeds.

So I'd read this book during the day, write in my journal, and then go out and get wasted.

And then think about what I had read about all day, and feel like complete shit.

"What am I doing with my life? Am I really 33 and blacking out every time I drink? What are my goals? How am I going to ever reach them if this is how I'm living?"

Talk about a fucking BUZZKILL!!! But you know what? It worked. I had started to ruin my own high with all of the seeds I was planting.

Uploaded by Abiyanthi K on 2014-03-07.

From there I just started reading every self-improvement book I could get my hands onto. This is a list of the books that have helped me in the last 18 months change my thinking and really examine what I was doing.  I'd love to hear about any that have helped you as well!!

*A New Earth Eckhart Tolle.  This goes pretty deep into detail about detaching from the ego.  There were some parts that were just so over my head I had to power through it and hopefully the seed was planted and I'll remember it one day and be like, ohhhh yeahhhhh.  This is what he was talking about!!

*The Yamas and the Niyamas Deborah Adele.  I read this for my Yoga Teacher Training and it rocked my world.  It tells you how to live a life with integrity, love and grace.  Basically be good to yourself, to the world and to those around you, don't be a shit head and don't lie, cheat or steal. 

*Who Will Cry When You Die? Robin Sharma. 101 and solutions to problems that you face.  Ideas on affirmations, meditations and tips on how to live a better, more fulfilling life.  This is one of those books that you should read once a year, if not once every six months.  

*The Dalai Lama Book of Wisdom.  Great quotes from Mr. Lama.  And 73 cents on!!!!

What I'm reading right now:

*May Cause Miracles. Gabrielle Bernstein  Forty-two days of affirmations, guidance and insight into releasing your attachment to ego and your old self.  It gets pretty deep, so be ready to journal and a few time outs to gather yourself.

*The Desire Map Danielle LaPorte.  I've read this twice in 6 months.  She teaches you to set goals with your soul purpose in mind.  Usually we set goals with our desired outcomes in the forefront of our minds, this book helps you set goals with how you want to FEEL, your Core Desired Feelings, in mind.  Good shit.  

*Modern Buddhism: The Path of Compassion and Wisdom Volume 1 Sutra Geshe Kelsang Gyatso  How to apply the teachings of the Buddha to our daily lives.  AND IT'S A FREE E-BOOK, THREE VOLUMES!!!  

*The Untethered Soul Michael A. Singer Again, looking at your ego and detaching from the inner voice in your head.  Guidance on how to have inner peace and freedom on a daily basis.  

**And just a reminder, this is what has worked FOR ME.  We all have our own paths, our own way of doing things.  We are all on a journey, and we all have different paths to get to our shared goal of sobriety, empowerment and maybe even someday a glimpse of enlightenment. If AA/NA has worked for you, that's so amazing!!  Whatever it takes to get and stay sober!!  

What books have you read or are reading to help you get centered?  What has helped you to take a look at how you're living your life and been that kick in your ass that's made you start to change?