The Corvid-19 pandemic has been one of the hardest situations that we have ever had to face in our lifetime. Most of us have grandparents who have never had to deal with something like this. We will be telling our grandchildren or great grandchildren about this one day in hopes that they never go through something like this themselves. But if they do, maybe by our stories and seeing how we got through it. They will be able to face it head on and beat it as well.
Many people out there still have not grasped the severity of this current situation. It’s because of those people that the daily count of positive cases still manages to rise more and more despite all of our attempts of social distancing and isolation. We were first told that the shutdown would be lifted by the first or second week of April. By the time April came around, schools were closed indefinitely and not to open again until the following school year. We went from having our daily freedom to go and do whatever we please to the state governments issuing stay at home orders and curfews. Now we are being told that the nationwide lockdown should be starting to lift by the first week of May. I am personally not feeling too confident about that statement since even today. The number of positive cases is still going up instead of down.
For any typical American, the challenges we currently face have most definitely taken its toll. For those of us who have been in addiction recovery, it’s taken more than a toll on us. Especially those who are in Alcoholics Anonymous trying to stay sober and away from alcohol. The first thing to go when all this first started was social gatherings. Meaning things like Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and Narcotics Anonymous meetings were cut off since day one. Many of us currently in recovery have always depended on those weekly meetings to keep us strong, moving forward, and most importantly sober. Some people attend daily meetings because they are still in their early stages of recovery or they simply needed that daily meeting to keep themselves in check. To have all that taken away from them and being forced to isolate themselves from the world has impacted the state of their sobriety in ways that most people could never imagine.
For me personally, life did not just change when the nation was shut down. My life got completely flipped over, ran through the washer and dryer, and then hung out to dry. I have always been dependent on scheduling and routines. I have attempted numerous times to try and create new ones that would be as equally fulfilling and stable, but every time I felt as if one would start to stick. Something else would pop up and change everything again. The constant uncertainty of where I may be tomorrow or what trouble I might be able to get into was part of my addiction. I was not just addicted to opiates; I was addicted to the rush of the hustle. Finding a way to get up money, then make the rounds of calls and texts to my trusted hookups, and then leaving to go pick up one person. To then go to another person and then end up in a 50/50 situation as to whether I might get ripped off or everything comes through. The rush of it all on top of the feeling I’d get after popping a pill was what kept me in the same self-destructing cycle for years. Getting myself into a program and ridding my life of the people and things who kept me in that cycle.
The main things that has helped me stay in recovery before the Covid-19 lock down happened, was those I hold closest to myself and the benefits I would get from attending my local meetings. Unfortunately, I never got to go as often as I would have liked, but I did go as much as I needed. Which is what is most important when in recovery. As many people in my local area would do, I would attend Alcoholics Anonymous instead of the Narcotics Anonymous meetings. Whenever I’d leave an AA meeting, I would always get this feeling of being refreshed as if it restored my self-confidence and natural positive attitude. The only thing I ever felt after attending NA meetings was wanting to go get high. Obviously, I kept away from NA meetings ever since but while keeping an open mind to any new ones that may be erected in my area. Guess I hold onto that hope that there might be a new one which had a better foundation and morals.
Once the pandemic broke out and all the social gatherings were disbanded. Like others, I found myself in a bit of a panicked state. At first, I kept a leveled head and just kept thinking that it has only temporary and that everything would be back to normal soon. Then the schools closed for the remainder of the year not to open until the following school year. That same day, the state government ordered the extension of the lockdown along with a stay at home order for all nonessential workers. That has when I realized that this was not going to go away anytime soon, and things were only going to get worse before it got better. My doctor and counseling appointments were changed from in person to over the phone or webcam appointments. As much as those did help, getting to still share my thoughts and get some sort of guidance in return. It is just not the same as sharing and conversing with other’s who suffer from their own addictions.
As I continued creating this website/blog and started on my initial posts. I continued researching my chosen niche and then found myself drifting into other topics. The main thing was finding online groups or chat rooms that may serve as a replacement for the meetings I have not been able to attend. I first came across addiction and recovery blogs. One of which was for someone I have come to admire very much. That person and what they do will be left for another post. From their blog, I found different YouTube videos and Facebook groups of others sharing their addiction stories. The one video that helped me the most, was by Derek Lambert – “5 Tips to Stay Sober in Early Recovery”. The tips from this video were fantastic and helped me quite a bit. More important than that, was what I obtained in the description of that video. A group that is based on Discord.
What is Discord? Discord is an all in one communication app for communities, gaming, and friends that is currently available on iOS, Android, and PC/Mac. The group I learned of from the video Derek Lambert did, is called “Rewired Addiction.” From the moment I followed the invite link to the group to the first time joining the general discussion room after being added to the group. I immediately felt welcome and an overall sense of support from everyone that was online at that time. They welcome you in with open arms, personally greet you so you know that they are real people there and not bots, and they let you know you are not alone. If ever you need someone to talk to or just simply need a place to vent about your day. There are numerous rooms available for all different types of topics. Not just for general text but also for voice chat as well. The main thing I have been utilizing that this group offers is daily and weekly voice meetings. There are meetings for both Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous. As well as literature readings, spiritual gatherings, and just like going to a local meeting. There are numerous options available for whatever stage of recovery you may be in and the members are always there to help you find whichever resource they offer that will best benefit you personally. I truly do not know how else to put into words just how much they have helped me and all the other members currently apart of their group.
Just like a local meeting, you can join up to just to listen to others share or share yourself if you feel comfortable doing so. The one thing I cannot stress enough is the fact that they will never pressure or make you do anything you do not want to do, or you are not comfortable with. On top of that, the group has an extremely strict policy in place in order to protect their members and to not let in anything that would ever jeopardize someone’s sobriety and recovery. Being a part of this group is a privilege and if you do not respect that privilege along with its guidelines currently in place. You are immediately ejected from the group. The only reason that would happen is to protect the many members who do follow the rules.
If you would like to be a part of this amazing group and have the chance to experience all this for yourself. Then please follow the steps below that I’ve provided for you and I wish you the best of luck on your continued journey of recovery. If you know anyone else who may benefit from this group, please share this post with them and have them follow these steps as well. Together we can make it!
**** VERY IMPORTANT!!! Make sure you immediately read the rules and policies of the groups and channels you join!! Each group/community has their own set of rules and regulations! So, make sure to read them all before becoming too active in a channel to prevent being kicked before getting started. Plus, it is just good manners and knowing those rules will insure you start off on the right foot and on a positive note right out the gate! ******
I hope you all enjoyed this as much as I enjoyed sharing it. I truly hope that at least one person who reads this finds this amazing group and it benefits them as much as it has me.
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