Can Writing Help Us Heal?

As we’re working to recover from addiction and mental illness, we want to develop new coping skills to replace all of the destructive, limiting, damaging patterns we’ve been perpetuating over the years. We want to tackle all of the different manifestations of our pain, our addictive patterns and the symptoms of our mental and emotional health issues, and confront them head on rather than running from them as we’ve grown so accustomed to doing. We want to adopt new tools for our recovery program that allow us to process and express our difficult thoughts and feelings. There are so many tools and coping skills we can choose, and we can find the ones that resonate with us. Can writing in particular help us to heal?

The process of writing out our thoughts and feelings helps us to make sense of them, process and organize them in ways that talking about them can’t do. When we talk about our issues, we often tend to go in circles. Our thoughts race. We’re filled with confusion, and our thoughts overwhelm us. We feel like we’re all over the place, unable to wrap our brains around everything we’re thinking and feeling. When we write, we get everything out and can see it all clearly. Even if we’re writing in circles, even if our writing is as all over the place as our thoughts, we can organize our thoughts more easily on paper than we can when they’re floating around in our heads creating more confusion and inner turmoil for ourselves.

As we write, we feel how therapeutic it is to release the pent-up thoughts and emotions that have been causing us so much pain. The act of writing itself can be soothing and comforting. It can become part of our self-care routine to write out our thoughts on an issue, to journal about our day, to write as part of a gratitude practice, or to use creative writing to express ourselves.

Writing can help us heal by allowing us to release and express things we might feel unable to say. Our writing can be the safe space we need to let everything out. We can also create a ritual as part of our spiritual practice where we burn the piece of paper we’ve been writing on, as a sacred act of releasing our pain.

Riverside Recovery believes in the importance of holistic healing and education, mindfulness and mind-body-spirit wellness. Call (800) 871-5440 for more information on our treatment programs.