How Writing Can Help Your Recovery

Writing in recovery helps us engage with our inner thoughts, feelings, struggles, fears and joys. Writing is good for learning more about ourselves. Don’t worry about your writing ability. For the purpose of helping your recovery, it doesn’t matter whether you are a good speller or write rambling sentences. You can give yourself all the freedom you need.

Sometimes in recovery you can become complacent. Writing can help you reconnect with yourself. Writing about all the good things that have come from being clean and sober provides an opportunity for reflection. It brings you back to the beginning. Who helped you get into recovery? Did you seek help on your own? What was that like? Once you begin to write you’ve started building a foundation upon which to grow and gain clarity. You can make lists of your goals. You can write affirmations.

Try a topic like childhood. What were your fondest memories from that time in your life? Maybe you don’t have any good memories, or can’t remember them. You can write about what you do remember. The more you write the greater chance you have for memories to resurface.

Writing letters to people or family members who have harmed you can help free you. You don’t have to mail them, but letter writing helps move the energy away from you. It’s not yours. It belongs to the person or persons who harmed you.

You can sit down and write what you are feeling in the moment. If you are feeling lonely, then write about that. For example, I’m feeling so lonely right now. My heart aches with loneliness. I watch TV and that doesn’t help. One amazing benefit about writing how you truly feel is, that afterwards, you may actually feel better. That’s because writing is taking action. You step outside yourself for a few minutes and become the observer. The observer can decide to take more action and write down some ideas for connecting with people, like calling an old friend, taking a course, or going to a museum.

You can write about your fears. Here again, you get them down on paper, thus diminishing the hold they seem to have on you. Are your fears logical? From where did they originate? Are they based in the past? Was there an adult from your childhood you counted on, who was kind to you when others weren’t? Do you see how one thought can flow into another when you write? Writing can help your recovery. Pick up your pen or computer and try it!

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