The Power of 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 1-877-978-3125 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.

Real Client Testimonials

  • Before coming to coastal I was hopeless, helpless, and my family wanted nothing to do with me. It wasn’t the first detox I’d ever been to, but it was the only one who showed me so much love and compassion. They gave me hope. It’s hard to put into words the amount of gratitude I have for this facility. The employees were my family when I had none. The staff went out of their way to make sure not only were my physical needs taken care of, but my emotional needs as well. From the first phone call prior to admission, to helping me set up continuing care, they never missed a beat. Even going as far as to help me with my legal issues via Zoom court. This isn’t just a detox, they are the family I never had. All of the techs, especially Karen, are phenomenal. They will take the time to listen to you, laugh, and cry(if needed) with you. If you are reading this and you or your loved one is suffering like I was, go to Coastal Detox. The level of care is more than I could ever put into a review. It wasn’t the first detox I’d been to, but it has been my last; I owe them everything I have today, including my life.

    Travis B Avatar
    Travis B.
    12/07/2020
  • Had a really good experience at Coastal. The staff really went above and beyond in helping me get in and gave me the respect l, space and care I needed after I first got there. As I started to fell better they encouraged me to take part in groups which helped get me out of my head and bring positivity and health to my thinking. They had a great massage therapist, who came daily and it was evident the nursing staff genuinely cared. Got to know some of the staff as well and I’m grateful for the cooks Joe and Chris. Those guys literally made us sirloins and pork chops for dinner. Also I gotta thank Chris and Chris for helping me get in and setting me up with a transition plan. Real grateful for that help, I’m not sure if it’s management intention to hire guys named Chris but they got a good thing going there. Overall, I’m clean and sober today and walking it out. Coastal gave me a base that set me up for the success that I’m walking in today

    Brandon B. Avatar
    Brandon B.
    1/16/2020
  • My family is very thankful for Coastal Detox. They have went above and beyond for my son a few times. Unfortunately he has needed their help more than once and they have ever turned their back on him, even when he was at his worst. Jeannie and Chris have been amazing and kept me informed through the entire process. They truly care about the addict and want to help them especially when it would be easy to give up on them. I had many detox facilities be rude and uncaring to me when I was searching for help for my son, but Coastal never did that to us. I don't know the names of all the team members that have helped my son but I know their are many and y'all are angels!! One day we will be able to pay it forward and help someone as you have helped us. Thank you for all you do!!

    Brenda A. Avatar
    Brenda A.
    1/01/2020
  • Can not say enough nice things about Coastal Detox & staff. Family member was there, told me five stars for the facility & all whom she interacted with. Said the facilities, ambience..., cleanliness, grounds, food, (think their chef is five stars), were all top shelf. All I interacted with personally & on the phone were patient, professional, responsive & caring. Kudos to so many: Jeannie Jones, Clinical Director whom I spent the most face to face time with: great oversight, patience & follow thru. Raquel Barker, Therapist was so understanding & on spot with her assessments/care. Kris Garrigus Admissions Director, another Coastal professional whom I cannot say enough nice things about, always so patient & responsive to my probably too frequent inquires. Not to be forgotten is Judy Tucker, Director of Operations she too so patiently "put up with me"
    I highly recommend Coastal Detox

    Susan C. Avatar
    Susan C.
    11/13/2019
  • Can not say enough nice things about Coastal Detox & staff. Family member was there, told me five stars for the facility & all whom she interacted with. Said the facilities, ambience..., cleanliness, grounds, food, (think their chef is five stars), were all top shelf. All I interacted with personally & on the phone were patient, professional, responsive & caring. Kudos to so many: Jeannie Jones, Clinical Director whom I spent the most face to face time with: great oversight, patience & follow thru. Raquel Barker, Therapist was so understanding & on spot with her assessments/care. Kris Garrigus Admissions Director, another Coastal professional whom I cannot say enough nice things about, always so patient & responsive to my probably too frequent inquires. Not to be forgotten is Judy Tucker, Director of Operations she too so patiently "put up with me"
    I highly recommend Coastal Detox

    Susan C. Avatar
    Susan C.
    11/06/2019

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