If you are very early in your recovery from drugs or alcohol you were probably given the advice to keep a journal. I know, I know, I felt exactly the same way. It just sounds pretty lame. Plus addicts are not the type of people that want to have any permanent record of the weird and deviate thoughts that go on in our addict brains. When I was told to keep a journal I pictured myself laying stomach down on my bed with my legs bent up at the knees, crossed at the ankles and swinging back and forth while I write: Dear Diary…
Since I truly want to do what the winners do just as much as you do, I decided to heed the advice. I went out and bought myself a little notebook which I call a journal not a diary. Journal sounds cooler, like I have something to say other than what my favorite color is. If you want to get a journal you feel special about go right ahead but you can also just use any old notebook.
I thought I would have a hard time thinking of something to write…was I ever wrong! Recording my thoughts in a journal is really a great tool for myself in my recovery. I had started when I was still in an institution going through detox. I wrote down exactly how it felt physically and mentally. For me, the point of doing that was so that I could never forget. I can never convince myself that I’m not really an addict or that I’m making it out to be more serious than it really was. I have it written in ink exactly what was going on and the fact that I honestly could not get myself to look into a mirror until I was there about 4 days because I was so disgusted with myself. People that don’t have a problem wouldn’t have those feelings.
I try to keep up with my journal daily. At first when I was completely lost in my sober life I wrote in that journal a few times a day. It kept me sane. Just like you feel better right after you speak at a narcotics anonymous or alcoholics anonymous meeting or when you get out of your therapists office, you feel better after you write your feelings down. It acts as a way to make sure you are not bottling your feelings up anymore.