People often labor under the delusion that using or abusing substances like drugs or alcohol help them “open their mind” or help them be “more creative”. Unfortunately, this is not true. For instance, the quote “write drunk, edit sober”, erroneously attributed to Ernest Hemingway, is not actually at all what the famous writer even said. As a matter of fact, he explicitly advised almost the exact opposite. Hemingway advised staying sober during the writing process. I would be more inclined to agree with his words of wisdom as he is an incredibly famous man. Therefore, it stands to reason that being sober fosters creativity.

As a recovering addict myself I can assure I all too well understand the need to stay busy, for idle hands are the devil’s work. The form of creativity that particularly appeals to me is writing. This is an escape for me that has helped me build better relationships with my family and keeps me focused on staying clean. Some people like to draw for relaxation or to refocus. Art and drawing can help recovery from addiction for some people if they do not wish to speak about their past, trauma, or addiction at a certain point. Drawing or art is a way to escape or even work through past experiences or emotions.

“Even though drawing and writing may seem trivial and unimportant on the journey of recovery, they actually help your brain and mind unlock potential that has been covered by substance use or abuse.”

One of my personal good friends is a tattoo artist and that is how he remains sober. He lets his artwork speak for him when sometimes he is unable to. He is now one of the best tattoo artists in Florida. Sometimes taking a pen and drawing pictures on your skin can be a better alternative to self-harm as well because the pen marks will come off- scars are permanent. Even though drawing and writing may seem trivial and unimportant on the journey of recovery, they actually help your brain and mind unlock potential that has been covered by substance use or abuse.

Music can be customized by any person and there are lots of different apparatuses to be creative with. People can even make a very decent living from being musically creative. Lastly, interpretative dance is somewhat of a two-fold help for recovery from addiction. Dance can be as creative as you want and the exercise from dancing can help release “happy hormones” in your brain too. These happy hormones are the body’s natural hormones that are the same as the rush an addict feels. Recovery can be a difficult and sometimes frustrating journey: but joy, happiness and freedom are surely waiting on the other side of addiction. There is no right way to recover from any addiction, as everyone’s path is different. Just keep in mind that creativity is the only drug you need in order to open your mind and let greatness flow through.

 

– Abby