Journaling Your Way through Addiction Recovery

Addiction recovery is a different process for everyone. It could be done and over in a matter of weeks, whereas others may require the span of many months to recover. Nonetheless, people learn about themselves when they go through addiction recovery. They learn what really matters to them; what can push them forward in their darkest of moments. Addiction recovery is a life-changing process.

Journaling may help.

A lot of people like the idea of having a journal but never take the time to do it. However, when in recovery, journaling may help recovery be just a little easier. Here’s how:

First off, journaling can help you keep track of your progress. Recovery from addiction will have its ups and downs but keeping a journal can help move forward. You will be able to read past posts and see how much better you are doing now, or you may read past entries and realize that you need to be doing better—working harder. Either way, writing in a journal will record your personal voyage to get sober.

As you record your recovery, you may feel a bit intimidated by the amount of time recovery can take. Every day in recovery is different, and some days may be harder than others. You may feel that you will never recover, that the process will take a lifetime, but journaling will allow you to take recovery a day at a time. In the end, recovery is your goal, but it is also your journey and you will only advance one day at a time. By writing in a journal every day, it can become a pacer, something that keeps you steady and ready for each new day.

As the days go on, you may find that you are changing, or perhaps you are unsure of what life holds next for you. Writing a journal will enable you to make goals. You can make goals regarding your current recovery, but moreover, you can make goals for the future you. You can be specific, setting steps for how you want to achieve your plans. You may not be totally committed to a certain path, but you have to go down it if you want to see what lays at the end. Pick something. Pick a job you want to seek or a hobby you want to enrich. Pick it, plan it, and do it. You can always set a new plan later.

Journaling can teach you to be positive. When you write in a journal, you often realize that you don’t want to end on a sour note. You don’t want to write about a particular bad day, and end with nothing positive. Whether it’s you or your posterity that read your journal in the future, you most likely don’t want to be remembered as pessimistic. And even if those things do not matter to you, you can still choose to write positive things in your journal. Each day, you can end with something you are grateful for, or what you will personally do to be better. On your rough days, you can include one good thing that happened. There is always good to write about, even if we have to search a little harder. Be positive, and soon you may find that your positive writing has become your positive attitude.

One of the most important things about a journal though, is what you can learn about you. Writing your thoughts does something amazing. You see your perceptions in another form. You can not only think and speak your thoughts, but you can write them. Putting your thoughts onto pen and paper will allow you to learn more about yourself. You may learn what you want people to think of you later. You may find that you enjoy doodling images of your day, or that you’re a decent writer. There are bigger things too, though. You can look back at your entries one day, and see what was important to you at that time. You can remember what it was like to be you on that day. When you are sober, you can look back and remember how hard it was to recover, and how you never want to go back. Your journal will be a record of your recovery journey. You will be able to use it to help yourself, and to help others because you will remember exactly what you were going through, exactly what you were thinking.

Write it down, and it will remind you for the rest of your days. It may be hard to write down how relentless addiction is, but life doesn’t get easier; it just changes. You may need that inspiration for the future. You may need to know that yes, you got through that. You got over addiction. You are strong.

Write it down. Keep a journal. Make goals and learn about yourself. Above all though, work towards recovery. Come to a Steps Recovery Center if you need professional help getting through addiction recovery.

Turning Criticism into Progress

Being an addict has its truckload of challenges, but to feel criticized in the process of recovery can seem to be the hardest part. To be looked down upon and made fun of can push one deeper into despair.

It can be friends, family, or strangers who become our criticizers. Feeling despised and belittled, though, is not how recovery should feel.

Whether one has just barely decided to become clean, or is almost through, recovery is a hard and challenging process.

Criticism can put you one step back.

But really, you should use criticism to help you move forward.

Although it is painful to hear what others have to say, sometimes there is truth in it. And that truth is a push in the right direction.

Yes, you may look sleep deprived, and your life has become a mess. But all of that should motivate you to push forward, and to pull your life together.

Let those nasty comments and criticisms motivate you to become better than you ever were.

If you are being criticized, then that someone must not at all know how you feel. They do not understand how you question your own life, and your own decisions. They just see someone who failed in a way that they have never failed before. And they think that it is below them. But just those thoughts puts that person below you.

And if you can come out of criticisms and addiction and become stronger, then you have undergone a much more character-rising experience than anyone else.

Walter Anderson said it well: “Bad things do happen; how I respond to them defines my character and the quality of my life. I can choose to sit in perpetual sadness, immobilized by the gravity of my loss, or I can choose to rise from the pain and treasure the most precious gift I have – life itself.”