Welcome recovery friends and visitors. Today I am sharing an informative guest post by a dear friend and recovery mentor of mine. Meet Marilyn Davis. She has maintained long-term recovery and has helped many in every conceivable way with addictions. She has worked in addiction and treatment and has helped her now grown children beat addiction.
I wanted to share the most recent post from her amazing website, From Addict 2 Advocate https://fromaddict2advocate.com/my-home-bound-recovery-during-covid-19-purging-and-using-podcasts/ and a must-visit for those who live a recovery lifestyle. This woman knows everything there is to know about being happy and at peace while traveling the recovery road. She has also been writing her memoirs and will soon have a new book to release within the coming new year.
I will share more about all she does to help others have hope from addiction, but here is her post about what she’s been doing to keep her recovery intact during this continuing COVID CRISIS…
My Home-bound Recovery During COVID-19: Purging and Using Podcasts.
COVID-19 Unites Us, Too
“Boomer or millennial, we’re all covidians now.”― Bill Doman
Whether you’re home because of COVID-19, work restrictions, furloughs, school closings, or layoffs, don’t let your recovery suffer. Here are few ways to help ensure you don’t relapse, and a few ways to use that time at home while the world is temporarily closed.
Recovery Just Got Harder
Recovery is hard; it’s learning a new way of life, coping, repairing fractured relationships, and depending on others to show us how to do all of those.
These factors are more challenging as we try to maintain our recovery with the uncertainty and isolation imposed on us by COVID-19.
Without the social support, structure, and accountability that in-person meetings provide, many people are struggling more with the stay-at-home-social-distance-wear-a-mask safety measures imposed on us for our protection.
“Use Your Time Wisely” My Mother Said
I’ve been home-bound since March 13th or 250 days now. That’s a very long time to go without an in-person meeting. But I dug in, took the time to do some serious ōsōji, the annual cleaning of one’s home in Japan. Of course, I took it to an entirely new level – purged 30 years’ worth of antique linens.
When that didn’t get rid of enough stuff, I opted for the Swedish döstädning. “Dö” means “death,” and “städning” means “cleaning.”
All those antiques, Nickie-nacks, as my daughter referred to them when she was five – she’s now in her 50’s, papers with scribbled ideas, feelings, or thoughts that seem disjointed, chaotic, or so outdated as to be completely useless, and looked at each tube, container, pan of make-up to check the expiration date. All donated, recycled, or sent to the dumb.
Still no let up on COVID19.
- So I sold my townhouse, purged more, had the living estate sale, and waited for relief and an in-person meeting.
- I finished my memoir – it’s ready for publication when my computer guru comes next week.
Then I moved...
“This too shall pass” isn’t Working
When we first experienced the sudden loss of in-person meetings, it wasn’t a big deal for some of us. Sure, we missed the fellowship, laughter, or helping someone. But we were sure it would pass. How often did we say, “This too shall pass,” or “Just don’t use today – tomorrow will be different.”
But it seems as if the anticipated tomorrow isn’t happening anytime soon.
Many old-timers, like myself, aren’t attending in-person meetings.
It’s not that you can’t get and remain in recovery without our input. Still, besides our ‘sage advice,’ we serve as a reminder that recovery is possible when you have a room full of people with double-digit recovery. When we’re not comfortable participating in these meetings, encouragement is missing from many places, which is sad for newcomers.
And I miss seeing families reunited, people changing, and the warmth and support of the fellowship.
Are You Still Home-bound?
It’s still a scary time for some of us.
- Do we go out?
- How do we socially distance if we go to a meeting?
- Do people wear masks?
- Are they restricting the number of people who can attend?
- How do I handle old friends wanting to hug?
- Can listening to a podcast help me?
By the time I’ve obsessed on those questions, my heart rate is up, I’ve wasted 30 minutes thinking and getting no answers, and even if I chose to go to the meeting, I’d be late. Sound familiar?
While You’re Home-bound
- Seek out an online meeting.
- Connect with recovery-oriented people on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, or other social media. We all have our favorites and two of mine are RecoveryRocks and Recovery By Stepping Up, both on FB.
- Write a guest post for From Addict 2 Advocate
- Cherish family members – email, FaceTime, or call them
- Facetime your recovery friends
- Read meditation books
- Read recovery literature
- Clean out your closet – think of it as a 7th Step – what do you keep and what do you want removed?
Isolation Fuels the Anxieties and Addiction
I know I’m not the only one who has negative thoughts. That’s the good news.
The downside of being home alone is there’s no one to dispel these negative thoughts except me, and I sometimes forget to refute the chatter.
Tell me I’m not alone in that?
See, that’s a question I could throw out at a meeting, get multiple perspectives on the thoughts, and leave my meeting feeling better – plus the hugs always helped.
Now? It’s harder to lessen the negativity in my head. And I have to confess certain things about being home for 250 days:
- I’m over tank tops, leggings, and relaxed outerwear.
- I’m getting less feedback from conversations with my cat, Jackson.
- The data usage on my phone could exceed my unlimited plan – is that possible?
- I’m writing reviews on food deliveries just for something to do.
Can We Find a Solution? Are There Any Answers?
If you’re like me, the statistics, advice, and realities are all confusing. The drops, the spikes, the flattening, curving upwards – downwards – all conflicting.
So what can you do to ensure that you get a meeting?
Not a Facebook fan? Don’t worry; Google has us covered for online meetings. Here’s the link.
Want to hear from various perspectives on recovery? Try YouTube:
Above All – Don’t Relapse
“This, too, shall pass – when?!”
It beats me, but I know that more than anything else, a relapse would destroy what I’ve worked to achieve in these 32 years of recovery.
Solution – hang in there, and when the world opens again, I’ll see you at a meeting.
“Writing and recovery heal the heart.”
As I’ve always said, old-timers are the only ones with sage advice. There is someone out there who is struggling with their addiction or their recovery who would benefit from your words.
Please consider a guest post. Here are the guidelines
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About Marilyn L. Davis: Editor-in-Chief
Marilyn L. Davis is the Editor-in-Chief of From Addict 2 Advocate. In 1990, she opened North House, an award-winning women’s residential recovery home. In 2008, Brenau University, Georgia, created the Marilyn L. Davis Community Service-Learning Award. This is a yearly award given to advocates in mental health, wellness, and recovery. In 2010, she received the Liberty Bell Award for her work within the criminal justice system.
Before closing the house in 2011, she authored and developed Therapeutic Integrated Educational Recovery Systems (TIERS). When North House closed, friends and colleagues encouraged her to write online to reach a larger audience. Finding outlets online, she shared her 29 years in abstinence-based recovery.
She also realized that how she said something might not connect with all readers. This is one of the reasons that she has made an effort to collaborate with new and seasoned recovery writers when she started From Addict 2 Advocate.
As a Certified Addiction Recovery Empowerment Specialist, she conducts groups for men’s and women’s residential programs, as well as facilitating a recovery group for HIV positive people.
As the Assistant Editor at Two Drops of Ink, The Literary Home for Collaborative Writing, she understands that writing is a process and most writers want information on how to improve. However, writing about writing can get tedious, so she often combines writing advice using stories and examples from her work with addicts and alcoholics. Improving writing is a process, like recovery.
Using recovery examples in her writing advice means that her readers learn the ways in which people change, improve their lives, and this creates another outlet for her to advocate for recovery while writing about writing.
Her two daughters are in recovery as well, with 21 and 15 years. She is working on her memoir: Finding North: A Woman’s Journey from Addict 2 Advocate.