How to Keep an Addiction Recovery Journal

About Journaling

How to Keep an Addiction Recovery Journal

During any addiction recovery process and even afterward, support is essential. A simple, easy and proven effective way, that anyone can use to support themselves, is keeping an addiction recovery journal or diary. An excellent tool for recovery, as well as a great way of doing our, Daily 10th Step Inventory,
journaling provides a record of gratitudes, goals, intentions, and the ups and the downs of life. Journaling is a record of our actions and growth, our dreams and desires.

Journaling is all about expression. Writing down, recording our feelings, recognizing them, and leaving them on the page, is an excellent way to understand and figure out what is really important to us and for us.
We can realize what we are really experiencing. We see what we are really thinking. It is right there on the page in black and white. Where is the fear? Where is the joy? Within the journaling pages and with time,
clarity is easier to obtain and focus upon. Then, after this processing, we can make clear, focused choices of what works and serves us. And what does not.

An excellent, supportive tool to use to start an addiction recovery journal is The 5 Year Journal. The 5 Year Journal can be started on any day, in any year. Already formatted into three lines a day, the day and date are at the top of the page, but you write in the year. This format is especially conducive for journaling daily the 12 Step Recovery Program.
Use 5YJ to record a relative reflection of the daily steps taken. After the each year journaled, we can
look back at the previous years to see where we were last year, then two years ago, three years, and so on.

5 Journaling Tips

1. Start journaling on any day of the year.

2. Set your journal where you see it every day:
On the kitchen table, your desk or in your briefcase.
This will help remind you to journal daily.

3. Keep a pen or pencil with your journal.

4. Skipping days is a part of journaling.

5. You can use the same color of pen or use different
colors. You can also designate colors of pens for certain
feelings, i.e., green for growth, blue for sadness, orange
for joy, red for anger, you get the idea. If you are
using the different colored pens, write in the front of
your journal what you decided each color signifies.

By journaling every day, we make time for ourselves, and in so many ways our journal becomes a treasured
keepsake. Keeping an addiction
recovery journal can reduce stress, help focus and organize us, and becomes a good reminder, helping us to set and track goals. Comparing and exploring the different times of our
lives is easy with a journal.

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About the Author

Doreene Clement, a cancer victor, author of The 5 Year Journal, and a journlaing expert, is currently writing a new book, Blessed, about her life and her cancer experience.

Rev. Stephen J. Murray, MCRC, the current Director of NICD, National Institute on Chemical Dependency, is an ordained minister and counselor.