Staying Sober During the Coronavirus Outbreak
The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has been plaguing the United States as well as the rest of the world. One population that’s lacking attention when it comes to who is being negatively impacted are those who are trying to stay clean and sober from drugs and alcohol. In treatment, you learn the importance of being surrounded by a support group and managing your mental health, but this is a difficult time. With social distancing being pushed on all Americans, it can increase levels of depression, anxiety, and isolation. As you know, isolating is one of the worst things you can do in recovery, so it’s time to start thinking about some solutions.
The coronavirus spreads quickly, so medical experts are encouraging social distancing. They are telling people not to go out in public if they don’t need to because the primary goal right now is to slow down the virus. For those who regularly attend meetings as a way to stay connected, it puts you in a rough situation. Going to 12-step meetings may be the primary way you’re staying sober, but now you may not be attending meetings. While it may be a good idea to limit the number of meetings you go to, there are many solutions to this situation.
We live in 2020, and there are plenty of ways to stay connected with people, and you can also attend meetings online. There are websites that also have smartphone and tablet apps for you to attend meetings online. If you’re worried about going out but still want to attend meetings, this is one of your best options. The website hosts both AA and NA meetings, but they also host Al-Anon meetings as well as other forms of 12-step programs. If you don’t feel comfortable being on camera, you can join the meeting via microphone. They have meetings all day, and this is also a great option once the outbreak ends for anyone with transportation issues.
You can also get creative and start your own online meetings with your local support group. Programs like Zoom that are typically used for business conference calls can be the perfect setting for 12-step meetings.
Depression and Anxiety in Isolation
It’s often said that when an addict is alone with their thoughts, they’re in bad company, and this is why staying connected is so important. Aside from the ruminating thoughts, you may experience in isolation, this is also the breeding ground for depression and anxiety. Humans are social creatures, but it’s even deeper than that. We experience depression and anxiety when we isolate because that’s how we evolved. These negative emotions were a sort of alarm system for our ancestors to tell them to get back to the group. Back then, being alone would make you susceptible to getting injured or sick without anyone there to help you, so these feelings still arise today when you isolate.
The main piece of advice you receive in treatment is to get phone numbers, and now is the perfect time to start using those phone numbers to stay connected. Each day, you should be reaching out to people in your support network. You can call or text, and you don’t have to wait until you’re in a bad headspace to do this. One of the best times to connect with others is when your spirits are high. You never know when your text or call to see how someone’s doing is an act that can save someone from relapse.
Enlightened Solutions is taking every precaution during this difficult time, and we’re still here to treat those who need help overcoming their addiction. If you’re currently struggling with an addiction or know someone who is, call us today at 833-233-7336.