The Recovery Book - 2nd Edition (book)


I’m reading it, currently in the red zone. Im looking forward exchanging ideas. I think the recommendation came from me in the other thread though :slight_smile: i liked that you saw my post and decided to buy it as i cant stop raving about this book and naked mind… It really helped me to stay sober!!

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This is perfect timing! I just reserved this book at my library and will be collecting it early next week! I’d love to share discussions and thoughts with anyone else reading.

Hi @justL. Thanks for checking in here. Did you mean you personally are in the red zone, or that’s what you are up to in the book? Looks like most of the book covers “the red zone” of sobriety. I thought I was in “the yellow zone”, but now moved back to focus on earlier sobriety due to 2 relapses.

Hi @SierraStarXd. Sounds good!

I have not been involved in the “book of the month” discussions here, so not sure what format people used, but I guess post any thoughts positive or negative you have about particular readings or sections in the book. Or suggest other discussion ideas.

I’m not a fast reader, but part of my “daily care plan” is to read sobriety-related material for about 20-30 minutes a day. The chapters look short, so about one chapter a day I think. I’m also using those little arrow-shaped sticky notes to mark anything of interest for future reference. (you can see them in my photos above!)

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Hi. I finished thru chapter 4 “committing to recovery”. Some interesting points made and criticisms so far…

Healing your brain using “TAMERS”:
Think/Talk about recovery
Act on recovery, connect with others
Meditate and Minimize stress
Exercise and Eat well

The whole Red/Yellow/Green zone format makes sense to me and is very inline with what is taught at my inpatient

Some interesting differences mentioned in a section called “women and substance abuse”

In rebuttal under “I can’t afford treatment” they focus on the VALUE of treatment, all the money saved over time directly on alcohol & drugs, and indirectly from lost jobs, bad decisions, etc. Even if we all agree on the VALUE of it, many people still can’t afford treatment because of the skyrocketing cost of healthcare, and the insane situation with health insurance - al least in my country USA. That is not addressed there.

Let us know any thoughts you have on the book. Thanks for listening!

:thinking: :thought_balloon:


I was really suprised to find out that the red zone can take up to 18 months, in this zone we are more likely to relapse etc, in this period new life changing events are discouraged… How realistic is this? In the next few months I’ll be going through many changes- separation from long term partner (pre-planned event), selling up and relocating, major changes at work, rebuilding relationships with a long lost brother which will be an emotional Rollercoaster… I wish book would expand how to deal with changes in the first 18 months as its inevitable.


Thanks for sharing guys I’ll have to check this out.

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@JustL I can understand what you mean. Up to 18 months does seem like a long time to keep things static. I haven’t read past Ch 4 yet but they also spell out ways to check if you are ready earlier. In my outpatient program they stress keeping things stable before 6 months at least, and then working on addressing larger life issues after that. Sounds like you have a lot going on in your recovery!

Hi. Is there any difference between edition one and edition two? I can get my hands on first edition very easily. If totally different I will order 2nd edition .

i love this page!!


Hi @Brave it’s hard for me to say. The cover claims “completely revised and updated”. The year is 2014 vs 1992 - that that is a large span of time. The forward mentions that the “recovery zone system” (red/yellow/green) is new to this edition, and seems like a big change.

@JustL thanks for pointing it out. You’re way ahead of me, I’m reading Ch 5 today. But I read that page and it was interesting - especially about drugs/alcohol hijacking the reward system of our brains.

Thanks. Will go for the 2nd ed

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Hi all. Just finished Ch 5. “The many roads to a lifetime of sobriety” - which is a survey all kinds of treatment options. (Glad this isn’t a book with “spoilers” so we can all be a different points and still discuss!) A few things of note to me…

  • One stat mentioned that more than a third of the current 2 million members of AA have 10 years or more of sobriety. Interesting.

  • pg 82 discusses something called a “therapeutic community (TC) … they provide a drug-free residential setting that focuses on increasing levels of responsibility…peer guidance…social skills”. I never heard of these. They seem to be lower cost than inpatient. Anyone know of these?

  • pg 87 and elsewhere. The authors seem to take a realistic but very cautious position on drugs used for addition. I agree with that.

  • pg 88 - interesting point to paraphrase - before treating someone for other mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, etc, first try becoming clean/sober and see if these might have been side effects of the addiction itself!


Hi all – I hope you don’t mind me jumping into your discussion; I just stumbled across it.

I’m the co-author of The Recovery Book, with Dr. Al Mooney. (I’m thrilled to see you all reading it, btw!)

Just wanted to say I’d be happy to answer any questions that I can. (For starters, yes, it is a completely new edition. We spent an entire year rewriting and updating it. And the Recovery Zone System is completely new.) I might be able to pull Dr. Mooney in to answer questions as well, though his schedule is pretty packed.

Also, we JUST published a workbook companion to The Recovery Book. It’s called My Life in Recovery. It has 12 sessions of reading assignments, homework questions, discussion topics and more. We also just launched a free online workshop based on the workbook. More info on it all is at We’d love to have some of you join the workshop! :slight_smile:

Cathy Dold


@CatherineDold wow I’m amazed to have you in our circle. I am reading your book like a bible, every night before bed :smile:


I’ve been struggling with my relationship and on the fence about leaving. My counceling said the same thing " your physical safety is not in danger so give it some time before you decide anything" not having to worry about making an imidiate change definitely takes the pressure off…I am however communicating my feelings to my BF so he Isint blind sided if i go though with it.

That’s for recommending this book. It just came in the mail :slight_smile: added it to the collection.

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Thank you!

Hello @CatherineDold! :wave: Thanks you so much for joining our discussion, and for that very useful update. We definitely will reach out if there are any questions about the book or the Recovery Zone System. So far I am on Ch 6 about detox and withdrawl. I’m login forward to later sections, especially The Yellow Zone where I am looking to focus these days. I’m very much enjoying the book, it is seems comprehensive and practical.

Hi @Decided, yeah I recall some of the issues you explained about your relationship - complicated. Although the book recommends no major changes, it also talks about the reality of having to maintain positive relationships during early sobriety. Makes sense what you’re saying - communicating during this time. The “to-read” book collection, right. :grinning:

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