James Ryan is an addict in recovery. He is now over twenty years sane and sober, married and a father of two, and a PhD graduate who researches the power of writing to heal. In Recovery Writing, Ryan tells his own story and the stories of the addicts he interviewed in the course of his research. These narratives, informed by existing research on writing’s physical and psychological effects, lead to a social understanding of healing. While writing does enable us to emote and confess, this is not the limit of its power. Writing heals our relationships as much as our bodies and minds. It attunes us to our social reality and improves our way of being with others. The notion of a higher power and the divine are also explored. Included in this book are step-by-step instructions for writing exercises that offer a first-hand experience of social healing. These exercises, drawn from the backs of coffee-stained diner place mats and the hard-earned experience of addicts struggling to remake their lives, introduce those willing to undertake this journey to the powerful, life-changing world of recovery writing.