I used to do Morning Pages, an idea that comes from Julia Cameron’s book The Artist’s Way.
“The bedrock tool of a creative recovery is a daily practice called Morning Pages.”
Morning Pages are three pages of longhand, stream of consciousness writing, done first thing in the morning. *There is no wrong way to do Morning Pages*– they are not high art. They are not even “writing.” They are about anything and everything that crosses your mind– and they are for your eyes only. Morning Pages provoke, clarify, comfort, cajole, prioritize and synchronize the day at hand. Do not over-think Morning Pages: just put three pages of anything on the page…and then do three more pages tomorrow.”
The last time I did Morning Pages was around 2011-2014. I can’t tell you exactly because in December of 2014, when Zack and I broke up and I left San Diego for Orlando, I shredded all my Morning Pages.
My Kind of Religion
Writing is definitely a spiritual experience for me. At least most of the time. Morning Pages were very holy for me. I clung to Morning Pages tightly and never missed a day. I woke up. I wrote three pages. Without fail. I put them away and began my day. I didn’t get coffee first. I didn’t feed the dogs first. I didn’t check my phone first. I wrote first. If I had been at a birth and got home in the morning, I slept, but when I awoke, I did the Morning Pages.
Writing About Drugs
Oh, I did take my opiates before I wrote. I did do that.
I wrote about my drug addiction mostly during those years. I didn’t know that was what I was doing. I was just sharing stream of consciousness. Here’s a sample of what I might have written:
“I have 20 Norco left and 24 days before I can get the rx refilled. I need to slow down. I already took 2 this morning. Or was it 3? I can’t remember. It’s not enough, but I am going to run out of pills. Who can I ask this month for extra pills?”
At the end of the Rx month, my words would morph into, “Fuck, what am I going to do? I only have 8 Percocet left and 3 Norco and 10 days before refill. I can take 1 Norco every 3 days, but can I do that? I already took 2 this morning. I counted and counted and recounted again and I do only have 3 left. I recounted the Percocet and there really were only 8. I am fucked. I looked in the drawer to see if I dropped any in there. I dug in the chair wondering if I might have missed one.”
And on and on like that. For years.
You can see why I shredded them.
I was clean for a month when Zack and I broke up and I was filled with shame about those drug-addled years. I didn’t want anyone to see my shame. Interestingly, I don’t miss those pages. I know what it felt like writing them. I know what it felt like being in that intense agony of wanting more drugs.
Getting Rid of Morning Pages
Some people shred or burn their pages as they write them lest someone see their thoughts and words. If someone is in a house of nosy people (like I have lived in before), shredding seems like a really smart thing to do. I don’t expect to have to do that this time. I can add this book of Morning Pages to the pile of journals I have already written in.
Keeping Morning Pages
It’s taken me 9 years before I felt okay enough to start Morning Pages again. I’m a little nervous, but also very excited.
I am also re-beginning journal writing, which is very different than Morning Pages. Both new journals come tomorrow.
I am very excited to get started.