Many older 12 step veterans have shared a great way they use to stay clean in recovery—journal every day. Now many addicts are not very focused on writing as they may have not been great in school or just never finished high school. And even then, writing takes time to sit, be quiet with your thoughts, and take more time to write whatever is on your heart and soul. But creative writer or not, let’s look at the possibilities of doing writing to help in your recovery process.
Creative Writing in Recovery
- Provides a safe space for substance abusers to explore finding their inner thoughts without any judgment on grammar, spelling, etc.
- Reduces an addicts’ fears of writing about their past experiences on paper.
- Enables a supportive environment if the addict wishes to explore and discover their individual writing voice with others, again without judgment or fear.
- Helps addicts work towards recovery and personal and social meaning by becoming more aware of their past and present thoughts, actions, and feelings.
- Explores places that are a part of an addicts’ daily recovery process. Putting the daily feelings down on paper, and getting it out of yourself allows more healing and calm.
- Finds a voice in sharing past, present, and future thoughts, ideas, issues. This can help open discussions on these with counselors and supportive friends. Finding your voice allows you to be free to truly know WHERE you are and WHO you are in your recovery experience.
- Encourages developing basic writing skills about parenting and household management, budget and life skills which can be saved for future reference. This allows a chance to grow as a writer in non-creative thinking details.
- Processes the emotions of the past—writing a memoir, poems, or fiction based on real life can help work through the past. The actual writing act encourages contemplative processing. Our past loses its hold by writing it down.
Writing an autobiography, a life story is also a great way to share many of the secret and deep pieces of our lives. It can give a sense of accomplishment of pride by getting it written down. It takes bravery to write it down, and more to share it out loud if desired. Finding yourself as an addict is a huge step in recovery, as many of us have lost who we are due to drinking and drugs.
Take the challenge and do some journaling today. You will find out more than you realize!