How Can I Stay Connected in Times Like These?
There’s no doubting that times are strange, and even sometimes scary for everyone. Whether in or out of recovery, the world definitely feels upside down right now. People feel separated and apart from each other in ways they’ve never experienced before. It can be an especially trying time for those in recovery. We can’t get to meetings, our coffee shop fellowship, or even do step work face-to-face.
If you are an addict with a tendency to relapse in the past despite an honest desire to recover – what we here at Jaywalker Lodge refer to as a Jaywalker (based on the “Jaywalker Parable” from Alcoholics Anonymous) – the isolation we are all facing today may feel even more challenging. Jaywalkers are addicts who, after a treatment experience, know all the right things to say but continue to make self-destructive decisions. They are the ones who had a taste of what true recovery can feel like, but let it slip away because of their tendency to seclude themselves.
If you’ve found this page, it’s likely that you’re already in recovery, or looking for ways to start your journey. You may be a Jaywalker in need of extra support. If you’re curious about how to connect for the first time – or how to stay connected during this time of isolation – we can help. There are several ways to stay engaged and focus on your future in recovery.
While many (or most) recovery meeting places are shut down, the internet is now bursting with recovery meetings of all types. Not only can you find your chosen fellowship, but you can attend meetings all over the world with just an internet connection. Many sober people are going international with their recovery, all from the comfort of their living room couch. It is indeed a strange time, but there can be an upside to just about anything.
Online meetings can be found en masse on social media pages with just a simple search. If your local meeting place has a webpage, they may have posted info online about where they’re holding virtual meetings. Even a quick general internet search for “recovery meetings” can yield helpful results and point you to some online meetings. Times may be tough, but the recovery fellowship knows how to weather tough times, and how to stick together and remain helpful. Don’t forget to invite anyone you can think of who may be new or struggling.
That little device in your pocket is so much more than a tiny computer. Especially in times when we are separated, it’s immensely helpful to use it as an actual telephone. Text messaging was fine for communication before we were all asked to stay home and stay apart from each other. These days it can be so impactful to make a real phone call. That voice-to-voice interaction can do a lot to reduce loneliness and boost the spirits of the people on both ends of the call.
Video or FaceTime calls are another great option. If they were never your thing before, they can be fun and a good substitute for seeing people in real life. Don’t forget to reach out to people you don’t talk to very often – in times like these when we all feel disconnected, there are many wonderful opportunities for us to take the initiative and get closer to people. Odds are if you’re feeling separated these days, others are too. We can put a lot of light into someone’s day just by calling them.
Video conference calling online isn’t just for work and recovery meetings. It can be a fun place to check-in with – and check on – friends and family. We can share a cup of coffee across time zones, even oceans, with anyone. There is a lot of adjustment going on right now, but getting creative with ways to “see” our loved ones can do a lot to cut through the gloom. Have a virtual dinner with a friend, coffee with your sponsor, or breakfast with your family online. There are even ways to get friends together for a virtual board game night or linked-up movie night. When we’re all stuck inside, it can feel great to think outside the box and make time for human interaction – which is often necessary for our attitudes, mental health, and even our sobriety.
Staying Spiritually Fit
It can be particularly hard to keep our minds right when we can’t see and talk with our wall of sober friends like we used to. That’s why it is vital that we continue working the 12-Steps amidst the chaos and confusion to keep our spirits well. Peace, joy, growth, and usefulness can be ours under any conditions if we stay in our step work. Those gifts of the program can go a long way in keeping us upright and ready to reach out and connect with our people in these uncertain times.
Staying spiritually fit can also help us keep our eyes and hearts open to the opportunities for service which may appear in times of crisis. The Chinese word for “crisis” consists of two other words – “danger” and “opportunity.” Spiritual fitness through prayer, meditation, and the 12-Steps can keep our fears calmed, and our minds clear in times of danger. There is another spiritual truth, one that simply says in all times and in all things, no matter how separated or uncertain we are all one, we are all always connected.
Reach Out for Help
Today is a chaotic and unsure time for most people in the world. Those of us in recovery have many outlets for emotional challenges, and great opportunities to connect with people around the world. The recovery community is still thriving online and via cell phones. We encourage you to take the time and initiative to reach out, stay connected, and don’t forget to include those who may be left out. In dark times, those of us in recovery can be bearers of great light.
Feeling disconnected? We’re here for you. Jaywalker Lodge can connect you with the many resources and tools available for recovery. We create the community we crave, and we want you to be a part of it. There’s no need to feel separate or alone anymore. Connect with us now and find the sense of togetherness and belonging we all need. Call (866) 529-9255 now to get started.