In a time of suggested social distancing and isolation with heightened energies of fear and desperation, the potential for relapse may also be on the rise. However, if we shift our perspectives and trust in our newfound ways of coping, we can utilize this time to dive deeper into our recovery. In fact, this can be the spiritually transformative experience we (and the world) have needed.
Tune Out the News, Tune Into You
What are you feeling right now? Even if the answer to that question is an uncomfortable one, allow it to be. Let the feelings surface. Permit the experience, rather than doing the familiar and running from or attempting to numb it.
Meditate, Don’t Medicate
Lean into the experience by practicing deep breathing and meditation. Go inward by choosing a comfortable spot to sit or lie back, closing your eyes and taking deep breaths into your stomach. With each breath, allow your body to relax. As you notice your thoughts racing to other things, simply gently bring yourself back to your breath. Inhale. Exhale. Do this meditative breathing exercise for at least ten minutes.
Hold Space, Not Debates
This is not the time to be feeding the fears or engaging in the chaotic energies running rampant. Debates on social media may provide distraction, but they will rob you of serenity. Instead, allow this time to be an opportunity to unplug from social media and the news and hold space for the world. Allow yourself this time to reconnect with family, nature, your inner child, your imagination, creativity, your dreams, and passions. Let this be a time of reflection and real recovery.
Fear Less, Faith More
If you are feeling fear, have no shame in that experience. Permit yourself to feel whatever you feel. But, know that you are not alone. Stay in faith by trusting the process. Just as you had fear of becoming sober or going to treatment, you may have fear now. But, as with those fears, it was simply the unfamiliar and unknown that seemed scary. The same is now true, so you know what to do. Stay connected to the recovery community you have come to know, your sponsor, spiritual guides, mentors, counselors and life coaches. Trust the process you are experiencing and that of the world around you.
Look for Examples, Not Excuses
With suggested social distancing and isolation, it may be tempting to use this time as an excuse to return to processes and substances. Regardless of the way your ego may be spinning this experience – “no one will even know,” “everyone is doing it right now,” “the world’s ending anyway” – it’s all false information. You will know. Not everyone is turning to active addiction to cope. And, no. The world is not ending. It’s shifting, the same way your reality shifted when you entered into recovery.
As such, meet your ego’s false narrative with truth. Look for examples of positive coping, perspectives and successful recovery through this time. Be mindful of who you’re connecting with on social media and what you’re taking in via TV, radio or podcasts. And, most importantly, be a loving, positive example, wherever you can.