Social Distancing as a Recovering Addict
Recovering addicts are participating in social distancing, like everyone else, as a result of the widespread pandemic, coronavirus, otherwise known as COVID-19. Social distancing has proven to be a necessary measure taken by cities, states, and nations worldwide in order to "flatten the curve" or slow the spread of this highly infectious disease. Effectively slowing down the spread of this pandemic is going to take the willpower and intentionality of every single one of us, but what does social distancing mean for those of us in recovery who greatly depend on addiction-related support groups to maintain our sobriety?
Most recovering addicts, myself included, rely on the support of others to maintain sobriety (and sanity) in recovery. While I don't actively attend addiction groups on a regular basis, I do attend other types of community groups with like-minded individuals, which certainly helps to strengthen my sobriety and provide incredible stability and self-care. Many of us feel lost without our communities, our people, and our support systems which makes the concept of social distancing feel nearly impossible.
Social Support for Recovering Addicts Amidst Social Distancing
Thankfully, through the use of modern technology, recovering addicts aren't experiencing social distancing to the degree we once would have. Many recovery groups have resorted to online forums, conference calls, or video chat groups to maintain connection and support while still abiding by the social distancing recommendations from public health officials. All you have to do is contact your local group leaders to figure out what your specific group is doing in this crisis.
In addition to seeking recovery and community groups through these technological advances, many therapists are utilizing teletherapy methods now more than ever all across the world. There's also the use of video calling friends and family during this difficult time to maintain emotional support from your loved ones.
While this new age method of social support isn't ideal, it is certainly better than nothing. Of course, I'd rather spend quality time with my loved ones face-to-face, but knowing that I'm doing my part to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 makes this sacrifice completely worth it if you ask me.
Social Distancing Doesn't Have to Harm Recovering Addicts' Sobriety
Obviously, social distancing can impact recovering addicts on our sobriety journeys, but ultimately it doesn't have to harm our sobriety in the long run. If we maintain intentionality and determination during this time we can fight through and remain sober, even on the most difficult days when we feel so isolated from society. It's crucial now more than ever that we persist and utilize our most helpful coping skills and strongest support systems to get through this.
Lastly, please remember that this won't last forever. If we all partake in social distancing, most are hopeful that this pandemic madness will be over sooner rather than later. So curl up on the couch, binge-watch your favorite show, cuddle with your babies (or fur babies), read a good book, take an online class, and hunker down patiently. We will get through this.
Richardson, A. (2020, March 19). Social Distancing as a Recovering Addict, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2020, July 14 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/debunkingaddiction/2020/3/social-distancing-as-a-recovering-addict