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Can Poetry Be Effective in Addiction Recovery?


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If you’ve ever heard of writing therapy, it’s become much more popular in reputable treatment programs today because it provides individuals an opportunity to explore feelings that may have been suppressed because they were too painful. Nobody likes feeling anger, sadness, depression, and shame – which is why so many people try to mask those feelings by self-medicating with substances such as drugs or alcohol. While these tactics may seem to work immediately, they don’t solve our problems; in fact, they worsen our problems because they add on new ones that relate back directly to our substance abuse. If you haven’t tried it yet, writing therapy can be a very beneficial source for you – to dig deeper into the unknown that is you.

Poetry is one aspect of writing therapy, and can be seen as an art form. Consider the last time you read a beautiful poem. Did it move you? Did it spark your interest or curiosity, resonate with the depths of your soul, or motivate you to act on something? Did you give you a sense of “oneness” with the world, to know that someone out there is experiencing a similar chain of events that you are? Poetry is a very powerful tool – if not for the world, even for yourself. If you’re looking for poetry inspiration, consider this poem published on Digital Poet, called “Emerge”.

You don’t have to consider yourself an artist, writer, creative genius, or anything of that sort to write poetry. If you’re having difficulty thinking of something to write about, try getting a blank sheet of paper and just writing whatever comes to mind. Don’t try to be perfect. That’s what poetry is all about – embracing the imperfections and messiness that life brings us sometimes. Contributor Jay Griffiths wrote for The Guardian about how poetry helped her ease some of the symptoms of his depression. She stated,

“In the awful loneliness of depression, poetry is the kindest companion when one is keening to be comprehended.”

Your words can serve as a testimony of your lived experiences, as a motivator to push you forward into reaching your recovery goals, and as a reflection on what you’ve learned over the years. What are you waiting for? Grab a paper and a pen, and try writing a poem today.

Simple Recovery is a world-renowned, California state-licensed substance abuse recovery center that offers writing therapy and a variety of other holistic treatment options. We offer dual diagnosis treatment, so if you are experiencing both substance abuse and symptoms of a mental disorder, call us today at 888-743-0490 so that we can work with you to restore your happiness, health, and well-being. You do not have to continue living this way; there are many people here ready to help you.