We Asked: How are Alumni Managing Recovery Right Now? Here are Their Tips
It’s the question on a lot of peoples minds right now: How can I keep up with my recovery when I can’t go to meetings? How will I work the steps? What can I do if I feel alone?
We’ve got the tips from the best: Your fellow alumni.
Recovery Centers of America’s Alumni Association has more than 15,000 members who are navigating their recoveries right now – and they’re impacted by Coronavirus, too. Here are their helpful pointers on what they’re doing to stay strong during their recovery:
Take advantage of technology
We may be physically distant from each other right now, but that doesn’t mean we have to emotionally disconnect. There are plenty of ways to stay connected – and you know how important this is for recovery.
“I’m linking up with others in recovery and holding meetings thru Zoom text chats and Facetime. Most effective is when we can see each other’s faces. It’s the closest human connection we have today. We’re all in this together,” says RCA Alumni Association Member Julie.
Here’s a list of great online meeting resources Alumni Melissa is utilizing during this time:
Take a breather
We all need to take a break every once in a while. Don’t underestimate the power of taking a few moments to still your thoughts, slow down your breathing, and focus on meditation.
“I am managing my recovery by stilling my thoughts through mindful breathing, movement and meditation. I use both yoga and meditation at home to stop anxiety provoking thoughts. Our thoughts are a creative force, and we have the power to direct our thinking to include any positive life-affirming ideas,” says Danielle.
Try free meditation apps, like Insight Timer, or head over to YouTube to find a helpful guided meditation.
The key is – listen to your body. So while meditation can help, sometimes you need to get some energy out, too!
“Do what I always do …. don’t stop moving! Cooking a lot and baking. I am not a baker but need to keep occupied. Early spring cleaning starts today. If we can beat our addiction, this should be a piece of cake. Stay strong my brothers and sisters,” says Val.
Don’t forget how far you’ve come
It’s easy to forget successes and only focus on the ‘what ifs’ of the future. But you’ve come so far. Don’t forget what you’ve been able to overcome in the past – and what you’ll be able to overcome in the future.
“I am using this time to reflect and compare myself today to where I was in active addiction. I would have been stocking up on alcohol and the real necessities for this crisis would have been an afterthought…. If that,” says Melissa. “Not today. I am responsible. I am an RN caring for the sick and educating the well. I continue going to meetings and when one cancels, I find one that hasn’t. I stay plugged in with my fellow sober warriors. We create a meeting when we have to: If 2 are gathered, it’s a meeting. Sobriety before everything! Without sobriety, my ability to survive and help others in this shaken, unpredictable state of the world is not possible.”
And if you’re feeling low, harness the power of gratitude.
“[I’m] being grateful for life and everything in it. To give back is a true definition of gratitude: the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.” – Dan
Focus on the positive
Sure, there are a lot of things that are canceled right now … but there’s a lot that isn’t canceled right now, too. Conversations, writing a letter, taking a hike, journaling, trying a new hobby or doing something you’ve always wanted to do are all things you can do right now.
“In your recovery, you’ve continued to be successful in having distracting activities. Games, TV shows, movies, and books might get you through the intermediary, but for long term locate, reestablish or find new hobbies. Look through recipes, get your yoga mat out of the closet or even plan your imaginary vacation. Don’t return to an uncontrollable life we already know we cannot win. Keep your power within and if you need help; call [others in recovery], we are available,” Randy adds.
And remember: You’ve got this.
“I would not have been able to deal with the crisis that we’re going through right now had I was still drinking. Don’t let this situation we’re dealing with now become a stumbling block or a relapse excuse. This is not your darkest hour; remember how it felt when you were either hungover or you didn’t know where your next drink or drug was going to come from. Those were dark times. Make it the best you can one moment one minute one day at a time,” says Tracey.
– Written by Audra Franchini Communications Manager, with contributions from RCA’s Alumni Association