I have been journaling for a while now, but I didn’t start really understanding what it could do for me until I was sober. Out of all my coping skills, I find journaling to be the best possible tool for me. I am able to write about how I feel, what I'm feeling and then process those emotions. In my addiction I wasn’t processing anything and that was my problem. I wasn’t just addicted to my drinking, I became addicted to the bitterness, the regrets, the thirst for revenge. All these things gave me the same satisfaction drinking did, but they burned a hole in me emotionally. Left me with no morals, and spiritually rotten. You know where these things led me? To jail twice, to the psych ward, to rehab and to hell and back. Back then I didn’t understand the ways my cycle of addiction affected me, and how my family's addiction reinforced those same patterns in me. So, I self-sabotaged, I played the blame game and became a victim. I chose to remain a victim because I was addicted to it, and it gave me a reason to drink. I didn’t want to lay down the bottle, and I certainly didn’t want to stop drinking. Yet here I am, having reached my bottom because I stopped digging, I decided to try something different.
Writing has fundamentally changed how I process my emotions, and the world around me. My memories may fade but how I felt never will. Writing helps me capture those memories, those feelings and understand them. My alcoholic and diseased mind only knows one narrative, a broken narrative I created. When I put them onto the paper, they come to life in ways I didn’t know they could. I am able to redefine myself, my stories and my perspective. I know that beneath the narcissist, alcoholic and selfish bastard was a scared and hurt little boy. A little boy struggling to find his way in the world without guidance from a father, I had no idea how to be a man. Every male role model in my family was just as bad if not worse than the other. Based on what I saw, that’s what I learned to become like. I'm still that lost little boy inside who's learning to navigate the fears, the insecurities, and the hurt with grace and mercy. I'm giving forgiveness back into the world because God forgave me. He didn’t just forgive me, he showed me more mercy and grace than I can ever understand. He allowed others to forgive me and I used that as strength to keep forgiving. After all what kind of man would I be if I took God's forgiveness for granted but gave nothing back. That’s not the man I want to be but I had to learn that.
I had to learn to speak up for myself, and I learned through my writing what my real needs were that were being unmet. Someone told me that sobriety is like a garden, we pull out the weeds to leave an open space for God to work. That’s what writing is for us. A blank space for our emotions, our thoughts, our unprocessed hurts to be explored. You can't hide from it when it's staring you point blank in the face on the paper. I hope everyone finds an outlet for their healing to happen. I pray that the space you create for your higher power to work in your life is transformed 100x over. But you have to create that space for healing to happen, you have to choose to continue working with good tools that work for you. We know the drinking didn’t work, we know the sex, the drugs and the resentments didn’t work. I pray we find what works for us, and share our experiences with others to encourage them to find a creative outlet for healing.
With much love and grace,