The first real wide sweeping pandemic to affect the world to this magnitude is proving to be a formidable health threat to overcome. We haven’t seen these kinds of fatalities from a pandemic in a hundred years since World War I. The only difference between a pandemic and an epidemic is that a pandemic is a worldwide epidemic.
One of the best protections against this virus is what has come to be known and has now been dubbed #socialdistancing. Social distancing calls for each of us to maintain a minimum safe distance, six feet, from one another as our best chance for containment and protection against the disease. For a society on the move, this is a catastrophic healthcare crisis causing widespread panic. Almost overnight, large numbers of people have lost their jobs, food store shelves from markets have become empty, parents must now figure out ways to homeschool their children, and everyone is scrambling to find ways and means to support their families. That’s a recipe for stress, anxiety, and anger to flare.
Most states have adopted a “shelter in place” policy in one form or another. Of course, we’re always going to have an element of the population that “didn’t get the message”; at least until one of more of them gets sick from the virus and dies. It leaves us isolated from the outside world, and in many cases, from those we love the most outside of our immediate family that already lives together with us.
One of the most challenging aspects of a “shelter in place” order for a recovering addict is isolation. Couple that with the insanity of trying to work from home, providing sufficient space and structure for children to homeschool, something they were accustomed to doing at school, the isolation in and of itself prohibiting us from just going out, doing things, and just getting out of the house for a while, and our recipe for disaster becomes more dire.
If we’re lucky enough to keep our job, we miss the camaraderie of collaborating with one another at the office. Our teenagers are missing the prime of their High School, missing their PROMs, missing their graduations, as if these are the most important events in their lives. To them, they are. To us, its uniqueness makes it something special that will be remembered and talked about for generations to come. We will remember the hardships. We will remember the sacrifices. And we will pride ourselves in our resolve and determination to overcome. We are survivors.
We don’t know what is to become of what is left on the other side of this pandemic, but there are things we can do to make certain our addiction recovery remains in check:
- Corpus Callosum Bridge
- Diet, Exercise, & H20
- Sleep, Rest & Relaxation
- Community & Groups
- Personal Hygiene
- Service Unto Others
- Concentric Circles
- Religion & Spirituality
We practice exercises to bridge the two hemispheres of our brain. We journal to document our past, present, and future. We build structure into our lives with time management. We exercise, eat right, and drink plenty of water. We make certain we get adequate peaceful sleep, and plenty of rest and relaxation time. We learn about the importance that affirmations and meditation plays in our lives, well being, and brain healing. We continue to participate in community and groups, even if it is remotely due to #socialdistancing. We make certain that both we and our environment are healthy and clean. We challenge ourselves to face and overcome our fears. We provide service to others. We create Concentric Circles to segregate the good, the bad, and the ugly behaviors we tend to exhibit. And we celebrate our faith and fall back onto our religion and spirituality.
These are all components that can be found in the War Chest. A War Chest is an arsenal, a battle plan, and a war plan to overcome addiction. Regardless of what type of addiction it is, whether it is a substance addiction or a behavioral addiction, is immaterial. Each of these components help the recovering addict to overcome their addiction. The more of these countermeasures we put into place, the better chance we have for remission.
One of the most prominent quotes cited in any given group associated with addiction is the Serenity Prayer, and it is paraphrased as follows:
“We accept the things we cannot change, change the things that we can, and have the wisdom to know the difference”
We cannot do anything about the actions of others that culminate in the spread of this virus. That we cannot change. We can, however, do our part by adhering to isolation protocol and rules of containment. That we can change. We can educate ourselves so that we understand what is at stake, how the virus propagates, and how best to maintain an adequate barrier between the virus and us. That provides us with the necessary wisdom to know the difference to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe.
For those in this crisis NOW is the time to invest in recovery and stop the cycle of addiction in it’s tracks.
We must all remain hypervigilant in this time of crisis, or people die. Stay safe and take care of you.