We are in the midst of a very peculiar and stressful time in our lives. The Covid-19 pandemic has brought much of our country to a halt. People from every background and demographic have been impacted in significant ways, and it’s been a trying time to say the least. As someone who has been sober for nearly 5 years, my thoughts go directly to those in active addiction/alcoholism and those who are just starting to get sober.
Treatment centers are still fully operational and are having to follow isolation/quarantine protocols, which of course is not an easy process. Imagine going into detox and then having to be isolated from almost everything for a set amount of time. Thankfully Covid-19 tests have been becoming more available but during the start of this pandemic, new patients were having to be kept under isolation for 14 days before being allowed out into the entire facility. My heart goes out to all who made it through that.
That brings us to what the real issue is at this time, patients who are discharged from treatment are left in a world where most of the great fellowship that keeps us sober is shut down. Some are going to sober living, which is a nice option, others are going home where they don’t have many places to escape to. There are options with the advances of technology thankfully, and there’s plenty of time to focus on self-care right now, which can prove to be extremely valuable no matter what is happening around the world.
Here’s what can save you if you are in early recovery during the Covid-19 pandemic.
If there is one thing that can be detrimental to someone in early recovery, it’s to try and do it alone. Doing things alone means relying on your own mind to overcome addiction, the most powerful thing any of us will face in our lives. No matter the circumstances when you are in early recovery, who you surround yourself with is absolutely vital to keeping strong.
Obviously, we are in a time that makes it much harder to meet people and stay connected. Luckily, fellowships have made meetings available online so there are always some available.
For AA members, meetings can be found at :
It’s the closest thing any of us can have to face-to-face meetings. The most important thing anyone in early recovery can do is to simply find someone on a zoom meeting that intrigues them, and message them to see if they can have them as a sober contact.
I understand being nervous to talk during an online meeting. I get it—being in a weird situation can feel weird, but messaging someone should not be that hard! Having that sober contact to reach out to when you are struggling is so crucial to success in early recovery.
Self – Care
If there’s one thing I’ve learned during quarantine, it’s that it is really easy to get lazy and start eating terribly during it! I am very big on eating healthy and exercise in recovery; it helps my mental health in incredible ways and keeps me feeling happy and positive.
Exercise and eating a healthy diet in early recovery can prove to be a massive difference maker for yourself, especially while in quarantine. Anything you can do to make yourself feel better without a mind-altering substance is the way to go right now.
A very easy practice you can begin and learn while stuck at home is meditation. When somebody suggested for me to start meditation, I scoffed at the idea. I thought of a Buddhist monk sitting in silence on a mountain and thought the idea was preposterous for me to try as someone with one month sober.
I was told it would work wonders for my anxiety and give me inspiration if I was consistent with it. I figured there was nothing to lose. Five years later, and I could not imagine living without meditation in my life. The benefits started to show up rather quickly for me too.
There are some excellent free apps to get you started on your meditation journey. All you need to commit to is a few minutes a day, and, with so much free time on your hands, that should not be a problem! Remember however, meditation is like going to the gym, you will only see results with consistency. I saw results after just a few weeks of doing it every day. I can’t say much else because it is something truly special you need to experience for yourself.
If you are new in recovery during this time of quarantine, give yourself credit and keep your focus on what your initial intention was when you sought out help. With the wonders of technology we are still as connected as ever, there is just a different look to what is normal.
For some of us, meeting new people who are sober online can prove to be easier than in real life! Remember that there are millions of strong, sober people out there who want nothing more than for someone new to recovery to reach out to them. Reaching out to someone with many years sober is helping them just as much as it helps you.
For additional advice and guidance, you can watch MindPath’s Dr. Shantel Sullivan, Lead Therapist at their Addiction Recovery Center. Dr. Sullivan created two videos recently on “Addiction Recovery During Covid-19” and a follow up Q&A on the same topic.
Stay strong, everyone. You can do this!
**Please note that this article is written by a person in recovery who has vast knowledge and experience but is not a licensed professional. For professional advice and help please contact MindPath’s Addiction Recovery Center or see a licensed addiction therapist near you.**
Daniel Wittler is a writer in recovery from New Jersey who writes for sites like Stodzy Internet Marketing along with many other sites. Daniel believes absolutely anyone can get sober provided they are ready to take action.
IF YOU OR SOMEONE YOU LOVE IS STRUGGLING WITH ADDICTION OR SUBSTANCE USE DISORDER VISIT OUR ADDICTION RECOVERY CENTER OR CLICK HERE FOR A LIST OF SPECIALISTS WHO CAN HELP.