How To Write Your Memoir : Powerful Personal Story of Addiction Recovery

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pink and grey books on the bottom and write your memoir - a power personal try story of recovering from addiction

Many recovering addicts write their story of addiction. Yet, many of them skimp on the recovery part. Be different and show the world the power of your story. Write your memoir for others to learn from.

If you don’t want to share your story with others, that’s fine. Being able to write your memoir about addiction and recovery is an intense recovery tool that you should use to the fullest.

If you are ready, then let’s begin.

Addiction seems to be creeping into everyone’s lives. If you don’t personally suffer from the disease of addiction, that is great. Yet, I can bet that you have a family member or friend who does.

Due to the opioid crisis crushing people’s lives, addiction memoirs are gaining traction around the world. Everyone wants to read how one suffered and didn’t make it or about those who were able to overcome their addiction.

Adding to the book craze, it seems as if a boatload of recovering addicts wish to tell their story of struggle and strength, which is absolutely amazing. It’s my hopes that each and every addiction memoir that is written will do its part in ending the stigma surrounding addiction.

RELATED POST: End The Stigma of Addiction

If you are a recovering addict and love to write, then maybe you should write your memoir.  Think about it. Not only will it help others but it will help you as well.

As a recovering addict, you need to use the power of your story. Learn how to write your memoir with this simple guide. #sobertips #sobriety #soberlife #memoir #addictionmemoir #therapeuticwriting #soberbadassery Click To Tweet

Just remember, simply because you write your own addiction memoir does not mean that you have to share it with the world. Making the choice to write your memoir is both a therapeutic and an intense lesson into one’s life.

Writing in itself can begin the healing process.  This is due to the fact that people can easily relay deep emotions in writing that they otherwise do not feel comfortable sharing with others or talking about to anyone. Writing an addiction memoir is a recovery tool that any person involved first hand with addiction should consider doing. I speak from personal experience.


A sober woman who believes that choosing to write your memoir about recovery from addiction is one of the best ways to heal.


A memoir is an author’s personal account of a specific time in their life.  That being said, an addiction memoir would take place during the author’s addiction. To me, the best memoir’s include the person’s recovery as well.

Making the choice to write your memoir is one of the best and simple recovery tools. Writing is an honest, therapeutic, deep dive into your personal life, your perception of it, and the memories you can’t forget.

Valuable Recovery Tool 

If you are like me, you don’t like to talk about the past. But there are always issues that need to be dealt with.

This is exactly why writing is one of the best recovery tools at your disposal.

It works if you are an introvert because you can get real, be honest, and go hard since no one is reading it but you. It’s your story. Your personal journey.

On the other hand, choosing to write your memoir is also perfect for an extrovert. Not only beneficial to you through therapeutic writing and self-healing. But you can write your memoir and share it with the world. Making it valuable for tons of people both in and out of recovery.

P.S. If you haven’t yet, sign up below for Unjunkiefied’s FREE resource library (Sober Living Toolkit). It’s packed full of recovery resources + tools for your kick-ass sober life.

Preview of some valuable products in the free resource library aka sober living toolkit which is free for Unjunkiefied members only.

The 4th Step

From introvert to extrovert, early recovery to long term recovery, inpatient detox facility to detoxing cold turkey. None of that matters when it comes to this.

Choosing to write your memoir is an option regardless of what type of program or treatment you follow.

Personally, I do not associate with Narcotics Anonymous or any 12 Step Program. Although to prove my point, one of the steps (the 4th step) does involve the recovering addict writing their own personal story (memoir).

This will give the person a chance to get real, completely raw, and honest with them self. Which is definitely something all of us need to do when in recovery from any type of drug addiction.

Addiction and dishonesty go hand in hand.  Addicts are manipulative and deceiving, even to themselves. It’s the truth, we are. I vouch for this because I have been there. I’m sure you have too.

Some even view addicts as delusional.  As a recovering addict,  I personally have justified the things I did with delusional thinking.  We rationalize everything we do even though it truly does not make any sense. At the time, it made perfect sense. 


Before you choose to write your memoir, I suggest you read several others to give you ideas, inspiration, strength, and motivation.

