Those who are currently fighting addiction know the importance of a strong social support system in the journey toward a full recovery. Unfortunately, a serious and widespread call for social isolation following the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) will make it difficult for people in recovery to continue their routines, receive counseling, and seek the supportive social interactions they can usually rely on.
Dr. Rosen and the team at Recovery Care want our patients in recovery to know that they are not alone, even when life may feel lonely. Our team is here to offer you some suggestions for maintaining your progress during these difficult times:
Keep Lines of Communication Open
We are fortunate to live in a day and age where communication is easier than ever. If you don’t already have a presence on social networking platforms like Facebook, now may be the time to put aside your reservations and sign up. In fact, you can even mold your social media usage specifically around your recovery, as there are a number of addiction support groups to join and use to connect with your peers. Apart from social media, don’t forget to keep in contact with your friends, family, and others in your usual support group. Call your loved ones and sponsors frequently, and even consider video chat to compensate for a lack of one-on-one face time.
Stay Busy and Try New Things
Boredom is one of the most common causes of relapse seen in patients recovering from addiction, and a widespread culture of social isolation can result in a dangerous amount of downtime. We urge you to see this as an opportunity instead of a burden if you can. Take up a new hobby, cook something you’ve never cooked before, and practice mindfulness around your home - you may even notice something new about a familiar space.
Take the Opportunity to Focus
While social isolation at its worst may keep you inside your own head, a time of reflection isn’t always a bad thing, especially when you’re in recovery. An interruption of your usual routine and priorities may put some things about your recovery journey into focus that you previously left by the wayside. Have you stopped seeking new groups to attend? Are you addressing your physical wellness appropriately? Have you started to fall back into patterns associated with your addiction while you weren’t paying attention? Use this opportunity to come up with a plan of action following your period of isolation, and get started on the elements you can begin implementing today.
Use Your Online Resources
Many social resources specifically for those in recovery have already taken steps to move online and provide remote support during this time of isolation. Alcoholics Anonymous has posted COVID-19 meeting guidelines as well as an app for finding information on meetings. 12Step has posted a list of online meetings on their site as well. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to your substance abuse counselor if you need guidance in finding and navigating these resources.
We know that those in recovery can not only maintain their sobriety during this difficult time, but continue to make progress. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us for assistance and support - as always, we’re with you every step of your recovery journey.