Writing Therapy

Writing can be an invaluable tool in your road to recovery after you have been through drug and alcohol detox treatments at a medical detox facility and addiction recovery center.

What can writing offer you?

It may sound like work, but once you release your inhibitions and any negative associations about writing you may have picked up when writing research papers and book reports, writing can become your best friend.  You’ll find that being able to put your thoughts down on paper can help you do some therapy work even without a therapist present.

A therapist can help you draw connections between different parts of your story. When you write your experiences and feelings down in a daily journal you can more easily see and understand those connections and patterns. You may find that you start to have more insight into the most productive way to manage your triggers, as you write about the ways you currently manage them, and the fallout from poor management, or the successes as you refine your sober life.

Here are three ways to start writing

  • Write poetry. Poetry invites the writer to use images and evocative language to create a moment for its reader. Because poetry is often shorter and more prescriptive than nonfiction, it can be an easier way to begin writing. Poetry often has guidelines to adhere to like in haikus, sonnets, or roundels. You can also write free style, without any constraint.
  • Write fiction. Fiction allows you to create new characters and settings. You can bend your imagination to your will as you shape full characters with goals and passions. You could even write about someone like you, recovering from drug and alcohol addiction, making the choice everyday to live a healthy and sober life.

Write your story. Creative Nonfiction is the genre of writing that allows you to tell your own story. Your goal in Creative Nonfiction is to help your reader get to the truth of the moment you’re writing about. It isn’t about trying to squeeze out every last factual truth your memory has, but to put every emotional fact down with the factual truths you can recall guiding that emotion. Remember that memory is always perspective based and therefore inherently flawed. Don’t stress about details like the color of a shirt, if the room was facing west or north, or if the man in the photo was your father or your uncle. Go with what you feel most to be your truth. No one can do more. Writing your story can be one of the best ways to put the pieces back together.

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