With the world being forced into self-isolation while countries deal with a raging pandemic, the most vulnerable of our societies and communities face terrifying realities while trying to survive. Among these, many who are recovering addicts and sufferers of substance or alcohol abuse rely on close contact with others to help them in their respective journeys to sobriety. This lock-down will prove to be an extremely difficult time for those who are struggling with their sobriety right now.
If there was any a time to love yourself that much harder, now would be it. For those who have been actively going for meetings and staying sober, you are allowed to feel proud of how far you’ve come. Use your sense of achievement to document your progress and continue pushing forward through this current lockdown. You have made it this far, you can and will jump this hurdle of quarantine.
For those who struggle with staying sober, you are not alone! Isolation while battling addiction is a dangerous place to be in, and you will be more susceptible to giving in when that overwhelming feeling of the world collapsing all around you kicks in. Fight it! You may not be able to see it or hear it, but there are countless others out there right now who are rooting for you. Loneliness is a tough barrier to get through, so at this time, the internet is a very useful tool that will help you with whatever you need. It’s absolutely imperative that you keep communication lines open during this time with people that you trust. With a disease such as addiction, most people feel like they might burden someone else with their problems, but it is important to know that you have the right to seek help and receive it.
Find these two helpful articles on coping with addiction during a pandemic here and here.
Connecting in the 21st Century
Thankfully, social distancing does not apply to social media. With polarized views on the dependency modern day humans have with connectivity and our fixation on social media, this is when staying connected actually saves lives.
AA and NA meetings will all have to be done online now. If you have not had the opportunity to connect with a group, click here for more information on AA meetings in Malaysia. Dial their hotline to get connected with coordinators who will be happy to help you with all the necessary information you will need to get through this difficult time.
It is normal to feel a sense of hopelessness as you battle with addiction alone, but please remember that help is there for you.
In the event of a relapse, forgive yourself and try again! When recovering from a bender, toxic feelings of self-loathing is a major prevention in attempting sobriety once more. Please know that it is alright, and the fact that you are willing to try is a victory in itself. You are worthy of love and acceptance, and your struggles are valid. You owe it to yourself to try again and again.
In order to help yourself through a relapse, ensure that you are creating healthy boundaries for yourself. Temptations are everywhere even in a lockdown because of access to delivery services. Remove any apps from your phone that might encourage alcohol delivery and be careful to also filter out certain people in your life who might not take your road to sobriety seriously. Saying goodbye to alcohol or substance abuse, and even the people who encourage it will feel like a tremendous loss that will no doubt cause any addict to suffer great anguish. It’s alright to mourn. Do know that in such an act of defiance, you are choosing life and you are allowing yourself to heal. You deserve to be happy.
Friends and Family
There are many of us who may know someone who is struggling with addiction and may not know how to help them. The most important thing to do is to refrain from all kinds of judgement as we might not understand their personal turmoil. It definitely is not as easy task for family members and friends of addicts to help their loved ones with such a destructive disease but remember that patience, kindness, and compassion are key.
For those who have endured fractured relationships with an addict, it is alright to grieve and want to move on. It is also alright to try to forgive them for any wrongdoings, and to wish them well with their recovery. After all, everyone of us are fighting silent battles and we must all choose how best to deal with them. To help with understanding the disease a little better, click here.
Coping with Nicotine
Apart from drugs and alcohol, this will probably be a good time for many people to consider kicking that nicotine habit too! Often used as a coping mechanism, cigarettes and vaping are physical replacements for many who are undergoing recovery. While it is completely understandable, remember that you are trying to heal from within, and that you are taking steps to live a healthier life. Relying on smoking in the long run proves to have adverse effects on your overall wellbeing which will lead to other health complications. Click here for tips and guidelines on how to quit smoking. Remember, relapsing is sometimes part of the process, but what’s important is to not give up on yourself and to keep trying. We’re all in this together!
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