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Journal Writing - from the Health and Healing Series at SupportNet.ca - Resources for Your Recovery

Recovery is learning to enjoy life - without the use of alcohol or drugs that alter mind or mood.

It is treatment for the condition of addiction - an approach to the challenges of life - and a path to personal growth.

Recovery requires us to learn - about the true nature of addiction.

It may be personalized - but it has its necessary Principles and its Ways.

The Principles of Recovery provide direction - to the choices that we face each day.

The Ways of Recovery provide us with tools - that help us to heal - and to enjoy life on life’s terms.

This Recovery Learning Seminar introduces the topic of Journal Writing -

What you need to know - How it works - and How Journal Writing can help you in your recovery today.

What Is Journal Writing?

Journal Writing refers to a few paragraphs or pages that I write each day.

It is a way to express my self - to reflect on my day - to explore my feelings - and to sort through the stuff on my mind.

Journal Writing is like Recovery Talk. It is best to write in first person - and to always use the ‘I’ word.

I can write about the things that I did today - the people that I met - my thoughts and feelings - what went right and how I could have done better.

Journal Writing is about expressing your self - and letting it go.

It is best to not think too hard about what to write. Just start to write whatever comes to your mind.

Journal writing - and expressing yourself - gets easier with practice.

You can begin to Journal Write with a pen - and a pad or binder of paper - or you can type to a journal page that you keep on your computer.

You may or may not decide to keep your journal writing after you are done.

But if you do decide to keep it, make certain that it is kept in a private place - where others will not look at it.

Choose a regular time in your day - to set aside for your writing.

Getting Started

A good way to get started in Journal Writing - is to ask your self questions - and to write each answer as it comes to your mind.

What happened to me today? How am I feeling right now? What did I enjoy? What did I do for my recovery today?

Writing answers to these questions will help you to digest your day and to settle your mind - before going to bed each night.

Journal Writing is a good way to take inventory of your day.

What did I do right today? Was I honest with myself - and with others? What could I have done better? What did I learn?

What did I do for my Recovery today?

Consider the Principles of Recovery - Honesty - Openness - Willingness - and how you applied them in your life today.

Was I honest in the things that I said today? Did I listen to what was said to me today? Did I find balance in my day? Did I do what I needed to do?

Ask what thoughts occupied your mind today.

Did I hold positive thoughts in my mind? Did I allow myself to be pulled out of the day? Where did my thinking take me today? Was I critical of myself?

Always take time to write comments about how you are feeling.

How am I feeling right now? What feelings were stirred by the thoughts on my mind - or by the people that I met today?

Anger is a feeling that is best to express - and to then let go.

Journal Writing is an excellent way to release feelings of anger or resentment.

You can write about how you feel - about the ways to solve a problem - or about the people who can help you.

Remember that the more you write about the memories or people that make you angry - the more your anger will rise.

Your mind will settle as you write about your feelings - without blaming or lashing out at others.

Always explore your role in the roots of a difficult relationship or circumstance.

If you need to express your anger in writing - consider to write a letter to the person you are angry with. It does not matter who they are, if you still see them - or even if they are still alive.

Journal Writing is about expressing your self. Write what you need to say - and get it all out.

You do not need to send your letter. Remember that you do not need to keep your Journal Writing - and it may not always be a good idea to do so.

Write an angry letter. Sit with it for a bit. Then shred, safely burn or otherwise destroy it. Let go of your anger as you let go of the letter.

No Journal is complete without a daily Gratitude List.

What three things do I have to be grateful for today? How did I attend to the most important things in my life - my health, family and friends?

A Gratitude List is a great way to start - or to finish your daily Journal Writing.

Write the Serenity Prayer - and reflect on its meaning.

 Grant me Serenity to accept the things I cannot change - Courage to change the things that I can - and Wisdom to know the difference.

What do I not want to accept - about myself or my life? Who am I trying to control? What do I need to just get on with - and do?

Whatever happens - don’t pressure your self.

Many of us are not practiced in expressing our selves. It may take time for the words to come.

If you find yourself feeling frustrated - write about this. Or take a break - and come back to Journal Writing at another time.

Find a quiet place - and a regular time to Journal Write. First thing in the morning - or later in the evening are both good times.

Use a separate pad of paper - or a private directory on your computer for your Journal Writing. Don’t write other things there.

A few minutes each day will be easier than a longer time once in a while. You will find that your Journal Writing will come easier in time.

How It Can Help

Journal Writing helps you to organize your thoughts - to express your feelings - and to get to know your self better.

You may be surprised by what you write - and what you will learn from the stuff that comes out of you.

Journal Writing encourages you to reflect - on the things that are happening inside of you - and in your life today.

It helps you to digest - thoughts, feelings and memories.

And it allows you to let go of things that may clutter your mind - to relieve you of pressures built up in the day.

In Summary

Journal Writing refers to a few paragraphs or pages that we write each day.

It helps us to organize our thoughts - to express and sort through our feelings.

Journal Writing helps us to know our selves - by taking time to reflect - and by seeing the things that we write on paper.

You have now reached the end of Journal Writing.

Look for this and other Learning Series topics at www.SupportNet.ca - Resources for Your Recovery.