Staying clean from drugs & alcohol during Covid-19 (or any pandemic) can be tricky, regardless of whether you’re on your own or in a sober living-recovery home.
Thinking back to my very first day or two in recovery I can clearly remember how often I would hear about the dangers of isolation. I can still hear my sponsor saying, “Boredom and isolation are dangerous neighborhoods.” He was like one big walking cliche, it drove me crazy, but 28 years of sobriety under his belt spoke volumes.
I had spent about a month in residential drug rehab and from there transitioned directly into a structured sober living home. Some called it a halfway house, others called it a recovery home, but I always preferred the term sober living.
About 3 weeks into my stay there I had gotten really sick with the flu and didn’t leave the house for nearly 2 weeks. The first 4 or 5 days I was barely conscious so that was a wash, but I remember how by day 9 or 10 I was really starting to reminisce drinking and using drugs. Truth be told, I never really liked going to AA or NA meetings, yet I can remember that feeling of envy in seeing other guys in the sober living getting ready to go to their meetings. And I’m naturally an isolator, which made it all the more important that I be around other actively sober people.
Since March of 2020 we’ve been going through something we’ve never before experienced, and likely, hopefully, never again will. Millions of people around the world are struggling with trying to not isolate, while stricken with a disease (addiction/alcoholism) that thrives on isolation, during a time that requires isolation. Not a great scenario…
Whether you are 30 days clean and in some type of a structured sober living or halfway house/recovery residence, or 30 years sober while living on your own, these can be dangerous times. Twelve Step meetings are few and far between, fellowshipping and one-on-one work with a sponsor are highly frowned upon, and in some cases against the law. It’s as if all, or nearly all the tools of recovery have been taken away.
Here are a few ideas to occupy some time while helping to keep you grounded in recovery (12-Step and non-12-Step):
- Use your phone book and phone lists. Call you sober people, the close ones and the more distant ones. Try group chats and impromptu meetings.
- If you are a sponsor with multiple sponsees, start a weekly phone pow-wow with the entire crew. Send them all a link through Google Meet or Zoom or any of the other free services and every Sunday at 10am (or whenever) have a mandatory group meeting, for instance.
- Of course by now you are well aware of all the virtual AA and NA meetings on Zoom. If you don’t know of any then call central office. Also try www.intherooms.com. I’m sure SMART Recovery also has daily and weekly meetings.
- Join (and participate) in online recovery groups and chat rooms. The first 2 I would try are Facebook and www.intherooms.com.
- Take part in Q & A forums online. There are lots of folks out there in need of answers, and you could be their initial conduit into recovery. Two sites I’m aware of are www.quora.com and www.7cups.com.
These are just a few ideas I can offer. One thing is for certain if you take part in some of these suggestions you’ll undoubtedly get more ideas from others that are doing the same thing. These are tough times for everyone, addicts and non-addicts, and those who persevere aren’t necessarily the strong, but the ones who use their tools and think outside the box.
Stay well, be smart, and always play the tape all the way through before acting on it…
Progressive Living operates a network of sober living homes and addiction recovery houses throughout Pennsylvania, including; Levittown, Bristol and Morrissville (Bucks County), PA as well as a sober living apartment complex in Ewing, New Jersey — view our locations. Our recovery residences range from medium to higher structure and are available for men and women ages 18 and up that are new in their sobriety from drug or alcohol addiction. Reach us 7 days a week at: (215) 584-0340 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Progressive Living provides structured sober living homes and addiction recovery housing. Our focus is on helping men & women new in sobriety to re-acclimate into life in a manner that is conducive to living as a proactively sober individual. It is often the case that a client at any of our recovery residences will take part in outpatient treatment during their initial stay here. If requested, we are happy to provide clients with information on local outpatient rehab providers based on prior experience and their overall reputation. Information provided however, is not an endorsement nor based on any clinical matter or assessment.