Regardless of any person’s personal beliefs or opinion about the state of the country as it pertains to COVID, this is a very tough time to be a recovering or active alcoholic.
With so much fear and confusion and anxiety it’s a wonder how anyone can stay sober or how anyone is getting sober right now. Nationwide, alcohol sales were up 55% in late March and have not decreased. Alcohol delivery services like Drizzly had reported a 400% increase in online sales. Kids are out of school, it’s stressful and boring to be isolated at home.
On top of an increase in stress and consumption. Where can those seeking recovery find the help they need?
The basis of a twelve step program is fellowship. Working with a sponsor, working with other clean and sober men and women in recovery. Coffee dates after meetings or hanging out at diners and drinking soda and eating dessert. Even smoking cigarettes outside of a meeting hall and learning about other people in the program through those brief shared minutes.
Then of course, the actual in-person meeting. In basements of churches and meeting halls. Being greeted with a hug and a handshake at the door by someone who holds that commitment. Learning what a commitment is and how so many others have volunteered their time in order for there to be a chair waiting for those in need.
While the country undergoes a difficult time and most twelve step meetings are not held in-person but rather online, it’s easy to forget that those that are seeking help with addiction or alcoholism might not get to have the same experience as you did. They may not be able to access the meeting links. They might not have access to a computer to get to an online meeting. They may not have internet.
How can we help:
If you are in an online meeting and there are newcomers, ask for their numbers or offer yours. Call and schedule a time to have a Zoom call coffee date or a Facetime coffee date. You can also offer to meet outside at a park or to take a walk.
Make sure links are being properly maintained
If you notice that a link leads to nowhere or a Zoom link is no longer active, make sure to contact the meeting secretary and ask to have it updated. You can also contact the office of any twelve step group as listed in a directory and let them know you notice a link that needs to be updated.
Ask for help
If you are struggling to find the right online meeting or are struggling with not having in-person meeting, ask for help. You are not alone. Many recovery alcoholic/addicts are in the exact same boat regardless of if they have 20 years sober or 20 days. Voice your struggles, ask for help. In doing so you just might be helping someone else.