For many people who are in recovery you may be wondering if you can handle all of this self-quarantining due to the COVID-19 outbreak. In fact, much of the lockdown may remind you of your using days – isolated from the rest of the world and trapped in your own thoughts.
Confusion, frustration and fear of future is affecting the whole world and you are inundated with news and opinions on social media… you’re fighting much more than just the battle with the coronavirus itself. All of this may lead you to question, “how can I stay sober at a time like this?”
Fortunately, the recovery tools look strangely familiar to what sober people have used and it’s prepared most of us to face such difficult situations. Maintaining sobriety under the coronavirus lockdown is certainly within the realm of possibility and even when under the pressure of isolation, you can still end up triumphant and live sober for another day. Here’s how.
- Use your experiences with withdrawal as motivation
Change and scarcity are the two key ingredients of withdrawal. People in recovery looked at withdrawal right in the eye and managed to press forward. Imagine if you could do it then, with a substance that you were more than physically addicted to, you can most certainly do it now. Withholding from things you think you needed, especially in isolation, can prove hugely advantageous during these trying times.
- Reaching out to other people
One aspect of recovery is about creating genuine connections with other people. This meant ditching the mask that says “I’m fine! I’m totally alright”, and opening up to individuals who share the same experiences (Alcoholics Anonymous comes to mind). Sharing your struggles, fears, and needs with like-minded people can teach you that being vulnerable is okay. At a time like this, the simple conversation of staying sober can help you steer clear from familiar triggers like stress, emotions, HALT (hungry, angry, lonely, tired) and the like.
- Replacing bad habits with healthy ones
A lot of our time right can be spend scrolling through social media, laying in bed all day, and just generally being unproductive. This can contribute to unhealthy thoughts and influence your approach towards your recovery. Rather than just letting time pass, think about how you can make better use of your time like joining online meetings or working out. Such activities can drastically reduce your stress levels and restore a sense of balance in your daily schedule which is something we all need when we’re quarantined all day long.
- Treat your home as a safe harbour
Being under quarantine can seem like both a blessing and a curse, but only if you see it as such. Think about your home as a safe harbour where you can recoup and recover. You’re far away from toxic friends, acquaintances, and other people that might cause you to suffer from relapse. Sure, being isolated does have its own challenges, but it’s certainly much easier to deal with than having to go through risky situations.
- Take control of what you can control
With all of the attention-grabbing headlines, it’s easy to get distracted and lose focus on your recovery. While we can’t control the pandemic itself, we can control how we react to the situation and how we can take ownership of our decisions. For example, you can choose not to use social media when all you see are images of beer bottles or, you can stop reminiscing about your previous alcohol experiences when you’re lying in bed. Take control of what you can control and never let the circumstances dictate your choices. It will help you progress greatly in your journey towards long-term sobriety.
- Stay fixated on your goals
Recovery is more about shaping your future than fixing your past. And while the global pandemic might have thrown a wrench in achieving your goals, it’s important that you never lose sight of them. What are your reasons for maintaining sobriety? What do you plan on doing after all this quarantine is over? These are some important questions worth pondering and ones that will help clear your mind off of any unwanted distractions.
At the end of the day, it’s about approaching your sobriety the same way you do with the coronavirus pandemic; take it one day at a time. There are far too many unknowns for you to overthink about and if you let the current headlines distract you, you may lose sight of your true perspective. Going into bed knowing that you made it without a drink is a small victory worth celebrating as you prepare for the next day. If you at any stage feel uncomfortable or feel like you need to speak with someone, get in touch with Calm Rehab Bali who is a leading drug and alcohol rehab centre.