No, this isn’t homework. Though you may have only heard of journal prompts in the context of teachers giving assignments, think of this more like a personal journal. It won’t be graded, and that’s a promise.
Keeping a substance use journal can be a vital tool in achieving sobriety. Knowing your triggers to usage, and emotions before and after use and getting real with yourself about the root causes of your addiction can be a game-changer. Truly knowledge is power, and empowering yourself with awareness of your own feelings and behaviors can help you to self-reflect and make important decisions when the going gets tough.
Starting an addiction recovery journal can seem daunting. If you’re looking for a place to begin, here are enough addiction treatment journal prompts to keep you reflecting for weeks, along with some tips to keep writing once you’ve gone through the prompts.
Grab your journal and get started on one of the below prompts today!
- What does your dream life look like?
- What is an aspiration you had when you were younger?
- What is a manageable goal you want to accomplish in the next year?
- What is a manageable goal you want to accomplish within the next five years?
- Who has a life you admire, and why?
- Write about someone you know who has overcome a lot of challenges.
- Create a story with yourself as the main character. What do you achieve?
- Write a description of the celebration your friends and family throw you to toast to 5 years of sobriety.
- Write a thank you speech to all those who have helped you in your journey. Remember to thank yourself.
- If you were asked to give a motivational speech to people struggling with addiction, what advice would you give them?
- Write about the best parts of your childhood.
- Write about the hardest parts of your childhood, and what you learned from them.
- When was a time you had a vivid revelation, a time you learned something profound about yourself or the world?
- How do you determine whether someone is trustworthy?
- Write about the kindest thing someone has done for you.
- If you could come to a sense of peace about one event in your past, what would it be?
- Write about a time when addiction recovery taught you a valuable lesson.
- How would you explain addiction to someone who has never experienced it before?
- Why is generosity important?
- If you need to remove someone from your life who jeopardizes your sobriety, what would you say to that person?
- Picture yourself many years from now talking to children, grandchildren or great-grandchildren about addiction. How would you explain your experiences to a child?
- When you think of the word “shame,” what comes to mind?
- What gives you a sense of hope?
- How did your younger self-deal with worry and how has that changed?
- Write about the benefits of sharing your experience, like with your mental health professional. How does it feel to be listened to?
- What was your outlook on life when you were younger?
- What is your outlook on life currently?
- Write about your self-care routine.
- Why is self-care important for addiction recovery?
- If you were to take a month-long, all-expenses-paid vacation, describe how it would look.
- If your addiction were a character, how would it look, talk and behave?
- Can you remember the point when you first felt like you were addicted to a substance?
- Describe your body or your personality. How does it make you feel?
- When did you feel best about yourself?
- How have the relationships in your life impacted your sobriety?
- If a book was written that truly helped you in your recovery, what would that book be about?
- What would it take to feel proud of yourself?
Staying consistent with your journaling
More addiction recovery journaling prompts are easy to find. Although many of the above prompts are specifically tailored to address addiction and recovery, most journaling prompts can be geared to fit your recovery journey. As the writer, you get to decide where the topic is headed. A simple internet search can bring up hundreds more writing prompts for your journal.
If you’re still having writer’s block, try the following techniques to get the ideas flowing:
- Search for quotes. Write about whether or not you agree with the quote and why. Then, write about how the quote could be applied to addiction and recovery
- Write about a memory from before your usage. Even if the memory doesn’t involve substances, write about how it relates to the path of your life
- Write about your wildest life goals and try out “solution-based therapy.” This type of therapy focuses on getting a person to see the ideal future. Once that’s in front of your eyes it’s easier to be motivated about the steps you need to take to get there. If it’s helpful, roll with it and get more specific. Write about what your daily routine would look like in a perfect world, or how you could talk about your addiction recovery journey looking back on it
- Write about one of the prompts again. If you’re going down the list and it’s been at least a month since you last wrote about it, feel free to draft an updated journal entry. Fulfill the prompt again and see how your thoughts have changed
The addiction treatment you deserve
Keeping a recovery journal can be an important step in your journey. Whether you’ve already started one or are just beginning now, these prompts can help guide you to the freedom of sobriety through understanding your emotions, your past and your goals. As always, discuss your thoughts with your mental health professional at Real Recovery. Your therapist can give you more ideas, support and encouragement in your journaling and remind you that all the work you do is making a difference.
Addiction recovery journals go a long way toward helping you cope productively with substance use challenges. However, journaling in itself — although very successful in helping you process thoughts and feelings — should never replace clinical treatment. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance use habits, know that Real Recovery can help. Call 1 (855) 363-7325 today, or learn about our PHP, IOP and OP services offered in awe-inspiring Asheville, North Carolina when you contact us to pursue health and healing.