Author Anna David Helps Writers In Recovery
It’s time for another one of our regular Spotlight Features, where we highlight an inspirational figure in the world of recovery. For this particular piece, we wanted to focus our efforts on the writing world and a particular author who is inspiring people to put pen to paper. Bestselling scribe Anna David has become a powerful advocate in our field and is continuing to help those struggling by flexing their creative muscles.
Anna recently spoke with The Huffington Post about her mission and her own experiences conquering a devastating heroin addiction. At first, the New York-based author was extremely private about her battle, but after undergoing a successful treatment program she made her story public.
“Believe it or not, telling my story about recovering from heroin addiction was one of the biggest barriers to my recovery,” David told The Post. “I spent years hiding my substance use, even after everyone in my life had figured out that something was wrong. However, once I got into treatment, I learned that my story is one of the most powerful, valuable things I have in my recovery. Why? Because it helps me connect with other people whose lives have been touched by substance use disorder.”
Interestingly enough, it was Anna’s recovery journey that led to one of her most successful novels. Party Girl reflects “reality fiction,” as David puts it. It chronicled a Los Angeles-based actress and her harrowing experiences facing drug and alcohol dependencies. The treatment process was also a major component of the book and Anna covered it with a blend of honesty, pain and humor.
“I didn’t realize at first that I was helping myself,” she said when discussing the book. “I thought I was spreading a message — and I was — but every time I write or talk about embarrassing or disturbing experiences I’ve had, I’m de-stigmatizing the experience or the label by bringing it out in the open and seeing that other people relate to it, which gives me tangible evidence I’m not alone in my struggles.”
But David’s recovery advocacy goes well beyond what she discusses in her novels. She also holds regular workshops, where she encourages people in recovery to express themselves through creative writing. And, from what she told The Post, the process has become very therapeutic for both sides.
Anna emphasized that journaling your thoughts and experiences can be extremely beneficial during the healing process.
“I would urge anyone in recovery from anything to share their story,” she concluded. “We’re all in recovery from something and we all have stories to share. I’ve now seen so many people go from saying they can’t write or they don’t know how to writing and sharing their life stories and having their whole lives transformed.”