By: Marilyn L. Davis
Words Have Power
“Words are singularly the most powerful force available to humanity. We can choose to use this force constructively with words of encouragement or destructively using words of despair. Words have energy and power with the ability to help, to heal, to hinder, to hurt, to harm, to humiliate and to humble.” – Yehuda Berg
Do You Remember?
I’d like you to reflect for a minute:
- Do you remember the last time you used? Do you remember how scared you were that it could be your last? I do.
- Do you remember the first time you walked into a recovery support meeting? All scared, embarrassed, and uncertain? I do.
- Do you remember picking up a thirty-day chip, getting to read at a meeting for the first time, or finally getting a medallion at a year? I do.
Well, there’s someone out there scouring the net looking for words of wisdom and hope from someone who’s been there, done that, and survived to tell the tale.
Twenty-three other million people in recovery – that’s a lot of different perspectives, stories, and anecdotes, but more importantly, that’s you.
Why Should You Write about Your Addiction and Recovery?
“Be mindful when it comes to your words. A string of some that don’t mean much to you may stick with someone else for a lifetime.” –Rachel Wolchin
If you wrote a guest post, it would help someone else understand the process. When you describe your struggles, feelings, and thoughts, it will be different from how someone else describes them, but it’s going to resonate with someone who needs those words.
How we present recovery to someone will be different – the choice of words, the stories, or the solutions. And that doesn’t mean that your ways are better than mine or vice versa; we just phrase them differently.
Word Choice Matters – Recovery is Life and Death
That’s the beauty of words. And your will touch someone and give them hope when mine won’t. No, I’m not critical of myself, but I’ve been in recovery for 33 years and have often in a group had to ask someone to translate for me to someone I was working with. Why?
Because my choice of words wasn’t getting through. I could look at the individual and know they were discombobulated. See, that’s a word you don’t see or use every day, but it means confused.
Could I have used confused, yet, but I just like the way discombobulated looks and sounds. While that’s okay, it means that very few people will understand me, and when it comes to recovery, we need to be straightforward and clear.
Because if we are not clear in our suggestions and directions for how to recover, many people will not understand, which means they risk going back out. See how important how we say something is?
We All Have Favorite and Fun Words, But Are They Understood?
“All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them.”― Galileo
There are many experts out there. There are also the everyday men and women who will create words of wisdom that we can all understand. Ponder this:
“I chose to choose few words each day. Yes! Few words that count. Few words that can make an impact. Few words that talk much. Few words can make people ponder to wonder. Few words that are indelible. Few words can leave distinctive footprints on minds. Though we may fail to mind our words, we shall never fail to mind the works of our words.”― Ernest Agyemang Yeboah
And what are the “works of our words”?
- Seeing someone get it when we explain what recovery’s done for us; that light-bulb moment.
- Watching someone change because we shared what worked for us.
- Recognizing that someone has made changes because we took the time to show them how.
Are you Scared to Write About Your Recovery?
If you’re scared to write about your recovery, you’re not alone. When I was first encouraged to write about recovery, I didn’t think I had enough information, knowledge of writing, or could choose the right words every time to help someone understand their addiction and recovery.
Then someone encouraged me to put one word down, one thought, or one recovery concept and expand on them. They also graciously edited my words. They didn’t change my tone, style, voice, or message but cleaned up the grammar and syntax. That’s what I’ll do with your words as an editor.
And don’t be afraid that I’ll judge your writing as inferior, as I know that how something is said is as important as what is said.
Your Message Can Touch Many
It’s also not just about word choice. Think of the people that you know that I don’t. You’re on social media sites and have friends and followers that have never heard of me – same for me.
So if you write a guest post for From Addict 2 Advocate about recovery, the regular readers at the site get a new voice and perhaps a different approach to healing. I then get to share it with my social media contacts, and we all get a benefit.
When we combine our social media outlets and followers, we can get the message to more people by expanding our audience.
Although it's estimated that there are 23 million people in recovery, your guest post and helping someone else, could add one more to the statistics. Click To Tweet
And isn’t that the power of one addict helping another – growing in numbers from sharing what works?
People Need Your Words
“Words have the power to make things happen.” Frederick Buechner
Every one of us in recovery has a story.
All of us know the dangers, losses, and mistakes we made in our addiction. We also know the benefits we get when we finally give up the substances and find recovery.
But how we talk about these issues is individual. Your words will touch someone in ways that mine can’t. That’s why it’s important to have as many styles, tones, and voices letting people know that recovery works and is possible.
I’d like you to consider writing a guest post to share your experience, strength, and hope with someone who’s struggling in their addiction or recovery.
I hope you’ll consider writing a guest post because your words do have the power to make something happen for someone else.
Ready to write that post? Here are the guidelines.
Writing and recovery heal the heart
Marilyn L. Davis is the Editor-in-Chief at From Addict 2 Advocate and Two Drops of Ink. She is also the author of Finding North: A Journey from Addict to Advocate and Memories into Memoir: The Mindsets and Mechanics Workbook, available on Amazon, at Barnes and Noble, Indie Books, and Books A Million.