Writing in Recovery Heals Your Life

Talking to a sponsor, a trusted friend, or in a group meeting, gives a great sense of relief and healing in recovery. Most people know that talking to another human being that actively listens and responds with care and concern is a wonderful help. We all need to be heard. Another, often overlooked, tool in recovery is writing. Free writing thoughts, feelings and emotions that swarm around in one’s head can be tamed by the act of writing them down on paper. The result is that the power is taken out of the problem when written down and a solution is born. Writing requires only a quiet place, a pen, and paper. There is no judgement or grade. You will receive an A+ every time you write and, as an added bonus, a greater connection with God, your Higher Power, your conscience.

Writing is an active tool to cleanse, purge, and heal your life and move forward in your recovery.

Benefits of Writing

What are some of the benefits of writing?

  1. Lightens the Load – Writing takes the power out of a problem by venting out frustrations and concerns on paper. As we write, the real problems come into focus and we can see a clear solution Internalized emotions can become overpowering if they are not stopped. Writing in recovery is a great way to vent and move on
  2. A Connection to the Subconscious Mind – At times, we often do not know what is really bothering us. Stream of conscious writing or free writing helps us to pinpoint the underlying problem.
  3. Brings Clarification and Peace – People can become too stressed if a series of problems are allowed to continually rattle around in the head. Situations can easily become blown out of proportion. A sense of anxiety and panic can take over and life can not be seen objectively. Writing gives a sense of relief and a clearer perspective to find real solutions to problems. A path or way out can be realized giving a sense of peace and clarity.
  4. Charts Progress – A journal helps one to reread what they wrote at a later date and realize how they got through a painful situation. Hopefully, one will learn from experience and be able to chart their progress and growth. It will give one hope that they are growing, progressing and moving forward and not making the same mistakes. If people are repeating mistakes, they can read and realize what they are doing over and over and stop.
  5. Heals Depression – Writing is cathartic and a form of self-therapy. It releases and purges negative thoughts from the mind in a peaceful and sane manner.
  6. Defines Goals – Writing down goals brings more responsibility, accountability and a greater sense of commitment to fulfill their goals. When goals are written down it gives a sense of direction and purpose to focus on and move towards in life. If one gets off track, they read their goals and get back on track.
  7. Personal Inventory – Writing helps one to see their moral and personal inventory. People can realize where they are wrong and need to make amends to others and create better relationships.

Types of writing and journaling in recovery:

* Daily Journal –  A daily inventory
* Gratitude List – Write everything you are thankful for – this helps with depression and brings happiness to the mind, Helps us to be thankful and encouraged about all the good things in life.
* Spiritual Journal – Writing as a way to connect with God or your Higher Power, consciousness.
* Health Journal – A diet, health and exercise journal can help us with our daily health goals and change habits
Free-Writing Journal – Stream of consciousness or flow writing is the act of writing thoughts as they come to mind. Helps to reveal the issues that lie beneath in our subconscious.

How to Develop Writing as a Daily Practice:
In order to reap the benefits of writing it is good to make it a daily habitual practice. How do we accomplish this?

* Buying special journal gives a sense of commitment and purpose.
* Buy a lock and key if you want it to be secure and unread –  or use a digital password to protect your journal
* Do not judge yourself – just write down whatever comes to mind.
* It will not be graded so do not worry about spelling, grammar or messy writing.  It does not matter. Just writing will help you reap the benefits, no matter how you do it.
* No time? Try it – and see that writing will help you focus more and actually create more time in your life.
* Hate writing? – Keep and audio or video diary.
* Write at the same time every day – morning is the best – and make it a goal to write 3 pages.
* When you do not want to write – then it is most beneficial. We often want to escape from wanting to do what is best for us. That is what we did in addiction. Writing brings us back into good orderly direction, focus, clarity, accountability, finding solutions, gratitude… too much to write.
* Brings understanding and closure to heal from the past. Write your story….

– By Lisa Tusberg




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