Writing is a therapeutic tool in holistic rehab that can help anyone access their deepest hopes, fears, and worries while working through setbacks and accomplishments, the past and the present. And the best part is, proper spelling and grammar are not required. Your writing doesn’t even have to be legible. Writing therapy is a way to find your voice on paper and say everything you’ve ever wanted to say, and plenty of things you may not have even realized needed to be said.
1. Explain Feelings Without Having to Name Them
It isn’t easy for everyone to express themselves verbally. You may have plenty of thoughts in your head but getting them out in front of a group of people or even in a one-on-one conversation can be a challenge. It can be especially difficult to convey your feelings at the start of holistic rehab as you learn how to become a cleaner, newer version of yourself. When you write out your feelings they are just as real, legitimate, and alive as though you had spoken them — minus the pressure of verbal demands.
2. Organize Your Thoughts
Going through withdrawal, coming to terms with a dual diagnosis, learning how to exist without substances in your body — these major experiences can make it difficult to make sense of everything in your life. Even though you’re getting help in rehab, your mind can feel chaotic. On paper, you can organize what you’re going through to come to terms with all the experiences you’re having. Or, at the very least, find a written way to identify them and come to terms with them with time and practice.
3. Create Lists
It isn’t necessary to write in complete sentences and paragraphs to benefit from writing therapy. Some people thrive through list-building. If that’s your sweet spot, indulge it. List the things that drugs prevented you from doing. List your rehab goals. List where you want to be in a year. List where you never want to be again. Writing lists — especially ones you check off — can be incredibly gratifying and help you slowly but surely accomplish your goals and be a visual reminder of your progress.
4. Document Things You Aren’t Ready to Say Out Loud
You may have no trouble with verbal communication, but when it comes to certain emotions or experiences, you stall and don’t want to give voice to what happened to you or what you fear may happen during or after rehab. Writing lets you “hide” these feelings on the page until you are ready to voice them. Negative feelings, especially, are difficult for some people in recovery, who don’t want to blame others or name names. Being able to acknowledge who isn’t a healthy part of your life on paper makes them real, but not so large they cannot be overcome.
5. Get Inspired
When you are under the influence of drugs and alcohol, sometimes the best parts of you are dulled down and underwater. You are numbed and, as a result, uninspired. With room to write out your thoughts in verse or prose, you can rediscover your creative side or unearth part of yourself that you never knew existed. You may be a gifted poet or talented nonfiction writer. Perhaps you write graphically, using both words and images to get your thoughts out. Holistic therapy embraces creative arts that help you find hope and joy in life, without alcohol or drugs.
6. You Can Take It with You
Eventually, holistic rehab will end, but recovery is for a lifetime. Anyone who develops a strong writing practice during rehab from drugs or alcohol can take their writing practice with them as they head out into a new life. When times get challenging, write it down. When temptations arise, write them down. When you have a milestone to celebrate, put it on paper.
Most of all, with writing, you can review what you’ve already written and pat yourself on the back at how far you’ve come. There is no one way to do writing therapy, but there is a technique that works for everyone. Holistic rehab treatment centers like Beachside Rehab will help you find your way.
Contact our trained admissions counselors at 866-349-1770 to discuss the needs of the college student in your life so they can get the targeted, long-lasting recovery support they need.