No matter who you are, no matter what you’re circumstances, no matter your history, writing can be your best friend. When it feels like the entire world is at your back, when it seems like everyone you know is holding something against you, or when it feels like no one understands you, open the notebook.
By far the most important benefit of writing and journaling is that the notebook will take anything! No matter what you write, it won’t judge. It won’t grimace. It won’t ask you stop. It is there to receive all of the worst and best of your experiences. It is there to hold all of you, your pain, your problems, and your passions. Writing it all out – whatever it is – can be a sort of letting go as the notebook listens and receives. Over time, each time you return to the notebook, you can practically feel its complete acceptance of who you are. For this reason alone, writing can be healing.
However, there are many therapeutic reasons to write. Below is a list of some of them:
- Writing can help us express thoughts and feelings that have been long buried.
- Writing gives us a way of sorting out the seemingly random experiences that we have undergone, giving us a clearer picture of the possibilities in our life.
- Writing gives us the ability to make meaningful experiences so we can understand them and put them in context.
- Writing can help us deal with negative behavior patterns or thoughts, turning our energy into positive experiences. It can help us make more conscious and healthier choices.
- Writing can help us define and implement goals we have and give a sense of deeper meaning to our life.
Furthermore, writing can foster a sense of control. Because addiction is often an experience in which life feels out of control, writing about particular emotions and experiences can bring back some of that power. By investigating and being curious about emotions or experiences, you have a certain control over them. It’s not to ignore them, but by allowing them in and by exploring them with your attention you can heal. For instance, let’s say a certain feeling is coming up inside. You can begin to question it. Becoming a bit like Socrates, you can get curious and ask some questions about it right while you are feeling the intensity of the emotion. You write out a question about sadness, for example, because you’re feeling it right in the moment. “Why do I feel so sad?” Perhaps, an answer arises like, “I feel this every time I am not true to myself.” With this sort of questioning, gaining insight, and befriending emotions, a deep relationship forms within. This is where the true healing is! Loving yourself in the writing process is by far the most therapeutic reason to write.
Also, just by sitting in a designated place each week or each day, writing can become a healing practice. However, the truth is that it’s not the writing that is healing necessarily; instead, it is the relationship that you build with yourself as a result of having a writing practice. As you write down your experiences, another part of you is listening. For example, the notebook is a place to be completely honest, access your emotions, and open the heart. Each time you write, the heart opens more and more and a certain appreciation for who you are develops. It’s appreciation for yourself, for the whole experience of being alive, for the process of looking inward, and for giving yourself this special time to write.
When you write, you…
- develop a loving relationship with yourself.
- access emotions.
- explore the inner world.
- evoke a sense of being heard and acknowledged.
- foster a sense of control.
- open the heart.
- develop trust in yourself.
- reveal inner depth.
- discover what is important – for you!
- nurture courage.
- build self confidence.
- enhance creativity.
- encourage spontaneity.
- invoke the imagination.
Writing and the creativity that is invoked when you write can be healing. Including it in your recovery can deepen the relationship you have with yourself and with your sobriety.
If you are reading this on any blog other than Transcend Recovery Community or via my RSS Feed, it is stolen content without credit. You can find me on Twitter via @RecoveryRobert Come and visit our blog at http://TranscendRecoveryCommunity.com/Blog