How can we support our recovering loved ones when "social distancing" during COVID-19 pandemic?


#1

We’re being asked to stay home, avoid public places. This kind of isolation may be triggering for some of our loved ones in recovery. How is everyone feeling about the current situation?


#2

I’ve been thinking a lot about this. My husband is still going to meetings, although they aren’t holding hands at the end and he’s reduced the number of meetings for the time being. We’ve seen a LOT of online meetings being offered through SMART, In the Rooms, and a few sober bloggers I follow (Carly Benson, Laura McKowen) have opened up free virtual meetings to provide support as well.

We are fortunate to live in a place where the weather is allowing for us to spend time outside today, not close to people, but getting vitamin D and feeling connected to nature which is important to both of us. My husband also has a list of things to do around the house to keep himself busy, as boredom was a big trigger for him. We are also taking time to meditate together and he’s reading recovery books nightly. I think I’m more anxious about it all than he is and we are both thankful that he’s sober and present for it.

This would have been a very different post five months ago, so I am sending so much love to anyone who is living with someone in active addiction during this time. I hope we all employ our best self-care tactics and stay well :heart:


#4

Thanks for posting on this topic. It’s definitely a concern I have with my boyfriend as he began a recovery plan 3 weeks ago and has been attending in-person meetings. I’m concerned about the isolation that social distancing will put on him and us and also how it impact his recovery. We don’t live together and our work schedules are so different that we end up spending little time together. We both have elderly parents with health conditions and we don’t want to take risks for their sake. So…we’re staying connected with phone, FaceTime and text. We even tried playing chess online. I am concerned that the boredom will be hard for him to cope with. We’re trying to be creative but definitely an area of concern and we could use some tips :slight_smile: Stay safe everyone!


#3

Awareness of triggers, both our loved ones’ and our own, is so important! Knowing what might set off unhealthy behaviors and being proactive - amazing. Glad you guys are able to get some Vitamin D. It’s still pretty cold and dreary here so we’ll be stuck in the house a bit. Keeping busy with house projects and Legos/movies/crafts with the little. Thank you for sharing, @Tlee22!


#5

This has been something I am having a lot of anxiety about. My S/O has been in recovery for almost 90 days. He relies on his in-person meetings. We have been just trying various locations and this week we have found a couple so that has been good. I feel bad though because a lot of his regular guys are kind of not meeting regularly right now. I purchased Russell Brand’s Commune Recovery. We did step one this week. Usually he does a lot of meetings on his own, and him and I will attend Recovery Dharma and/or AA/Alanon a couple times a week. I do believe due to lack of meetings and my anxiety I have been doing more than I normally would to help him get to meetings (he can’t drive) I don’t mind at all. I’m happy to help and be a support, but I do miss our regular recovery routines. And really I miss being at work and having more things to do in other ways besides worrying about his recovery.


#6

How is everyone doing now? The meetings in our area have almost moved underground, so my husband can only attend one small one per week in person and it’s been a little too easy to skip the online ones, although he’s keeping up with daily meditation, journaling, and reading about recovery. A big part of my self-care is exercise, which thankfully, I do a lot of at home anyways so I’m hoping my husband will join in on those with me as something to fill time that is productive and can also help with recovery. @Jess, my husband did a Russell Brand program through Commune and really liked it! They do short free programs often, so that’s a good reminder to look into what they might be offering right now that we could do together as well. I love all the IG lives and online offerings people are doing right now, it feels like a strong sense of online community is emerging, which is cool to see.

Hope you’re all staying healthy and well!


#10

I purchased the Russell Brand Commune. We’ve been doing it together and like it a lot. Glad you are doing well. I’ve been exercising too! :heart:


#7

We are doing surprisingly well. My husband has been spending more time in the garage smoking cigarettes and gaming, which has been triggering for me, but I’m trying to let that go and understand that during this time, it’s his way of getting out of the house and getting some space. Which is totally understandable. I’ve been keeping up with Al-Anon, helping my home group organize a virtual meeting, so that’s keeping me busy. Lots of FaceTime and Zoom chats. I’m a huge introvert so I feel like I’m actually being more social with all the video chats and checking in with people haha! My husband doesn’t go to meetings and isn’t into cameras or virtual meeting. I wish he’d pick back up some of his more creative hobbies like music or art or writing instead of just video gaming, but also just trying to let that go because I can’t force any of that stuff on him. Instead, I’ve been playing video games with him!

Thanks for checking back in @Tlee22 - sounds like you guys are hanging in there pretty well! @SnowOwl26 @Jess - How are you doing?


