Addiction recovery poems are powerful tools that mental health professionals use when working with people recovering from an addiction. For some people, seeing how others have experienced similar things gives them hope, and writing their own poems can help them process their feelings and overcome their past. This guide reviews the benefits of poetry therapy and offers some samples from people who’ve experienced addiction or mental illness.
Why It Helps To Write Poetry for Addiction
Poetry as therapy is common because it can lead to revelations about a person’s condition and struggles. It reveals a lot about who we are as people, what we truly want in our lives and how we see the world around us. Poems about addiction and recovery don’t just help the individuals who write them. When they’re shared with a support group, they might inspire others by striking them in just the right way.
Recovering addicts are often encouraged to use poetry therapy to learn how to communicate their fears, struggles and desires. When working with a therapist, they can learn how to face these obstacles, develop coping mechanisms and ask for help when they need it.
Examples of Recovery Poetry
A quick Google search for addiction recovery poems can prove you’re not alone in your struggles. There are countless poems published online that dive into the feelings of being trapped in the hold of an addiction. They highlight the lack of self-control many people feel, the sacrifices they’ve endured and how their addictions have touched the people they love. These poems can serve as warnings that inspire others not to walk the same path, rally cries for those determined to change and evidence of victory for those who’ve recovered.
In the poem “My Master” by Selena Odom, addiction takes a human form. Selena gives human qualities to her meth addiction, comparing it to a relationship with a man who takes over her life, isolates her from her family and leaves her an empty shell. Selena begs the reader not to walk down the same path she did and to turn away from the demon she calls addiction so they won’t need to know her pain.
“Love is Patient” by Haileigh B. Johnston is about being accepted and loved despite imperfections and insecurities. She describes her insecurities and says she may not have her life figured out, but she’s loved despite her little quirks and anxiety. She mentions being loved even more on bad days as an example of the power love brings to any relationship and how being with someone requires working through the rough patches.
In her poem, “Sunshine After Rain,” Brenda Winders writes about how her addiction progressed from alcoholism to using pills and crystal meth. The poem describes her struggles with faith and worthiness before ending with the hopeful words that there’s always sunshine after rain.
How To Get Started With Writing
The wonderful thing about poetry is that it comes in so many unique forms and styles. You can be yourself and write however you please. Free-form poetry doesn’t require meter or rhythm, so you’re free to put words on paper as they come to you. When you first sit down to write your poetry, you can use something called stream of consciousness writing to get started.
Stream of consciousness writing involves writing the first thing that comes to mind without worrying about grammar or sentence structure or whether anything makes immediate sense. Just sit and write for a while so you can create the basis for your finished poem. After you’ve filled a page or two with your random thoughts, review it.
No one else can read what’s on those pages, so it doesn’t matter what you’ve written down. Look for the lines and words that resonate most and highlight them. You’ll notice there are some profoundly poetic strings of words, and you can snip them from what you’ve written to begin your poem. As you do this, you’ll find it gives you new ideas you can use to expand your thoughts as you’re creating the outline of your poem.
If you want your lines to rhyme, you can use an online thesaurus or Google to find words that rhyme with one another. For example, if you want to describe the feeling of a new beginning and the last line ends with the word “gone,” then you could incorporate the rhyming word “dawn” with a relevant metaphor.
Remember, you’re doing this for yourself, and your poems need to speak to you before anyone else. You don’t need to become an award-winning poet overnight and shouldn’t expect too much from yourself. Many aspiring poets are very critical of their work, so if you’re looking at what you’ve written with self-judgment, you’re not alone. Remind yourself that even published poets can be critical of themselves, and the purpose of your poetry is to put your feelings on paper to help you heal.
Don’t Let It Cause More Stress!
Know when to take a break from your writing. If you’re becoming more anxious sitting in front of the page than you were before you began, it may not be the appropriate time to write. Poetry comes to many people when the time and mood are just right. Addiction recovery poems deal with raw emotions, so it’s okay to take a step back if you feel overwhelmed. You can always return to the poem when you’re in a better state of mind to pick it up again.
Find Support While You Battle Addiction
It’s easy to feel like you’re fighting a daily uphill battle when you’re recovering from an addiction. At FHE Health, we recognize how real the struggle is and offer hope for a better life. Your treatment plan may require a combination of medication and therapy, and we have mental health professionals available who understand the complexities of an addiction and proven treatment methods.
If you’re struggling to fight an addiction on your own or concerned about someone who has a drug or alcohol problem, call FHE Health to learn more about our treatment programs. You can contact us through our website or give us a call at (833) 596-3502.