By Joi Honer BA CAC CCDP, National Alumni Director, Pinnacle Treatment Centers
As we all know, community and connection are important to people in recovery. As we move through this necessary time of social distance, we need to be mindful of supporting each other and finding safe alternative ways to make connection.
First things first, it’s important to understand that there are valid medical reasons for what is taking place. None of this is personal but it is certainly a challenge and it will take a collective effort to manage this. Recalling one of the 12 traditions of the self-help recovery programs, “our common welfare should come first.” We have to choose what will help us all.
While we may be physically alone, there are multiple ways we can connect to people as well as use this time to positively connect to ourselves:
- Pick up the phone. Talking to a person live offers more of a connection than sending a text or Facebook message. Voices can be soothing at a time like this.
- Use FaceTime, Zoom, or any other kind of video chat interface that allows us to see each other in conversation versus just hear. It creates a higher level of contact to be able to see someone.
- If you’ve never had a recovery app, now might be the time to download one. There are plenty available in your app store. If you are an alumni of Recovery Works/Pinnacle treatment programs, you can join our free Pinnacle Treatment Fellowship App!
- Join a recovery-based Facebook group or other online groups. There are a number of virtual recovery meetings offered that provide the opportunity for community-based recovery support during this time. You’ll find links to these meetings at the end of this article.
- Does your counselor/program offer telehealth? Now is the time to use it!
- Consider having any in-person meetings carefully, even one-on-one. If you must meet with an individual, ensure that the individual has not felt ill in the last several weeks and follow all of the CDC recommendations for touching and handwashing before and after.
You can also use this time to:
- Practice journaling. This can be something you plan to share with a sponsor, friend or counselor, or it may be something you choose to keep private. But for some people, journaling can be healing. If you’re new to journaling, these therapists’ tips will help you get started.
- Practice meditation. Connecting to the universe may be as healing as connecting to community.
- Indulge in a project. Something that will make you feel productive.
- Try something new. Drawing? A new type of exercise? Knitting? YouTube has an extensive list of “How to” tutorials.
- Work on your physical health and self-care.
- And finally, take time just to be! So of us tend to overdo or always do. We are human beings, not doings. This break may give you some extra time to just be. Use it!
This is also an excellent time to do service:
- Do you know somebody who’s going to struggle with this who might not be able to reach out by themselves? Can you reach out to them?
- Is there an older person you can get some supplies for? Perhaps send them something in the mail?
- How about social organizations that may be overburdened right now. Can you send them supplies?
- Can you offer to chair a virtual recovery meeting?
Your attitude will impact your perception of this situation, but your actions can help manage your attitude. Focus on the positive. Choose recovery. Reach out, keep yourself healthy and focus on the opportunities for growth. Together, we will see this through!
Here is a comprehensive list of virtual recovery connections and meetings for support:
If you are an alumni of one of our Recovery Works/Pinnacle programs, please reach to Joi Honer at firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to the Pinnacle Treatment Fellowship app or to join one of our virtual alumni meetings.