Shed Alcohol Addiction and Become a Writing Addict
Alcohol Addiction Can be Helped By Writing.
Today’s guest post is from Jen Lewis. She has dealt with alcoholism in her family and written some help guides for the Coalition Against Drug Abuse.
The Man With The Green Suitcase deals with a former alcoholic who finds himself homeless. Some might think that this is a strange plot to include in a book that is centered on the supernatural but it is the juxtaposition of the otherworldly with elements of reality that is likely to capture the imagination of the readers. The fact that the man is able to share mysterious visions with other characters might be rare and unexpected but an alcoholic leaving his family and becoming homeless certainly is not.
According to the National Institute of Health, nearly fifty percent of homeless men and sixteen percent of homeless women possess alcohol use disorders. Often alcoholism can force people out of their homes due to the money that it consumes and the effect that it has upon their personal relationships.
Coping with Difficult Life Experiences
Alcohol addiction is a very real issue that affects an estimated eighteen million Americans. Research suggests that in some states the problem is growing at a rapid rate of knots. Connecticut and New York are prime examples. Connecticut addiction rehab facilities saw an increase in excessive alcohol use between 2001 and 2009 in nearly every demographic and New York has seen a huge increase in alcoholism-related hospital visits in the same period. What can be done to stop this epidemic? A report published in the Therapeutic Recreation Journal suggests that creative writing could be the answer.
According to the journal, poetry and other forms of creative expression can be useful for gaining relief from negative emotions such as despair and frustration that can lead to addictive behavior. The report states that writing down thoughts and emotions can be a good way of coping with difficult life experiences, which can lead to self-destructive urges such as the desire to drink to excess. Perhaps if alcoholics reached for a pen and a piece of paper every time they felt the need to reach for a bottle of liquor they would become addicted to writing instead of drinking.
Writing as Therapy
Creative writing has been utilized as a therapeutic activity ever since Aristotle professed the cathartic nature of writing poetry in Ancient Greece. Its aptitude for helping people to overcome a wealth of different psychological afflictions is well known, addiction being one of these conditions. Research cited by the Adelaide and Meath Hospital in Dublin, Ireland, demonstrates its effectiveness at weaning people off alcohol and a study published in Addiction Today demonstrated that one hundred percent of alcoholics who took part in creative writing sessions reported that they believed it to have been helpful. The addiction to the written word is the most powerful addiction of all – the difference between this habit and alcoholism is that it has no negative effects!
Research carried out by the Bethlem Royal Hospital in London, England, indicates that exceptionally creative individuals are more prone to alcoholism than the general population. Perhaps this is because some of them fail to find an outlet for their creativity. Writing poems, stories and pieces of prose can enable individuals to express themselves and significantly reduce the risk of them venting their frustrations by downing glass after glass of spirits. Instead, they can keep the ink and creative juices flowing, which is a far healthier alternative.
The Pen Can be a Savior
The written word can help people to exorcise their demons and alleviate issues that might be likely to lead to alcohol or substance misuse. It can also provide an activity to distract them from their cravings if they do develop an alcohol dependency and wish to return to a life of sobriety. Ultimately, a pad and a pen can be somebody’s savior and prevent people from going down the same path as the man with the green suitcase. It is a highly rewarding and enjoyable activity that everybody should engage in, as everyone has a story trapped within them waiting to unleash itself. Whether you write for fun, as a form of therapy or recovery or in the hope of having a bestseller, putting pen to paper is a hobby that is highly addictive but doesn’t destroy your liver, leave you with a hangover or make you wake up the following morning feeling like a bear with a sore head. It is a positive habit that can help you to get in touch with the very essence of your soul.