During the initial phase of recovery from substance abuse, it’s common to feel like a person’s creativity is lessened because of the symptoms of withdrawal. This is a critical time for avoiding a relapse.
Some of the aspects of withdrawal include:
- Feeling as though one’s brain is in a fog
- Symptoms of depression
- Inability to enjoy activities
- Feeling of emptiness
- Vastly oscillating emotions (an emotional rollercoaster)
- Tiredness from poor sleep
Many of these things can interfere with creativity, but it’s crucial to remember that they are temporary and to consider the benefits of sobriety on creativity, after making it through this initial phase:
- Time to think about creative endeavors (rather than obtaining, using, hiding drugs, for example)
- Increased mental focus
- The ability to produce more useful ideas instead of drug-addled thoughts
The Recovery Process
In substance abuse recovery, therapy and medication compose primary parts of treatment. With adolescent drug recovery, family therapy is favored. At the Anthony Louis Center, our process includes a variety of therapy and activities in our residential plan, including family therapy and recreation.
Recovery is a complex process that involves changing one’s whole lifestyle. Creativity’s role in this process is multifold:
- Boredom can lead to relapse and creativity fights boredom.
- Journaling is both a good way to keep track of one’s progress and to record creative ideas. Noting creative ideas is a good way to practice recording thoughts, ideas, and feelings, improving introspection for other aspects of life.
- Creating music (or other art) is conducive to expressing, and therefore dealing with, emotions, particularly during the initial recovery process. Creativity is an excellent coping mechanism.
- Creativity can bring meaning and purpose to an individual and thus can be an invaluable tool in restructuring one’s life.
Anthony Louis Center
Creativity is not limited to traditional ideas of art, it can simply be the act of producing new ideas or solutions.
At the Anthony Louis Center, we understand that when an individual finds their element, creativity within it can be rewarding and stimulating and, thus, can be an integral part of building a better life and avoiding relapse. Please contact us for more information.