In Celebrate Recovery there are a lot of homework assignments in the participant guides ask you to write down specific thoughts and feelings about specific times in our lives. Maybe times where we have been hurt, things we have not yet forgiven, times that we have made poor choices, or beginning to keep track our personal daily inventories… (and DOZENS more).
These exercises help us to SEE where things went wrong,
evidenced by certain actions and feelings that we remember or associate with the certain events that we write down.
This helps us to pinpoint and recognize a problem, admit our own role in relation to said problem, and then we move even further- we learn how to be mindful. This means that we choose to not make that same choice or to have the same reaction in the future pertaining to the hurtful event or memory.
When we choose to sit down and invest time in uncovering our truest and darkest secrets….
these writing homework assignments become life-changing exercises that can bring immense healing to us.
There are many exercises for dealing with anger management, tracking positive and negative emotions, and for making strides with overall emotional regulation.
Writing exercises are typically used to help someone with a substance use disorder
to SEE and to recognize their own patterns of behavior.
This way, we learn to stop the downward spiral before it begins, and to consciously implement and use new tools as a response, replacing our old, destructive, reactions.
For me personally, I have benefited from paper/pen exercises to help with clarity.
Any time that I am feeling lost, spread too thin, confused on a certain issue, or I am simply compiling a gratitude list, I get out a real-life pen and a piece of paper.
Writing my gratitude lists out by hand, taking a daily inventory, writing, or simply jotting down prayer requests for others, has really become one of my strongest allies over the years. It’s like I have trained myself to be held accountable and to confront anything that might even look like it could be packing itself up, heading for storage.
By performing these acts of self-care it helps me to stay centered and grounded, and strengthens my relationship with God.
It is so cool to me to look back at how powerful something that seems like such a small change in my life could end up having such a positive impact on my recovery journey.