I’ve had a couple of emails this week from readers who are planning to start their own blog as a tool to overcome their addiction. I think this is an excellent idea, and I would encourage anyone to give it a go. Blogging has been the most important tool in my own journey away from addiction – it is the nearest thing that I have to a program. I started blogging with the intention that it would be a journal of my new life in recovery, but right from the beginning it acted as my therapist and guru.
Journey of a Blogger
I began blogging almost as soon as I gave up alcohol seven years ago. My first posts were a bit lame and unpolished, but it got the ball rolling. It didn’t matter that my writing was practically illegible most of the time because the only loyal reader was me. I kept at it, and this effort began to seriously impact my life. It led to the publication of three books, and three years ago I made writing my full-time career – all because I started a blog on what felt at the time like a whim. Most important of all, this blogging journey has led me to a life where I’m content most of the time, and I’m on a path that is certainly the right one for me. It has given me a tool for eradicating the bullshit from my life – by getting the nonsense out of my head and onto the web it is like exposing vampires to the sun. I now see that the key to true serenity in life is not by believing in new things, but in getting rid of as many unhelpful beliefs as possible.
I can look back on my posts from a few months ago and see that what I’ve written then was a bit naive. I’m making steady progress just by writing down whatever nonsense is currently banging around inside my head. I’m sure that in a few months, I’ll look back on my current batch of posts and feel a bit embarrassed by some of this stuff – that’s progress. I’m jettisoning more and more bullshit out of my life as I go, and it is all wonderfully liberating.
This blog has become my therapist. Now anytime that I have a problem I just blog about it, and nine times out of ten (not an exact statistic) I’ll have some type of solution before reaching the end of the post. On those rare occasions when the solution doesn’t come right away, it will usually be provided by someone in the comments section. If it is a particularly tricky problem I can keep on writing about it, coming to the problem from different directions, until there is a resolution. This must be the cheapest form of therapy imaginable, and I doubt there is anything more effective.
Write Your Way Out of Recovery
In a post on here last month I suggested that people write their own recovery book. All of my books have come about through the process of blogging. I’m currently working on my Guidebook for living – a book written only for me – and this is being created through blogging – in fact this post is part of the process. I can’t think of a better way for people to write their way out of recovery than to use a blog.
In order for this blogging process to work I’ve had to be fearlessly honest. I can read back on my older posts and see that what I’ve written was bullshit, but it didn’t seem like bullshit to me at the time. I don’t think this blogging path can work for me without being willing to put all of my bullshit out there. There have been many times when I felt really uncomfortable about what I had written just before hitting the publish button, but these are the posts that ended up having the biggest impact on my life. It can be intimidating to be this open with the world, but I seem to have developed a thick skin for this type of honesty – other people might prefer to use a pseudonym.