In the midst of this crisis, folks are losing access to countless services. Access to medical care and basic life needs are at the forefront of everyone’s concerns. Once those are met, we take stock and realize that so much of what we count on for our emotional well-being is missing. For some folks, that’s cancellation of their church services, civic organization activities, or social events. For people like me, it’s the absence of 12-step meetings that puts us at heightened levels of risk and anxiety.

In my community, our local recovery center has closed down and most of the other settings where 12-step meetings are held have also closed their doors – some for an unknown period of time. I’m quick to remind folks that the literature of our programs specifies that wherever two or more of us are gathered – it’s a meeting.

The loss of our usual daily or weekly routines forces us to be innovative but in order to take initiative, we have to get past the initial wave of anxiety because we are people who struggle with –

  • change
  • powerlessness
  • loss
  • living with unknowns
  • being triggered by collective worry and panic

Many of us are unable to access counseling services or are only able to connect online at this time. The loss of support, even temporarily can be devastating. This is not a matter we can afford to take lightly.

Let’s explore some options:

  • Online meetings. Check out sites like: intherooms.com and other online sites that host traditional 12 step programs online.
  • Create your own online support group by gathering with friends on Zoom, Skype, or other teleconference sites/programs.
  • If you’re comfortable having a small group of friends/peers in recovery over, consider hosting a small get together at your home.
  • Utilize speaker meetings on Apple iTunes or Google Play.
  • Check out TED talks and other online programs through youtube
  • Share my recovery videos from Sobernow.com with peers in recovery.
  • Invest in some journaling, step work, or connect with new friends and/or reconnect with old friends during this time.

Call folks who support your goals. Be of service to others – especially if there are elderly folks in your community. Catch yourself worrying, and then take a minute and get back to basics:

  • Separate what you have control over – and what you don’t.
  • Breathe deeply, practice grounding skills and stay in today.
  • Improve your self-care – eat good food, drink water, exercise.
  • Read good books, listen to great music, do things that nurture your spirit.

If you’re struggling – reach out!

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Published by Jim LaPierre

Jim LaPierre is an addictions and trauma recovery expert. He is the cofounder of Sobernow.com. Jim invites your comments and questions: [email protected]