How Does Writing Help in Addiction Recovery?
A problem shared is a problem halved’ is a popular quote. Most people have no difficulty in accepting the claim that talking about their problems can be of great help. However, it is much less widely accepted that writing about problems can also be extremely therapeutic. Writing here is not about correct spelling and grammar, or about showing it to others in order to gain its cathartic benefits. Merely writing can have a tremendous impact, and it can be particularly beneficial for those individuals recovering from an addiction.
Benefits of Writing
When an individual writes about their life, it is more than mere record keeping or jotting down thoughts and ideas. Some of the benefits provided by writing are:
Providing an outlet for individuals to vent their concerns and frustrations. When the individual internalizes everything, they can feel overwhelmed. Writing things down can lighten the load.
Writing can allow individuals to have more contact with their subconscious mind. Individuals reading back on what they have written can often be amazed at what they find there.
Sometimes, people become stressed over things when they are not clear about the situation. Things can get blown out of proportions when they are allowed to rattle around in the brain, and thinking can get panicked. But putting everything down on paper clarifies matters and puts the problem into perspective, thus encouraging the individual to think more objectively.
Keeping a journal allows individuals to read it at a later date and chart their progress in life. It allows them to see how time can heal.
Writing has been known to alleviate symptoms of depression. It works as a form of self therapy and lets individuals release some negative thoughts.
Accountability increases if individuals write down their goals. By documenting a goal or aspiration, the individual is likely to feel more committed to it.
Developing a Writing Practice in Recovery
A writing practice has to be a regular thing for the individual to truly benefit from it. Some ways to get started on a writing practice are:
Invest in a quality journal, if the individual wishes to write with pen and paper. This may seem like an unnecessary expense, but people are more committed when they have paid for an attractive journal.
Often people say they don’t know how or where to begin. Just start by writing down whatever comes to the mind, no matter how silly.
Don’t worry about messy writing or spelling and grammar mistakes. The individual shouldn’t concern themselves with all that, as long as they are able to read and understand what they have written.
If the individual doesn’t enjoy writing, they can still keep an audio or video diary.
Set aside a specific time during the day for journaling. This develops into a habit, rather than something the individual has to squeeze in during their day.
It can be extremely beneficial to write down one’s story, especially for people in recovery. The project can take weeks or months, but when finished, the individual will start to understand themselves much better. Equally important, it will give them a real sense of closure on issues from the past, making it easier to choose a direction for their future.
There are many ways in which Blueprints can get you started on your journey to recovery. Call us today and let us help you