When we’ve had trauma in our life, we can get really disconnected from our emotions. We don’t know how to express them or how to use them. Often, we turn to the only thing that we think will work: a substance or behavior that helps us escape or avoid those emotions.

However, what if we tried something different? Journaling has grown in popularity over the past few years. People have found its power as a method of getting their emotions down onto a page and helping them see their lives a little differently. 

Today’s guest used journaling in this exact way to help her recover from addiction. Harriet Hunter is the author of the daily devotional book Miracles of Recovery. Today, Harriet is sharing her compelling story of moving out of addiction, experiencing incredible loss, and continuing to move forward despite it all. Join our conversation to hear more.

In this episode, you will hear:

  • Harriet’s hardships in childhood that led to her addiction.
  • When and how she began recovery and got sober.
  • Her tumultuous relationship with her daughter.
  • How writing helped her get and stay sober.
  • How she has taken her grief and used it to help others.
  • How journaling can help anybody change their perspective.

Key Quotes:

[4:56] – “Marijuana was my love of choice, though… it just did for me what I could not do for myself. And that is absolutely take me away.”

[8:20] – “I was a high-functioning drunk. I could entertain 40 people, keep smiling, but I never could remember the next day who was there or what happened.”

[10:26] – “I got sober in 1999 and I never looked back because I did all my relapsing in that 30-year run.” 

[18:12] – “I learned now, if I hadn’t learned which I had with my husband, that I am powerless. But you know, God was with me every day. And AA saved my life.”

[26:30] – “We have found out collectively that something happens to the brain. It sees it and hears it in a much more intentional, focused way than just talking. I found out that when I write, I can’t get away from myself. I have to slow my brain down.”

[31:32] – “One of the ways I ask women to write their gratitudes is not to just put a word at 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, happy, sad, whatever. No, no, you have to be able to see what it is you feel. If you don’t see it, then it’s not real.”

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Supporting Resources:


Journaling with a Purpose

Miracles of Recovery: Daily Meditations of Hope, Courage, and Faith