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addiction recovery poem

My Now

By; Cindy Charles Ouellette: author of ‘Crying hearts of the Loved Ones’

I coulda given, but took
I coulda helped, but demanded it
I coulda loved, but preyed on it
I coulda financed, but begged
I coulda borrowed, but stole
I could laughed, but cussed out
I could listened, but blocked out
I coulda, but I couldn’t ~ cause I wasn’t CLEAN
The toxic’s leaving
The thinking’s less stinking
The heart is now feeling:
the love the forgiving the help the duties
the tools. the “no’s” 12 Steps just 24 hrs.
the hugs smiles sharing & hearing
I couldn’t, but now can
I can feel now ~ cause I’m clean NOW!

Poetry in addiction therapy

Creative writing has been known to be used for an array of reason within the addiction recovery industry. No matter the form it can be used to monitor and analyze a clients’ mental state. This process of analyzing allows primary therapists to determine how the client is feeling at the time they were writing and how they feel about the specific topic or incident they are writing about. The client also benefits as creative writing such as poetry has been known to provide stress and anxiety relief.

Inspirations for Youth and Families (IYF) uses writing exercises such as poetry as a part of the addiction recovery summer curriculum because it allows us to properly assess the teen, provides them with a great coping skill, relieves stress and is a great opportunity to learn and understand the English language. Poetry also introduces critical thinking and understanding of an art form. Poetry is a great way to teach our teens an abundance of skills and allows them to pursue knowledge in a creative way.


Cindy has been clean and sober for over 11 years and continues her recovery plan with her husband, who has been sober for over twenty-one years. Recently Cindy is trying to launch recovery meetings for those in total areas, and creating non-profit related recovery programs and institutes. She is also a trained 12 step facilitator for faith and non-faith based recovery workshops. Cindy is the author of University level textbooks, manuals and inspirational recovery books.

What does poetry do in addiction recovery?
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