The Role of Writing in Addiction Recovery

The Role of Writing in Addiction Recovery

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An addict is a person incapable of resisting their urge to use a substance or engage in rewarding behavior despite the harmful consequences it entails. Judging by this definition, one may think that writing is the last thing an addict would engage in. Even non-addicts often shy away from penmanship. There is a common misconception that writing is an excruciatingly boring occupation usually dreaded by most students. As a matter of fact, writing can be fun and exceptionally useful. It’s far more than just a reflection of your academic skills or an opportunity to earn a good grade. Should this be your goal, you can just that will sparkle. However, in the therapeutic sense, writing can provide an outlet for your feelings, emotions, and ideas bottled up inside. Through writing, you can not only express yourself, but also let go of your pain, fears, and obsessions. Creative writing also can help people get through their addiction. By taking up a pen, an addict assumes the role of both a client in need of psychological guidance and a psychotherapist capable of providing this guidance. So, if you’re on your way to recovery from addiction, it’s high time you learned about some surprising benefits of writing therapy.

Benefits of Writing

As we have noted, writing can provide you with working tools to overcome your addiction. Of course, you won’t be able to write your way to complete recovery, but writing can turn your difficult quest towards freedom easier and more enjoyable.

  • Get to know yourself better. It may sound weird, but we often don’t know ourselves. Writing is an excellent opportunity to get in touch with our subconsciousness, face our fears, and trace the roots of the problems plaguing our life. What made you develop an addiction? Why can’t you quit? What makes you seek pleasure notwithstanding the danger it poses? You may find the answers to these and lots of other questions if you try writing therapy.
  • Give vent to your emotions. It’s not a secret that a person recovering from an addiction often experiences anxiety, frustration, and depression. Undoubtedly, breaking a bad habit takes its toll. Writing can give your negative emotions a place to go. Try free writing or the stream of consciousness technique to let steam off. Don’t restrain yourself. Write with passion; write down every word that comes to your mind without regard to punctuation, formatting, and grammar. Vent your frustration and anger and turn over a new leaf.
  • Remain accountable. Thoughts of a person aiming to curb their dark passion tend to go astray. By creating a record of your thoughts, you can keep track of them and thus remain accountable.
  • Experience relief. The psyche of an addict person is very fragile and extremely sensitive. Overwhelming thoughts, especially negative ones, have a demoralizing and confusing effect on people coping with repercussions of addiction. Taking up a pen is a surest way to secure yourself from the swirling thoughts and fend off panic attacks. You’ll experience relief as soon as you send all your negative experiences on paper.
  • Maintaining privacy. Though people in a recovery program make a conscious choice to beat their addiction, they may prove unready to open up to the world, or a psychotherapist, about their problems. Still, withholding and repressing emotions and dark secrets won’t definitely do you any good. Writing gives you more control of sharing your thoughts. You can commit your experiences to a piece of paper and then just set it ablaze if you don’t want anyone else to learn about your intimate feelings. Writing provides a safe, private way to get your thoughts out so you can clear your head without telling your secrets until you are ready.

Helpful Writing Prompts

The main objective of writing therapy is to help people discover themselves and effectively address their problems. Writing therapy is called to help you figure out why you’re doing what you’re doing and, based on the conclusion you arrive at, come up with an effective solution to your particular situation.

Writing offers you not only a deeper insight into a problem, but also a safe way to explore your mind. Below you can find some writing prompts that will come in handy throughout addiction recovery.

  • I cherish my life and don’t want to lose it because…
  • I envision my future as …
  • The three things I aspire for are…
  • I’d like people to remember me as…
  • These things inspire me…
  • My dream is to…
  • The true love is…
  • I’d like to say yes/no to…
  • What I love about my life is…
  • These five words describe me…

Those are only some of the prompts you can utilize. Feel free to pick any and embark on an exciting journey toward self-exploration. And keep in mind that there are no right or wrong answers. Let the words flow not only from your mind, but also heart and soul. Complete the prompt the way you see fit and don’t stop until you feel exhausted but content with the job done.

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