Writing, including gratitude lists, parts of my personal stories, essays about principles, and steps in Alcoholics Anonymous, and for me most importantly, poetry, has been an essential part of my recovery. I often discover awareness and clarity when I create time to write. Writing poetry was a way for me to tap into and mine creativity in ways impossible for me prior to getting sober. It has become a daily ritual that I practice to stay sober and to nurture my well-being.
Recently John S. and Angela B. hosted a discussion about writing in recovery. Writing a letter to one’s future self to read when times might be hard was one of the many ways that writing can help support recovery. Though I didn’t write this early in recovery, writing creatively, taking poetic license, I can imagine that I did.
I Once Wrote a Letter to Myself
I wrote a letter to myself
In a dark once upon a time
Replete with possibility
Written with hope and love
‘Twas not a letter of despair
Nor one filled with broken dreams
In it there was loss and there was death
Disappointments and despair
And there were stories of birth
Of happiness and joy
A life seemingly lost found
Relationships irreparable repaired
This I read in a letter that
I once wrote to myself
About the Author
Robert B. is a sober alcoholic in Madison, WI participating in AA and AlAnon at Fitchburg Serenity Club. He has been sober since April 21, 2007. He also began writing and sharing poetry on Facebook during his first year sober as part of his recovery from alcohol dependency, acute anxiety, and chronic depression. He has found that creativity expressed primarily through writing poetry and playing various stringed instruments helped him heal and thrive.