Storytelling can be a really useful part of recovery. For those in 12-step fellowships, a big part of meetings is hearing and sharing stories, but this can be true even if you go another route for your recovery. When I talk with other sober friends about addiction and recovery, the stories flow.
Stories breed empathy and understanding. They can help us both learn more about experiences that are different from ours, and feel connected. While everyone has a unique experience of addiction and sobriety, people in recovery who are very different from one another can typically find things about which to relate.
Hearing a variety of other people’s stories enhances our perspective, which is good for recovery, particularly emotional sobriety. It allows us to be better friends, allies, and community members. Stories about sobriety can give us ideas for our own recovery and help us see the many ways one can go about this process. To read lots of different experiences of recovery, check out our Sober Stories series.
Recovery also allows us to tell our own story. It’s hard to have a consistent framework for ourselves when we’re in the intense ups and downs of active addiction. When we’re sober, we can make sense of our story—and reframe it.
There is something to be said for taking power back through narrative. The stories you might have told about yourself in active addiction—or that were told to you—may have portrayed you as selfish or irresponsible. But your worst moments of active addiction don’t have to be the center of your narrative. They are just one part of a much longer story. In sobriety, you get to reshape that story.
If you are struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder, there is help and hope. TruHealing Centers offers high-quality treatment for addiction and mental health disorders in facilities across the country. Our staff—many of whom are in recovery themselves—will help you rewrite your story. To learn more, call an admissions specialist at 410-593-0005.