The Power of Journaling in Sobriety

journaling in sobriety

Getting loaded for years was the easy thing to do, it was the way out. Ingesting something that kept me comfortably numb and changed reality was the ideal trance state. It had the power to block out all my emotions and even really any consciousness that could be summoned within the depths of addiction. The mind and body were rotting and all of this energy and life force was just purely going to waste. The thoughts I did have were seemingly useless and I didn’t feel my voice mattered as an addict anyway. Alcoholism and addiction took a firm grasp on the soul and squeezed until the only option left was death or sobriety. Naturally, the latter of the two was picked.

Getting clean sure catches you off guard when all of the sudden, like a light switch, your wheels start turning at 100mph. All these thoughts that you’d anesthetized for years begin to rise from their slumber. Then without warning, emotions are thrown back into the mix and you’re left with this whirlwind of intense thoughts and ideas. Some of them could be normal and some of them are questionably demented. One thing is for certain though- you must get them out in one form or another. Now, not all of us can afford a therapist. Therapy can be expensive and it can be very inconvenient fitting it into our already demanding daily bustle. Of course, therapy is recommended but just realistically it’s not an option for everybody who could probably benefit from it. Friends and family aren’t always available either. Everybody has a life to attend to and it’s silly to think that others should come to our aid at the simplest drop of a hat. Asking for help is crucial in sobriety, do not misunderstand my wordings. However, it is vital to keep in mind that there needs to be a fine line between help and codependency. We are all human beings more than capable of helping ourselves when the need is strong enough.

There are other ways to vent and deal with the inner dialogue proceeding upstairs. I, of course, am speaking about writing and journaling in sobriety. These are unique tools that are as old as time that have helped people for hundreds upon hundreds of years. Really though it’s not that unique, but we live in a world today full of technology and complications. Sometimes the basics get left in the dust and we have to pull them off and spit-shine some of the simplicity.

Experience the Magic

Pulling out a piece of paper and a pen can seem mundane and monotonous sometimes. We live in a world where necessity is important and everything else is an effort. It’s easy to forget that some of the things we don’t want to do are the ones that are going to better us. Kind of goes back to the cliché, “whatever doesn’t kill you will make you stronger”. Journaling in sobriety is an important tool that can allow the author to get thoughts out on paper and literally vent to themselves. It’s truly fascinating how much of a difference it can make to replay thoughts and scenarios over and over in your head and never have any result or conclusion to come to. Then, as soon as you jot down said thoughts to paper and read them in front of your very own eyes, much of the time it can bring a whole new light to things. I often have most of my revelations and epiphanies as I’m reading. Something about seeing your day’s thoughts facing back at you brings a fresh context to whatever the situation may be.

woman journaling in a gardenn

I’ve been journaling in sobriety for years, as well as in active addiction. It always amazes my eyes to look back at old entries and replay some of the scenes that I’d written about. Our minds are constantly developing and some life lessons are just simply pushed on the back burner or forgotten. Often I’ve scribed and learned some valuable message just from my own rantings. Keeping a diary or a log of some sort can almost be like written home movies. For instance, I’ve been scribbling in the same journal now for 9 years. It’s always interesting to catalog the different perspectives I’ve developed over this time period and see what parts of me have grown. This is can be imperative in the aspect of introspection, self-awareness, and practicing the twelve steps in recovery (specifically steps 4 and 10).  

Journaling can be something that relaxes and releases endorphins. It doesn’t necessarily have to be writing in a diary either. So many writing activities can stem from this exercise and can give anybody a positive healthy outlet to express themselves. Human beings love to express themselves in some form or fashion. Even when we don’t particularly have an audience for our creativity, just letting it out from our cooped up craniums is what can keep some of us on the saner side of the road. Sometimes my paper carvings are all over the place from telling a story, to literal dialogue between me, myself, and I.

Journaling in sobriety is a big go-to for many. In turn, doing this allows people to rediscover themselves and their interests. The act can give multiple points of view on a problem weighing down the shoulders of the pen holder. Lastly, the big one being that you can healthily express your emotions onto paper and keep from bottling everything up. This is crucial to any newcomer in recovery who might be suffering from cravings and all sorts of emotions.

Not Ready for the Journal Yet?

Journaling and writing are all fine and dandy, but unfortunately, in some cases, we are just not ready to put effort into something like that if we can’t push away the drugs and alcohol. These chemical products run the lives of many into the ground. If you or a loved one are struggling and are looking for help on a new path of joyful well-being, please call 1-866-802-6848 or visit www.firststepsrecovery.com. Our team of trained specialists will be more than happy to get you on a path of health and happy journalings.