#8

Well I think I’m struggling a bit at times mentally. My soon to be ex-husband whom I’m still living with (he won’t leave) came home all cracked out on cocaine and alcohol this weekend. He got abusive with me and made a horrible scene in front of the kids. I almost called 911. Although he’s always been a “functioning addict” I’m beginning to question just how “functioning“ that type of behavior is. Problem is, he remembered very little about what happened, said he’s sad that I’m moving on and hates seeing me happy with someone else, said he sees no reason to tell his family about what’s going on, and that he has no intention of ever being “normal.” The thought of being “normal” scares him. Says he does not want to lose me as a friend and it makes him sad that I’m scared of him. He’s also ashamed that he was like that in front of the kids. Yet, he doesn’t seem to want to do anything to change. This is all just reiterating why it’s time to leave and move on as co-parents and hopefully friends. I’m also scared for my kids when they visit him. What if he gets high and drunk when they are with him? Many of the reasons I’ve stayed for so long. 15 years!

My current S/O whose 95 days sober is still working his recovery. He’s doing nightly online meetings. We’ve still been doing at least two things together per week for our recovery. However, he’s not happy with work at the moment. He is considered an “essential” employee. He’s upset because he feels they are taking advantage of him by making him come in and do work that isn’t even in his job title. It’s really not essential work at all. I’m trying to sort it out in my mind as to whether his feelings are valid or whether he is displaying that sense of entitlement that many addicts often display. He keeps making comments about doing the work of people who were too lazy to do their jobs correctly and are paid more than him while they’re sitting at home. He’s torn between continuing to work under circumstances that are making him quite annoyed, or doing as others have done and leave for the time being to collect unemployment. I’m worried about him just sitting around for weeks. I’ve got my own kids here, I can’t entertain him all day, and sitting around doing nothing almost seems like a set up for relapse. But so does working a job day in and day out that he’s unhappy with. So :woman_shrugging:t2:. Any suggestions on advice I can give him? It’s tough time for everyone right now but especially our loved ones in recovery. Sometimes, I can see the fragility of his mental state showing through at times like this. It scares me. I’m proud that he hasn’t relapsed, and is still taking recovery seriously. I’m also proud that he’s talking things out and trying to make decisions for himself instead of running to the liquor store. But I feel sometimes the same mentalities and thinking patterns that made him drink are still there sober. Not sure what to say to help him see that or help him make sound decisions.

I feel this sense of constant fear when anything new arises. I’m not sure whose more fragile. Me or them? Any advice would be great!


#9

Also, glad to hear you are doing well! It’s such a tough time for everyone. Are you worried his gaming Is just another unhealthy coping mechanism? My S/O spends a ton of time watching tv. He has been doing online meetings, but sometimes I think the tv can be too much zoning out. Anyway, glad you are doing well. Take care. :heart:


#12

Same! For me, the trigger is when he wakes up early to play. But I’m working on it too and it’s getting better. I hear you on the introvert thing too. Some days, I’m having more interaction with people than normal so it’s actually tiring! But I do feel fortunate that not being around people is as easy for me as it is. I know people are really struggling with this and my heart goes to them.


#13

I’m making masks for my son and his "friends ". They can’t afford them and are more high risk than I am. It makes me feel good to do something nice. Hope everyone had a Happy Easter. Stay safe.


#14

I have started to helping through telephonic consultation in free of cost to those people who are mentally distressed because of COVID-19 and lockdown and we got calls like we are having withdrawals and intense carving for substance. Some people had suicide because they cant handle the situation, so we tried to help them.
I attaching the image in which I have mentioned all details, please go through it and spread it as much as you can.


#11

Wow, @Jess, that’s a lot going on. I don’t have any advice for you, but you’re all in my thoughts. I hope there’s some peace for you all in the coming days.

I get this. I think it’s scary for us because we’re used to seeing patterns and it feels more uncertain when things that don’t fall into those patterns pop up. And it’s always an unknown how our loved ones will handle new challenges- will they use the tools they’ve developed or will it be easier to fall back into using familiar, unhealthy coping mechanisms. We have a lot of experience with the latter, so it’s easier for me to imagine that. But I think that just as our loved ones are developing new habits and patterns, our brains will do the same. Hopefully, we’re seeing evidence that things can be different and that keeps me hopeful.

I’ve been good about being in the present with my husbands recovery recently, but last night I had an “oh shit” moment when I thought about the potential for relapse. We talked about it and I had to consciously make a choice to bring myself back to the now. It feels too daunting to live in the what-ifs right now, there are far too many and I just had a sense of dread. I felt like I was able to process it fairly quickly and move on, but it is a struggle for sure. One that I hope is getting easier.