Writing for Alcohol and Drug Recovery
Writing for recovery is a helpful way to focus your mind and intention, understand yourself better, and find meaning in your life. Writing can also be a way to get through cravings and handle emotional reactions.
There are several forms of writing that can be helpful: free writing, journaling, poetry, or even stories. It is important to understand how your inner critic (who doesn’t want you to be able to express yourself) works for you. One idea for getting started is to write down what your critic says to you about your creation. Some examples could be “this isn’t good enough”, “why are you bothering?”, “your writing sucks”, etc. You get the idea. An image of your critic might be useful. When you try to write, imagine your critic and ask if there is a way to make a deal to suspend the negativity while you are writing. If your critic is stronger after you write, ask for some way to compromise with your critic so that the writing can be reread and be useful to you. The idea of compromise with your critic can be used in many areas of your emotional life.
One idea to start your writing is a writing prompt. Pick something important but also simple. Here are some ideas:
- What my recovery means to me
- Why I don’t want to drink anymore
- How I notice my recovery today
- Something in nature that helps me stay sober
- My support system
For women, writing is an important way to find your voice. If you have experienced trauma, poetry may be helpful for you. Poetry helps bring order and safety to the chaos of trauma. Perhaps you have found a poem that speaks to you and helps you feel hope. Write it out and carry it around with you. Read it or memorize it. You can also write a response to the poem that tells your story or expresses an emotion that you need to contain. Writing can help with emotions. First, you get the emotion out and onto paper. The paper holds the emotions for you. If it feels right, you can read your writing to others as a way of connecting and reducing isolation. Safe connection to others is essential to recovery.
Recovery from addictions is a difficult challenge. I hope this blog gives you more ideas for how to stay on the path!
Photo credit: Anna Langova, Public Domain Pictures