Plug in Your Creative Outlet 

Plug in Your Creative Outlet 

In mental health by Tree House Recovery

Part of the false romanticism about addiction is that our creative limits are only as high as we are. Coming out of a residential setting and back out into the world where your addiction flourished, being creative might be the last thing on your mind. In part, you’re right; your sobriety should always come first.

But whether you were the “creative type” prior to your coming to rehab or not, there are plenty of reasons to unleash your creativity (and just as many ways to do it)—not the least of which is the therapeutic benefits, no matter which creative medium you choose.

Before you say, “I don’t have time! I have meetings and work and family. There’s no way,” remember how much time passed while you were drunk or strung out. There’s always something to fill that time, and more importantly, to fill that time with activities that open you up to discovering the depth of your abilities. 

No matter if you were an expert drummer before residency or are trying art therapy for your first time, this is your chance to tap into your life experience and perhaps gain perspective, wisdom, and insight along the way. Here are some tips and resources to build your creativity:

1) Get to know your creative self…for the first time…all over again.

When you hand kids crayons or crafting materials, they don’t tend to self-edit. They gravitate to what sparks their interest. You should approach your creative outlet the same way: with an open mind and willingness to make mistakes.

2) Find inspiration, and find it everywhere.

Modern life has given us precious little time to stop and look around. But through sober eyes, we can see the little nuances that can create an imaginative painting, inspire an intense song, or be recollected in a humorous memoir. 

3) Expect nothing. Go for everything.

When you are coming back to creativity, it can be intimidating. Don’t let expectations of how things “should go” take away from your experience with it. Moreover, try lots of outlets until you find the one that suits you. 

While you think about your next great artistic venture, check out the following creative resources: 

Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity by Julia Cameron

The Idea of the Writer with David Milch 


Tree House Recovery of Portland, Oregon uses cutting-edge techniques in individualized programs to help men achieve freedom from addiction. Taking a holistic, sustainable approach to the inner and outer effects of addiction ensures you or your loved one will emerge with the confidence and skills to manage your addiction independently. No one is beyond help- our Admissions Counselors are available 24/7 at (503) 850-2474