In early recovery, it can be difficult to manage your emotions. During active addiction, you were – either consciously or subconsciously – working to numb out your feelings. In the majority of instances, those who struggle with alcoholism and drug abuse initially begin using because they don’t like the way they feel. Addiction is a form of escapism – therefore, those new to recovery will undeniably be dealing with an overwhelming amount of emotions; emotions that had been pushed down, muted and ignored for the duration of the disease.
How can a newly sober individual possibly manage their emotions after ignoring them for so long? Well, for some, journaling is an exceptionally healthy and helpful tool. Journaling allows you to get your emotions down on paper, and ‘organize’ your feelings in a productive way. Taking time out of your day to write down your thoughts can also be extremely therapeutic. Take a look at five reasons why journaling is a beneficial tool for those in addiction recovery.
Five Benefits of Keeping a Journal in Recovery
- You will access a different part of your brain.
When you write, you tap into a different part of your brain than you do when you speak. Whereas “talking through things” is always a good idea, you may gain more insight if you write your feelings down.
- Structure of any kind is a good thing!
If you decide to incorporate journaling into your program of recovery, set a specific time to do so. This will help hold you accountable while adding structure to your day-to-day life.
- You will be able to dive deeper into your emotions.
Writing in a stream-of-consciousness style will help you discover things about yourself that you didn’t even know! Writing allows you to dive even deeper into your emotions, and sort through them in a way that you wouldn’t be able to in verbal conversation. Furthermore, journaling is personal. You don’t have to share your discoveries with anyone if you don’t want to – though doing so can be beneficial.
- You can go back and reread.
If you are feeling especially down in the dumps or overwhelmed by your current circumstances, you can flip through your journal and find an entry from a time when you were going through something difficult. Remind yourself that you felt the same way you did back then, and you got through it. You are resilient! Emotional difficulties are temporary – always.
- You will gain clarity and insight.
Did you keep a journal when you were younger? If you did, you might be amazed if you go back and reread what you had written way back then. You might feel like a completely different person. Journaling leads to a deeper understanding of all-around, and self-reflection will ultimately lead to clarity and insight.
Addiction Counseling and Journaling
At Recreate Life Counseling, we specialize in helping sober individuals navigate their recovery through open communication and facilitated healing. Because our programs are predominantly partial care and outpatient, our patients generally do not meet with their counselor every day. This is another reason why journaling is an important tool. If you are experiencing something at the moment, write it down; it can be revisited and addressed during your next one-on-one counseling session.
Over time, you will discover what methods work for you, and you will develop your routine. Addiction recovery is a highly individualized process, and figuring out what works for you can be both fun and enlightening.
If you have any questions about our specific program or addiction recovery in general, please feel free to give us a call today. Our team of experienced professionals is standing by to help you in any and every way possible.