Top view of attractive caucasian brunette in sweater and with headband sitting on blanket outdoors and holding pen and diary in hands while looking at camera.

There has been a vast movement toward mindfulness in our current culture, especially with the onset of a pandemic. People around the world are looking for accessible ways to support their mental health and well-being. Especially for individuals struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, journaling provides an effective avenue to support wellness. The supplies are minimal and there’s no training required; all you need is a few minutes a day and the necessary writing materials. And with speech-to-text and dictation features on most phones and computers, you don’t even need to physically write to keep a journal.

Journaling allows you a safe space to process your thoughts, feelings and actions as often as you like. Tailoring your journal to fulfill a specific purpose, such as an addiction journal, offers additional therapeutic benefits.

Benefits to an addiction journal for recovery

The list of benefits to journaling is lengthy, and each individual may discover more advantages not mentioned here. Once you begin an addiction journal, and especially after you stick with the habit in the weeks to come, you are actually tracking data. When you read back through your writing you are sure to see signs of progress, and also patterns in vulnerabilities that could be triggers to usage. Noticing these trends doesn’t require a journal, but it sure doesn’t hurt to have it there in black-and-white detail, when you need to be real with yourself. An addiction diary can also help you to develop your writing skills, which is a marketable talent.

Journaling goes a long way toward building a regular routine. Making writing a regular habit can both make journaling more manageable and more useful to all participants. Routines can bring a sense of stability to a life that otherwise feels chaotic and disjointed. Especially for those dealing with mental health issues alongside addiction, routine is crucial to establishing a balanced life.

How to start journaling for addiction recovery

If you’ve never had a journal before, no need to fret. Journaling is one of the simplest tasks you can start to promote mental health and addiction recovery. In fact, journaling is the easiest thing you can do in the next five minutes to support your sobriety. All you need is a medium to write (or dictate to your device) about your experiences and your thoughts. There are no regulations, guidelines or requirements for a diary. This is your space to process what you need to. If you find yourself wondering how to get started, here are some addiction recovery questions to get you started or spark some inspiration.

  1. If I had to narrow my biggest trigger down to one word, what would it be and why?
  2. When I look back at my life, what events can I trace back to that directly impacted substance use habits?
  3. What was my biggest barrier to lasting sobriety, last time I tried to break my addiction?
  4. Where do I need to be emotionally for long-term recovery from drug and alcohol abuse?
  5. Who has been my biggest support in my recovery?
  6. Who/what has been my biggest adversary in my recovery?
  7. What do I still need others to do to help me achieve sobriety, and have I asked for that help?
  8. What do I need to take personal responsibility for in my recovery that I haven’t before?
  9. What conversation do I need to have, and with whom, to feel more free to really pursue sobriety?
  10. Where do I feel most at peace, and what can I do to bring that sense of peace into my daily life?
  11. Who do I know that has achieved long-term sobriety and what question(s) should I ask that person?
  12. What is the most motivational thing I have heard or experienced that will help me in my recovery?
  13. In 10 years, how do I want the story of my addiction and recovery to be told?
  14. How do I hope to one day use my sobriety to inspire others?
  15. Where do I see myself in 5 years having achieved sobriety?
  16. Where will I be in 5 years if my addiction is still disrupting my life?
  17. What would it take to be proud of myself?

Use and re-use these journaling prompts throughout your addiction recovery process. Guaranteed, you’ll write something different every time even if you use the same prompt over and over. Allow your addiction journal to guide you in your self-discovery. The more you know yourself, the easier it is to avoid temptations to substance use and the more likely you are to implement supports that will help you reach sobriety. This is not an easy road, but keeping a journal can help you to see that you’re gaining ground even when it feels like you’re stuck in a rut. 

To get help with your addiction, get in touch with a professional today. The therapists at Silvermist Recovery will be happy to help you get started with an addiction diary, in tandem with professional services that can help you actively pursue freedom from life’s challenges. Call  (724) 268-4858 today, and discover how great substance use freedom can feel.