For many of us, our most terrible fear is loneliness. When you feel like the only person who has ever walked the path you are on, experienced what you are experiencing, or felt the pain you are in, you experience a deep, harrowing loneliness.
You’re Not Alone
So, when you hear a song that expresses your emotions or read a book (or quote) that describes something you’ve experienced, you feel validated. All of a sudden, those feelings you were carrying seem a little lighter because you realize another is carrying them as well.
Knowing that others have faced what you are facing, have felt what you are feeling, and have survived what you are struggling with is a huge boost of confidence. As a person in recovery, you know how much other people’s recovery stories others can help. So why not take the time to share your own recovery story?
Tell Your Story for Yourself
Taking ownership of your own feelings is an important part of recovery. Since so much of substance use can be traced back to a desire to escape from reality, living in the moment and fully experiencing emotions will help you conquer the driving force behind the substance abuse.
Sometimes we can only fully process our thoughts when we see them written down or hear them spoken aloud. Our minds can twist, change, and confuse things when we don’t have an outlet. Feelings and emotions can become like a flooded lake behind a dam. The safest thing to do is release the floodwaters in a controlled manner.
Writing down your thoughts is a common way to express yourself and understand your own emotions. Whether it’s a diary, a standard journal, or just a one-line-a-day journal, putting a feeling or experience down in words that you can later reflect on is so very beneficial to your overall health. Writing and sharing your story can help you find your voice, find peace, and reaffirm your values.
Tell Your Story for Your Loved Ones
It is hard to watch someone you care about going through something you don’t understand. It is difficult to relate to their struggles if you haven’t experienced the same things.
Family members, especially parents, spouses, and children, often suffer the most when there is substance abuse. In order to move on and grow into their role as a support system, they need to understand and learn to forgive the difficulties caused by substance use. Giving them something tangible that expresses your journey can be a huge step in the right direction for everyone involved.
Putting your feelings, thoughts, emotions, and actions into words can also open up lines of communication about the struggles you have been through during the course of substance use and recovery. Telling your story also encourages your loved ones to share their stories with you so that you can better understand and support each other.
Tell Your Story for Others Still Struggling
As you know, being in substance use recovery is difficult. Knowing others have been in your shoes is an important part of enduring and being successful. Knowing that it is possible to go from addiction to recovery and enjoy a sober, happy life is a light at the end of the tunnel for so many just starting their journey.
Just as others’ stories of perseverance were a comfort to you, so your story can comfort those just beginning the marathon journey toward sobriety. Regardless of the medium you choose to express yourself, there are people who can benefit from your tale.
Tell Your Story Any Which Way You Can
The ways of telling your recovery story are as various as the stories themselves. Whether you tell your story in written form – such as a blog, a print article, or even a book – or through visual media like photography, art, or sculpture, how you tell it isn’t nearly as important as what you tell. The message can be conveyed through the lyrics of a song as easily as through a podcast. The people watching your flip-card tale in a facebook post will be touched in the same way as someone hearing you bare your soul in a TikTok video.
People who are struggling with their own substance abuse or that of a loved one are everywhere and enjoy every media available. Regardless of how you choose to put your feelings into the world, your story will help so many more than just yourself.
At St. Gregory Recovery Center in Iowa, we want to be part of your story. If you or a loved one are struggling with substance use and addiction, we can provide the treatment and support you need to find your way back to a healthy, happy life. Contact us today to learn more.