You will find addiction recovery memoirs throughout this entire post but, here are a few that I personally recommend. 

First, is my favorite memoir. Even though these two books are fiction, I like them, a lot. The author Marni Mann did a great job of hitting on the seriousness of drug addiction, how one can turn their life around, and how the wreckage of the past always catches up to you.

If fiction isn’t your cup of tea and you want the real thing. Then here are a few addiction memoirs that you will enjoy.

FYI – I haven’t read Brandon Novak’s memoir yet (Dreamseller) but it is on the top of my list, I just ordered it. Also, I did not read Russell Brand’s book because I hate him. Yet, I included it because it is a best selling memoir and might be something you will like. 

TIPS Before you Begin to write your memoir

  1. Make sure you are in a good place with your recovery. You must be emotionally stable. When you write your own addiction memoir, it will bring up painful experiences and you have to be sure that you can handle those feelings.
  2. Make a rough draft. As with any writing, you want it to be perfect.
  3. If it doesn’t invoke painful emotions within you then, go back and rewrite. Both your addiction and your recovery are extremely emotional moments in your life. Maybe, the most emotion you will ever experience.
  4.  Make sure it is complete. This includes fine details. They matter. The little things always matter.
  5. Change people’s names and specific places. Doing this is best if you are planning on publishing it. People have a tendency not to like their name dragged through the dirt. If you are talking about someone during their addiction and your addiction, chances are it was nothing to be proud of.
  6. Above all else, honesty is the key. Don’t exaggerate or coverup to make yourself look or feel better. Nobody ever has to read this if you don’t want them to. You addiction memoir is personal and for you to grow. It’s a self-assessment of how much you have changed and how much you have grown. Both good and bad.

RELATED POST: How To Create A Personal Manifesto

This is the perfect blank book to write your memoir about recovering from addiction. A recovery tool more valuable than anything.

Writing my MEMOIR

I am in the process of writing my own addiction memoir. It ended up taking much longer than I initially imagined. Writing is an absolute passion of mine. I feel more comfortable writing my story instead of verbally sharing it. Well, at least I used to. Just as I hate talking on the phone yet, I don’t mind texting.

For me, written words can say so much. You can convey all you need to through writing. It’s a personal outlet for many. It’s a personal outlet for me.

Writing about my past brings tears to my eyes. It used to make me physically sick but, I have gotten much better at dealing with it and letting the past be. Letting the past be exactly what it is. Nothing more than the past, it doesn’t portray my future.

RELATED POST: How To Let Go Of The Past 5 Steps

Just as every other recovering addict, I wish I could go back in time. Although, we both know that you can not change the past. All you can do is learn from it so you are not destined to repeat it.

We can not change the past. Share your story, your addiction memoir so that others learn from it and you are not destined to repeat it.#addictionmemoir #personalgrowth #recoveringaddict Click To Tweet


Let me begin by telling you that there is no right or wrong way to write your memoir about addiction and recovery. After all, IT’S YOURS.

Of course, if you are going to publish it then there are particular guidelines that you must meet. But all of that is to be discussed with your editor and publisher. (More information about publishing at the end).

Right now, I am going to touch on the basics of how you can write your memoir.

Starting Point

Decide where you want your story to begin. Was your childhood a mess? Were you born into a dysfunctional family? Or were you born addicted? Does your addiction story begin the moment you entered this world? Or did you not start using until you were middle-aged? Maybe your teens? 

To begin writing your story, you have to have a place where your story begins.


Once you have the starting point, make a timeline. Mark down all the significant moments, important dates, and monumental occasions that must be included. Both good and bad.


From your timeline, make an outline. This is where you fill in the pieces of your life. Any time jumps. The details in between all the times that stand out more than the rest.


Next, you make your rough draft. Type it, freehand it, or voice record it if you wish. You can draw pictures if you want. 

This is where you get out every little thing floating around in your head still about your past, your life, and the power it has. 

Once you begin writing and you have a timeline and outline to look at, this part should just flow. There’s no telling all how long this will take. You can finish it in a day, a week, a month, a year, 5 years, and so on. This is all you.

