Your Unique Journey
Expressive writing has been shown to help those who want to beat addiction by using their creative powers. Journaling is a form of this creative activity where you recount your experiences in a diary, using it to work through trauma and improve your health as well as your moods.
When you take the time each day to write in your journal, you can easily feel better emotionally as a result of expressing yourself and working through your emotions. What’s also fantastic about journaling is that you can carry your diary with you and write in it just about anywhere at any time. It’s a companion who won’t fail you and will always be there when you need it.
You can also self-monitor your attitude changes by journaling. There will be times when you experience triggers and stress that make you feel like using. When you are experiencing these craving, you can plainly see the triggers when you write them down.
The “writing is on the wall” so to speak, and hard for you to deny because it is before you in black and white. It’s easy to rationalize thoughts and manipulate them to form desires; it’s harder to do so when it’s written before you in concrete terms in your journal.
When you stay in the moment, as opposed to having your thoughts race ahead with apprehension of the future or feeling guilty or anxious about the past, you are practicing mindfulness. Since many people in recovery used drugs or alcohol when they felt anxious, depressed, worried, stressed or panicked, staying in the moment by practicing mindfulness helps you to avoid these feelings, which are all potential triggers for relapse.
Journaling helps you stay in the moment. It forces you to be mindful; you must concentrate on putting down words in a way that’s meaningful to you. The pen stays on the paper, so you must stay present to accomplish your goal of writing.
It may be you are writing about the past or future. Either way, you can chalk it up to working through trauma in productive and rational ways, rather than having your thoughts racing around and possibly having a relapse if you work yourself up to unsafe levels.
Finding your voice—one that’s poetic, real and poignantly expressed—is a wonder and a gift. Keep journaling so you can find and appreciate that gift on a regular basis. You are unique, and your journaling will help you heal in ways that are special as you are.
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