The world is still, more or less, on lockdown due to the pandemic. Bushfires ravaged a good portion of Australia back in January. And now, we’re facing global protests after George Floyd was killed by a Minnesota police officer (protests that are arguably long-overdue). Needless to say, 2020, thus far, has proven itself to be quite a catastrophic year, and we’re only half-way through.
It’s a very strange new normal that we’re living in at the moment, and it’s hard to turn the other cheek and pretend like this isn’t having a profound impact on peoples’ mental health. It also has the very real potential to be filled with triggering situations and circumstances for those who struggle with addiction. Moreover, it could put those in recovery dangerously close to a relapse. Peoples’ health and lives are at stake, the global economy is suffering, and people across the world are struggling with unemployment, personal relationship strain, and the list goes on.
Keeping all of this in mind, it’s important to remember that life is always filled with uncertainty. Sure, this year is just plain nuts so let’s just get out of the way. Hopefully, there will never be another year like this one in our collective lifetimes (fingers crossed). But having said that, there are very few things we have control over. Period. Ever. But we tend to crave security. And those of us who deal with addiction are generally more apt to want to control things––we’re talking about people, places, and things. Unfortunately, however, we can’t control any of these, nor have we ever been able to. Furthermore, we need to also remember right now that we’re all in this together. The whole world is going through a crazy time, so we’re not alone. YOU’RE not alone, so try not to succumb completely to fear. Stay connected to the people you care about and who care about you. Voice your fears, let yourself be vulnerable around those who you know will understand, and try to be of service to others if there’s a way to do so. This will get you out of your own head for a while.
Focus on the things you DO have some control over
Have you recently lost a job or received a pay cut? Try carving out an hour or two per day to search for work and send out resumes. Also, many governments are providing various stimulus packages to help stimulate the economy. If you haven’t received any help yet, you could spend some time researching online to find out what you might be eligible for. Also keep in mind that many landlords are offering discounts on rent, and banks are giving homeowners breaks on their mortgages as well. Ask the right questions and make sure you’re staying on top of what’s available to you.
You know what else you can do? Give yourself an hour to just wallow in it. Set a timer. Cry if you need to. Scream into a pillow, or out loud if you’re not disturbing anyone. Then, when your time is up, go back to searching for work, looking up potential stimulus options, and all the other grown-up stuff that can be kind of a drag sometimes but worth it in the end. Sometimes breaking for a little pity party can help you put things into perspective. You’ll more than likely realize after an hour that the wallowing eventually gets boring.
Are you feeling mentally and spiritually drained? Perhaps it’s time to ramp up your recovery program. If you attend twelve-step meetings or other recovery meetings, make sure you’re not skipping them. Most meetings have gone online and if you don’t have access to a Zoom meeting schedule for the meetings that you normally attend, you can always head to In the Rooms. It’s a global recovery community that hosts addiction meetings at all hours of the day. Also, make sure you’re eating healthy meals, exercising, and if you have a meditation practice, do that as well. Meditation is a great way to give your mind a little reset and to then get present and centered. It works wonders when your monkey mind starts racing (yeah, we’re talking about those little voices in your head that want to take you down all the time. Don’t worry, we hear them, too.).
Finally, accept the uncertainty. We know that this is far easier said than done, but try all of these suggestions AND remember that there’s help out there. You have a recovery community that you can call on––if you don’t, get yourself over to an online meeting ASAP. Most of them are free and/or donation-based, and some cities are beginning to open up their live meetings again with physical distancing procedures in place. Take advantage because, after all, your life depends on it. This is not an easy time for anyone, really, and for those of us who are in recovery, we really need to remain diligent. And we promise that this, too, shall pass.
Kembali Recovery Center is here for You
While we haven’t opened our doors quite yet due to the pandemic, we’re gearing up for another round of intakes soon. Please make sure to stay in touch. Contact us for updates and we’ll also be able to answer your addiction-related questions. You never have to do this alone.