Writing For Recovery
Many bloggers I work with tell me how therapeutic they find writing to be in their recovery. Andi Michael is an author and creative therapeutic facilitator. She believes writing creatively can help us express ourselves, and the process is more powerful than the outcome. She is currently creating a variety of creative writing programs focused on benefiting people with eating disorders and negative self-image. Read her piece below that includes a recovery writing prompt.
Being creative can be healing, I think we probably all agree on that. Arts, crafts, music. I use creative writing to heal myself, and help others learn to do it too. Think about diary writing- how many of you still do that? How it can feel like a rush onto the page, all the emotions and stress draining out of you like ink onto that blank page.
How did you feel after? Released? Relieved? Some of you may already write, and you’ll know if it feels right for you. Some may hear the words ‘writing’ and already the dread of school and red pen all over your work has switched you off. But give me a chance. I’m (hopefully) going to offer a few different writing tasks for you to try out over the coming weeks or months.
Maybe you’ll do them straight away, maybe you’ll forget about them until the moment you need them. They are based around a storyline called ‘The Hero’s Journey.’
Beginning the Journey
You are on your journey of recovery. Maybe you’ve started, maybe you’re not there yet. Maybe you’re just packing up your backpack and tentatively stepping out of the front door, wary of this new adventure, but sure you need to take this journey. Every journey has a beginning.Think about your beginning, when does this journey of recovery start? Why is it starting at this point? What are your dreams and hopes as you start on this journey?
Time to pick up your pen!Think about where you’re starting from and what you’re going to need on this important journey you’re taking. What will you pack in your bag to bring with you, what will be left behind? Start your writing piece ‘On this journey, I will bring...’It can be a list, a random bunch of thoughts, an organised piece.
When you’ve exhausted this, write your next heading: ‘On this journey, I will leave behind...’ and then ‘On this journey I will find...’Write until you feel you’re done. Take a few moments, just to breathe, soak up any ideas or feelings. Read over your work- does it feel true to you? Does it feel positive, like a real telling of your story? If not, add to it. Make yourself proud.
It is your story to do with as you wish. Do you want to share it with someone, to help them understand? Do you want to keep it safe? Do you want to destroy it, knowing you’ve said what you needed to say?
Try out the task and see how you felt about writing. Share your thoughts and experiences here, if you like.
Here’s an example I did:
On this journey I will bring:
love support big dreams a pen and paper
hiking boots for big mountains
that strong little voice in mepretty sparkly things
music that makes me smile
a comfy pillow so I can always sleep well
a smile even when I don’t feel like it.On this journey I will leave:the voices of others
those big opinions
my room fear
the need to control
On this journey I will find: