How to Maintain Your Recovery While Social Distancing
Navigating addiction recovery with potentially months of social distancing ahead seems daunting. Let’s take a look at what’s working in some recovery communities and what help is available for those struggling.
Phone meetings/video meetings
- Call the regional offices for your local 12-step meetings to get information about area online meetings. For example, Narcotics Anonymous has a 24-hour hotline at 1–888–253–1934. Ask for regional office phone numbers to learn about online meetings.
- If a video meeting feels too overwhelming, try a phone meeting. You can find Alcoholics Anonymous phone meeting listings and Al-Anon meetings. Remember, you don’t have to talk, it’s okay to just listen.
Go heavy on the outreach calls
- With your normal meeting schedule altered, make more outreach phone calls to avoid isolation. A good rule of thumb for addiction recovery is committing to one phone conversation per day with another person in recovery. If you can’t get in touch with anyone, make three attempts and leave three voicemail messages asking for a call back. An outreach call can last as little as five minutes. Just give yourself enough time to check in with another recovery person.
Schedule outreach meetings
- If you’re struggling or just need more human interaction, schedule a 15-minute call with a friend in recovery. Start the call with the Serenity Prayer, then allow yourself a timed, five-minute share. When you finish sharing, allow the other person to give two minutes of feedback. Then, have the other person share. This is a simple way to stay connected and keep daily resentments from growing.
Use the extra time at home to work through your steps
- Set a timer and write on each step for 30 minutes daily. Many 12-step writing guides are online. Ask your sponsor or others in recovery for suggestions on helpful writing guides.
Meet outside (at a safe distance)
- Do you have two or three good friends in recovery living near you? If so, consider meeting in a backyard or a park each week for a meeting with folks, making sure to sit at least six feet apart. Keep the format simple. Take topics from approved program literature and take turns sharing.
Don’t allow yourself to get too Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired. Yes, this is a tall order during a worldwide health crisis. However, the addiction recovery community still exists. Recovery may look a little different right now, but it’s available if you make the effort.
Read more about how to deal with addiction during this time of crisis at the full article ‘Five Tips for Managing Addiction Recovery, Even in Quarantine’