I prefer to write free hand. For me, the words flow easier that way and I can go to a place that I choose. I don’t have to worry about my laptop battery dying or being disturbed. You know what I mean? #peaceandquiet

Read It

Once you have it completely written, it’s time to read it to yourself.

If you want to edit it, now is the time to do so. Proofread, correct any spelling or grammar errors. If you don’t care then, that’s fine.

It’s yours. Your past, your story, your healing process.

Make The Choice

You have completed your life story. You wrote your memoir about recovering from your addiction and everything else that happened along the way. 

Now you can decide if you want to share your story with others and guide them to overcome their addiction by giving them strength, hope, and motivation.

Even if you choose not to share your memoir, know the value it has and use it to your advantage.

Use Its Power

When you read it, you can learn from the mistakes you made, you can see how much you have grown and changed. You can kick your self in the ass for making the choices you did.

And most importantly, you can see just how damn far you have come and what you never want to relive again.

This alone is one of the greatest recovery tools you have.

FYI – Don’t forget to sign up below to get access to even more valuable tools in Unj’s Sober Living Toolkit aka free resource library.

Preview of some valuable products in the free resource library aka sober living toolkit which is free for Unjunkiefied members only.

Things You Can’t Forget To Include

The thing about your memoir is that you should not include only the stuff you want to. If you are truly using it as a valuable tool for your recovery then you INCLUDE EVERYTHING. That means the good and the bad.

Many published memoirs have a way of romanticizing addiction and making it sound like it’s just one big party and if you are a recovering addict then you know that could not be further from the truth.

Of course, there were good times in addiction. If there wasn’t we would have never become a full-blown addict. Although, it is pretty fucking clear that the bad times definitely outweigh the good.

Using became a daily necessity instead of a fun time. Make that known.

But you don’t have to leave out the events that were funny or the times you were enjoying life to its’ fullest. That is part of your story. It’s part of our addiction.

Just remember, you must include the pain, the sadness, the disgrace, and the torture as well. You must make others see why we continue to use other than the obvious physical addiction. Likewise, include why your addiction brought you to your knees.


One thing that I do not like about most addiction memoirs that I have read is that people tend to leave out the recovery portion of their story.

Some addiction memoirs do not even end in recovery. Of course, this is due to the fact that humans take delight in other people’s misery and misfortune. The publishers recommend leaving out the recovery aspect so, it’s more appealing o readers. It sells more copies, furthers the stigma surrounding addiction.

The goal is monetary value. Not to use a memoir as an actual learning tool.  It is sad but oh so true.

On the other hand, an addiction can also end with an overdose or untimely passing of the main person. In that sense, the addiction memoir may have originally been written by the author but had to be finished by another person.

Personally, I think that a memoir should be how life was, how you got started, how bad it got, the addict lifestyle, what made you get sober, how you got sober, what you gained from getting sober, and how good your sober life is.

Your Story, Your Kick-ass Sober Life

RELATED POST: How To Use The Power Of Your Story To Make A Difference

As a recovering addict myself, I absolutely love to read about other people’s recovery. About what they did to recover and how they maintain their sober lifestyle. How they manage to create a kick-ass life after overcoming their past struggle.

Sound familiar? Yes, that is precisely what Unjunkiefied is about. Because that is where so many people get stuck and head back to addiction. They don’t believe it’s possible to thrive in a sober life after a bad damn past. #soberbadassery


So, go on with your bad self and write your own addiction memoir. It will not only benefit you but, you could also save someone’s life. What could be better than that?

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I am NOT a licensed therapist. For immediate help call the Substance Abuse Mental Health Service Adminstration’s 1-800-662-HELP. It's a free 24/7 service for ppl facing mental +/or substance use disorders.Or you can use the online treatment locator HERE.


  1. Courtney says

    I love this thank you so much for publishing us and writing it I am right my memoirs well I got addiction and about how my son basically saved my life I gave you another chance I am just writing different sections of things that I know of but it’s hard to make it interesting or do you know make it to where people are gonna want to read it but this is very helpful so thank you so much hopefully one day mine will be big and published and you can read it Thank you for sharing your recovery and your story.

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