Addiction, whether alcohol or drug-related, is truly a disease of isolation. And for those in recovery, the pandemic and self-quarantine measures required throughout much of the country have made recovery that much more difficult. If you find yourself in this situation, please do not be afraid to reach out to your sponsor or a close friend or family member. However, you can also use the advice below to keep your bearings straight so that you don’t fall back into bad habits.
Adopt a Pet.
Adopting a pet is a great way to find purpose when the world is in the midst of chaos. Psychology Today points out they provide unconditional love and can give you a sense of responsibility. Further, having an animal means that you will have plenty of excuses to go outside and soak up the sun. Most animal shelters have dogs and cats available but call before you go.
Once you’ve settled on your new companion, a quick trip to the store to stock up on supplies will ensure you have time to bond without interruption. In addition to toys and food, you will need cleaning supplies. If you are getting a cat, ask the shelter manager if they are prone to stomach upset, and then talk to your vet about adding a probiotic to their diet to improve their gut biome.
Across the country, recovery meetings have been canceled. This is one of the most devastating side-effects of the coronavirus pandemic for people in recovery. But just because you cannot be together does not mean that you can’t connect. If your meeting chairmen have yet to do so, ask about scheduling a Zoom meeting on your regular gathering nights.
Similarly, you can video chat with individuals when you need a little one-on-one time. If exercise has become part of your recovery efforts, talk to your group about creating challenges to keep each other motivated and encouraged. Apple explains how to compete with friends on your Apple watch, which can be an excellent way to keep track of each other when you are apart.
Another dangerous problem associated with the pandemic is job loss. For someone in recovery, this can be an absolutely devastating event, but it does not have to be. Take this time to reflect on your experiences, both personal and professional. Now is an opportune time to put all of this down on paper so that you can draft a resume that helps you shine. If you have gaps due to addiction, be prepared to answer questions about them. In this instance, it is best to be honest and to let your employer know that you were away taking care of your physical and mental health.
Once you have crafted your resume, it is time to look for work, and you can use your prior experience to find freelance jobs in many fields. You can start your search on job platforms like Upwork, which has a variety of positions available (including in web design, writing, marketing, and accounting work) for top freelancers.
Try New Things.
Just as now is the perfect time to update your resume, it is also a unique opportunity to try new things. This could be something necessary, like cutting your own hair, or you might engage in something you’ve always wanted to do, such as learning a foreign language. And if you are sitting at home bored, there are plenty of ways to fill your time, like cleaning your home, reading, or binge watching a new Netflix series.
Addiction is a burden, and never in recent history has the world had such an overreaching burden as the pandemic. These are challenging times, there is no way around that, but know that you will come out of it stronger than ever. Moving forward, you can look back and say that you’ve accomplished more than you ever dreamed possible, especially given the circumstances.