Those of us in long term recovery are no strangers to the elements of resilience; we adapt, we grow, we evolve, we rise to the occasion. Always. The occasion just so happens to be harnessing the ability to let any perceived powerlessness just wash over us and do our best.
A few years ago my sponsor told me some very valuable words that ring truer today than they ever have, "it is in examining our powerlessness that we find where our true power lies."
Whatever our program or affiliation, recovery is everywhere if you know where to look. Find your power whether you're an essential worker and on the frontlines every day, or stuck at home during recovery. We may have to shelter in place but with the internet and teleservices, we are more equipped to further our recovery than we may realize.
Personally, I am a huge fan of XA Speakers. This site hosts a list for each 12-step fellowship and the recorded speaker's file for each can be found here. I believe this is one of the single most underutilized resources and I recommend it to everyone I have worked with in the recovery community. Pre-pandemic, I'd throw this resource at anyone traveling, "bored", or just in general curious. You can click on the desired fellowship; be it AA, NA, or any other 12-step focused group and get links for recorded conference speakers as well as links to each fellowship's official site.
There is a link at the top of the Alcoholics Anonymous homepage to read the Daily Reflections. This is a great supplement to the Big Book daily readings (pages 85-88, where you can find what are essentially instructions on how to fill a sober day, regardless of what specific tasks are on your plate). You can also get area-specific resources and information, and find local offices and chapters that serve your area. You can reach your local office via the contact information provided. You can also find a wealth of AA literature, such as online versions of pamphlets typically available at meetings online.
You can access online versions of the Big Book and Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions here.
The AA Grapevine or AA magazine is currently open for free online. You can read or listen to various articles and there is a wide array of topics.
The critical path for Alcoholics Anonymous and other 12-step specific programs is continuing to utilize the steps, deepening the spiritual connection, and continuing to show up (even if just from your screen) to check in with others on your progress as well as theirs. It is possible to continue to follow the Three Legacies and stay safe at home.
The three "legacies" of AA for anyone unfamiliar are recovery, found by following what's in the Big Book and the 12-steps contained therein, traditionally with a sponsor; unity, through following the Twelve Traditions; and service, which is traditionally found in the 12 Concepts for World Service. Balancing all of these things can look like whatever it needs to look like right now. Perhaps service is just picking up the phone to check on others; folks you know are new or returning and see how they're doing and what they're doing to stay sober right now.
Young People in Recovery
Young People in Recovery (YPR) is an organization that serves the community of young people in all types of recovery and provides support for recovery from all forms of substance abuse. YPR direct links to online resources, online meeting schedules, and their contact information, etc. Their virtual meeting schedule can be found at YPR Virtual Meeting Schedule. According to Tara Hyde, Program Manager & National Chapter Coordinator for YPR, "We have 53 different virtual All-Recovery Meetings weekly...We also have different leads from all over the country who are doing social 'virtual' activities, like coffee & conversation, baking together, and trivia."
These resources can be powerful tools to connect on a higher level than just a basic meeting format.
SMART is a resource for broader scope recovery as well. There is also an app and there are direct links to any information that would be needed to connect to a local chapter, as well as blogs and direct links to their online community.
As always, I do believe in the gravity and importance of saving the two following resources:
2.) National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, which can be found at either: https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org, or 800-273-8255.
If you found a safe space in recovery, but home is not a safe space, please utilize the National Domestic Violence Hotline. Please remember to clear your cache, cookies, and history if you visit this page and are in an unsafe situation at home.
A pandemic won't make or break us, but our actions will. We can act through fear or we can act from a place of fear. I hope everyone chooses the path that not only keeps them free from the bondage of self but also chooses paths that fortify their connection to themselves, what keeps them recovered, as well as to others. We are all in this together, be it six feet apart on an essential trip, in virtual meetings, or on the other end of the phone. We never have to walk alone once we pick up the key of willingness to go to any lengths.