Recovery can be an overwhelming process full of ups and downs, a topsy turvy road with no exact defined end. It's normal for people to go forward and backward during the process, at a point of time you may feel you’ve recovered but you may go back to being sick again. Did you know that there are six steps everyone goes through in the recovery journey? Precontemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, maintenance, and termination. An individual can be in more than two phases at the same time.
The idea of recovery can be different for different people. It can be getting back to normal after fighting disease or dealing with substance abuse. It can also include coping with emotional traumas or anything that involves the healing process, be it mentally or physically.
Maintaining a journal may help you record and analyze the emotions and thoughts that can be difficult to unravel.
JOURNALIZING WHILE RECOVERING CAN HELP IN THE FOLLOWING WAYS:
1) Spotting your triggers
Triggers can happen to people dealing with substance abuse or for those going through any behavioral modification. In the case of a disease, it can be symptoms. Identifying triggers/cravings/stressors can help you find suitable ways to tackle them and prepare you for the future if they surface again.
2) Analyzing situations in a better way
Overthinking while recovering can block your thoughts and induce anxiety. Having an irrational thinking process can make you do things you don't want to. While journalizing, your mind will get space to think about the situation that will prevent the chances of instant reactions. According to a study, expressive writing benefited many people diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) and Dysphoria.
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3) Improving connections
When you write what you feel, you become more serious and purposeful. You start becoming stronger at refining, delivering, and expressing your thoughts to the other person. Journalizing improves connections as you develop the power to open up. People understand you better this way.
4) Reconnecting with yourself
Getting to know yourself better while recovering is a crucial process. It's about looking forward to what you want to achieve when you are sober, manifesting it, and figuring how you'll be doing it? Writing allows you to peep inside, connect with your deeper core, love yourself and paves the way towards self-discovery.
5) Throws light on your accomplishments
We all go through hard times when the air feels gloomy & all that we see around is- sufferings. But, if you look back and see how far you have come, it will give you the courage to maintain a positive attitude and move ahead confidently. So, whenever you feel low, turning the pages will help you gain a fresh perspective.
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Types of recovery journals
There are different types of recovery journals that you can consider in the recovery process.
1) Diary – You can write down all that happened in your day and how you felt about them in a diary.
2) Reflection Journal – Pen down whatever you did, your experiences, and think how it could have been done in a better way (if possible).
3) Gratitude Journal – According to Harvard health, gratitude can make you happier, improve your overall health, and foster relationships. In a gratitude journal, you aim to write what you are grateful for and read it before going to bed each day.
4) Goal Setting Journal – Here, you would mention all the short, medium, and long-term goals. It will help you implement productive habits, track them and motivate you to achieve your goals effectively.
5) Health Journal – Keeping a health diary enables you to monitor aspects of your health like following nutritious eating habits, track regular exercises, weight, appetite changes, and customize it according to your progress.
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Wrapping it up
Maintaining a recovery journal clears out the distressing thoughts invading inside an individual and promotes light-hearted feelings. In fact, rehabs and treatment centers consider journalizing as a helpful way for patients to let out their emotions and feelings.
If you think, journalizing isn't helping you, know that it takes constant effort and time to overcome situations. Don't let the voices in your head suffocate you. If you need immediate help, talk to an emotional therapist on The Wellness Corner (Don't want to reveal your identity, that's fine, opt. for anonymous sessions) to deal with your inner and outer conflicts. Consult a doctor or dietitian virtually via chat/audio/video for additional support.