Right now, the world is dealing with a widespread pandemic and we’re currently trying to figure out how to manage life through it. While I wouldn’t quite say that this situation is unprecedented (have you heard of the Black Plague?), I would definitely say that it is an entirely new situation for our current society. We have a vast accessibility to amazing technology that can potentially get this thing under control. We also have a group of government officials that aren’t exactly sure what to do and are winging it. And so you have huge areas that are under quarantine.
Whether you’re stuck at home because of official orders, you’re immunocompromised, or you simply believe it to be the responsible thing to do, many of us who fight addiction are struggling even more than others. We’re dealing with social distancing – which triggers depression, since we’re a social species. We’re dealing with job loss – another trigger of depression; wondering how to pay our bills – triggering depression and anxiety; and trying to entertain kids when they’re done with their online school work – trust me, this includes a TON of anxiety. On top of all of these things that everyone else is also facing, we’re also having to fight massive urges of fighting depression with unhealthy coping skills. Maybe you’re craving alcohol or drugs. Maybe you’re fighting the urge to starve yourself or indulge in overeating. Maybe you’re spending all day browsing Amazon, wondering if you can get away with maxing out your credit card. No matter what you’re fighting, I need you know that you’re not alone.
You are not alone.
This is a new scenario for everyone, which means new triggers. But we have to remember to dig down deep and remember why we’re still fighting.
For me personally, I’m fighting urges to restrict my eating and start drinking again. These times are tough to handle and completely unpredictable. I don’t deal well with change or being told what to do. To add onto that, I’m immunocompromised and worry about any time that I have to go out into the world. But I have to remind myself daily that maintaining recovery needs to be one of my top priorities right now. It’s one of the hardest things for me to face, but it’s important. When I’m not sober, I can’t take care of my kids or do my work. When I’m starving myself, I put my health at even more risk. None of these things are worth it to me.
So when you’re struggling with your addiction, remember why you started your recovery in the first place. Make a list and keep it on you if needed. Always remember that you can also reach out. There are now online recovery meetings that you can be involved in. Friends and family can be a great support group. And joining an online group can be awesome way to continue being encouraged. You’ve got this and you don’t have to do it alone.