Recovery Writing in Cambridge

Recovery Writing is a group ran by the Edge Cafe for people to come together and connect around writing to support each other and express ourselves and be heard for the good of our addiction recovery and/or emotional well-being.

Today in Recovery Writing I learned from a contributor how the act of making art can help us to process and heal trauma. It was something about the physical action of working on a sculpture in clay helps make a healing connection between our bodies and minds.

That’s just one interesting learning from the group that meets every Tuesday at 1pm at The Edge Cafe, 351 Mill Road, Cambridge. There is a zoom option for joining online if you can’t get to the Edge.

The group is safe because we all agree to keep everything that is shared in the group within the group. Like many addiction recovery groups it helps us to trust that we can talk vulnerably about our feelings or reference our stories or experiences without fear of judgement or gossip.

The way we usually write is after being given a prompt. Today we had one that was, “I remember” and another was “At the movies”. It doesn’t matter what we write, sometimes it’s easy sometimes it doesn’t happen at all.  That’s fine. We all write whatever we want to write, usually for 3 minutes. Afterward we can share what we’ve written with the group (or we can say, “pass” as there’s no pressure to read and sometimes we choose to not share).

Some come to the group to improve their writing skills, but it’s just as valid to come to share your feelings, express yourself, be with others and feel the connection that we get from writing and sharing together. This helps our addiction recovery and mental health and emotional wellbeing.

Today one of the group agreed for me to share here some of his writings.  This one is from today, based on the prompt “A Song”:

“Yes, I was singing the same song. Wow, I feel sad–not mad. Sad that my life is uncontrollable. Walking like a dead man, I meet another dead man called Steve the alcoholic nextdoor. He looks like the professor had an electric shock. His hair pointing north to south. He has cans of beer and is smoking like a locomotive. Me and him watching University Challenge, unable to answer any questions. I said, “Can I open the window to clear the room?” he said it’s cold but I think the beer or cigarettes are going to kill you before the cold.”

I was specifically given permission to share this from our group, and I’m keeping the identity of the author anonymous.

Here’s another he wrote earlier from the prompt, “Let’s take a trip to…”:

“Let’s take a trip to the past.

Well, you know you cannot change the past.

Cannot bring back anyone lost in the past.

You cannot always think in the past as the past is where you will be.

Think of the future and make amends for the wrongs you’ve done in the past.

Pay back, say sorry, make amends for things you done wrong.

Past should be kept in the past.

The future can correct the past, in the way you have done wrong.

Now goodbye to the Past.”

The group is not elitist.  I don’ts see ego or competition. Everyone is there to be supported and to support each other and so most of us enjoy the group even though most of us don’t see ourselves as writers.

You are welcome to come along to Recovery Writing on Tuesdays at 1pm at the Edge Cafe, 351 Mill Road, Cambridge for the support, for your recovery, for your mental health or for the practice or just for the fun of it. You can find places to get help in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough on

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