Have you ever read an addiction memoir?
Addiction seems to be creeping into everyone’s lives. If you don’t personally suffer from the disease of addiction, that is great. Yet, I can bet that you have a family member or friend who does.
Due to the opioid crisis crushing people’s lives, addiction memoirs are gaining traction around the world. Everyone wants to read how one suffered and didn’t make it or those who had were able to overcome their addiction.
Not to mention, it seems as if a boatload of recovering addicts wish to tell their story of struggle and strength, which is absolutely amazing. It’s my hopes that each and every addiction memoir that is written will do its part in ending the stigma surrounding addiction.
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Just remember, simply because you write your own addiction memoir does not mean that you have to share it with the world. Writing a memoir is both therapeutic and intense lesson when looking at one’s life. Writing in itself is self-healing. This is due to the fact that people can easily relay deep emotions in writing that they otherwise do not feel comfortable sharing with others or talking about to anyone. Writing an addiction memoir is a recovery tool that any person involved first hand with addiction should consider doing. I speak from personal experience.
WHAT IS A MEMOIR?
A memoir is an author’s personal account of a specific time in their life. That being said, an addiction memoir would take place during the author’s addiction. To me, the best memoir’s include the person’s recovery as well.
While I do not associate with Narcotics Anonymous and the 12 Step Program, one of the steps (the 4th step) does involve the recovering addict writing their own personal story (memoir). This will give the person a chance to get real, completely raw, and honest with them self. This helps addicts since addiction and dishonesty go hand in hand. Addicts are manipulative and deceiving, even to themselves. Some even view addicts as delusional. As a recovering addict, I can vouch for others saying this because I personally have justified the things I did with delusional thinking. We rationalize everything we do even though it truly does not make any sense.
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BENEFITS OF WRITING AN ADDICTION MEMOIR
As a person in recovery, writing your very own addiction memoir can have multiple benefits. While writing a memoir may not be for everyone. it is great for many. For example, if you love writing but do not like sharing your story or thoughts with other people. Then this is the perfect way for you to take a good hard look at yourself, how you perceive things, to see how you have grown, and what lessons you have been able to learn.
- Including your recovery success and triumph in the memoir can be inspiring for people in active addiction.
- It helps you to get out all of your thoughts and emotions of what led you to use drugs.
- The therapeutic values are incredible, it is a way for the person to finally put that part of their life behind them. You have a written testament of the downfalls you faced, the struggle, the magic moment of clarity, and the success you now have.
- Taking a long hard look at yourself can justify how much recovery has changed you for the better.
- It’s a rewarding experience. Just another item to check off your bucket list.
- Writing a personal memoir gives you a detailed account of the worst time of your life. You may notice or realize things that you never did before. Believe it or not, you can actually learn a thing or two about yourself.
IT'S YOUR RECOVERY!
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THE DOWNSIDES TO YOUR MEMOIR
- If you plan on publishing your addiction memoir, remember to change the names of the other people you mention in the book. This way you can not be legally held responsible for slandering someone’s name even if it was not intentional.
- Every person has a different interpretation of the same event. As I just stated above, if you mention other people in your story then they could feel that you are being dishonest about the events that took place. That is when other people may consider it slander.
- In some cases, you can’t give detailed events because you simply do not remember. I know when I drank, I drank myself into blackout status, I can’t recollect the actual events. So, say that. Don’t make it up as you go.
Be honest with yourself if writing an addiction memoir. It will help you to see the error of your ways. If you find that it’s bringing forth emotions that you are not ready to handle then, stop. This may not be a recovery tool for you. Maybe it’s simply not stable enough in your recovery to write a memoir yet.
KICK-ASS EXAMPLES OF AN ADDICTION MEMOIR
STEPS WHEN WRITING YOUR OWN ADDICTION MEMOIR
- Make sure you are in a good place with your recovery. You must be emotionally stable. When you write your own addiction memoir, it will bring up painful experiences and you have to be sure that you can handle those feelings.
- Make a rough draft. As with any writing, you want it to be perfect.
- If it doesn’t invoke painful emotions within you then, go back and rewrite. Both your addiction and your recovery are extremely emotional moments in your life. Maybe, the most emotion you will ever experience.
- You may have to rewrite it many times. Make sure it is complete. This includes fine details. They matter. The little things always matter.
- Changing people’s names and places is probably the best if you are planning on publishing it. People have a tendency not to like their name dragged through the dirt. If you are talking about someone during their addiction and your addiction, chances are it was nothing to be proud of.
- Above all else, honesty is the key. Don’t exaggerate or coverup to make yourself look or feel better. Nobody ever has to read this if you don’t want them to. You addiction memoir is personal and for you to grow. It’s a self-assessment of how much you have changed and how much you have grown. Both good and bad.
PERSONAL ADDICTION MEMOIR
I am in the process of writing my own addiction memoir. It ended up taking much longer than I initially imagined. Writing is an absolute passion of mine. I feel more comfortable writing my story instead of verbally sharing it. Well, at least I used to. Just as I hate talking on the phone yet, I don’t mind texting.
For me, written words can say so much. You can convey all you need to through writing. It’s a personal outlet for many. It’s a personal outlet for me.
Writing about my past brings tears to my eyes. It used to make me physically sick but, I have gotten much better at dealing with it and letting the past be. Letting the past be exactly what it is. Nothing more than the past, it doesn’t portray my future.
Just as every other recovering addict, I wish I could go back in time. Although, we all know that you can not change the past. You learn from it so you are not destined to repeat it.We can not change the past. Share your story, your addiction memoir so that others learn from it and you are not destined to repeat it.#addictionmemoir #personalgrowth #recoveringaddict Click To Tweet
WHAT TO INCLUDE IN YOUR ADDICTION MEMOIR
Of course, there were good times in addiction. If there wasn’t we would have never become a full-blown addict. Although, it is pretty fucking clear that the bad times definitely outweigh the good. Using became a daily necessity instead of a fun time. You don’t have to leave out the events that were funny or the times you were enjoying life to its’ fullest. That is part of your story.
Just remember, you must include the pain, the sadness, the disgrace, and the torture as well. You must make others see why we continue to use other than the obvious physical addiction. Likewise, include why your addiction brought you to your knees.
FEW THOUGHTS TO KEEP IN MIND
One thing that I do not like about most addiction memoirs that I have read is that people tend to leave out the recovery portion of their story. Some addiction memoirs do not even end in recovery. Of course, this is due to the fact that humans take delight in other people’s misery and misfortune. The publishers recommend leaving out the recovery aspect so, it’s more appealing o readers. It sells more copies, furthers the stigma surrounding addiction. Not to use an addiction memoir as an actual learning tool. It is sad but oh so true.
On the other hand, an addiction can also end with an overdose or untimely passing of the main person. In that sense, the addiction memoir may have originally been written by the author but had to be finished by another person.
Sharing Your Story
Your story is powerful. Use the power of your story to heal yourself and to help others.
As a recovering addict myself, I absolutely love to read about other people’s recovery. About what they did to recover and how they maintain their sober lifestyle. How they manage to create a badass life after overcoming their past struggle.
Sound familiar? Yes, that is precisely what Unjunkiefied is about. And that is how my addiction memoir will be, both my addiction and my recovery. Click below to instantly get a peek at my own addiction memoir. You don’t want to miss this.
So, go on with your bad self and write your own addiction memoir. It will not only benefit you but, you could also save someone’s life. What could be better than that?
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