Creative Ways to Stay Connected to Your Friends in Recovery
It's a tough time right now and not just for people in recovery, for everyone.
That being said, my phone has been blowing up with calls and messages of people overdosing, sadly even dying, relapsing, or on the brink of making the disastrous decision to relapse.
So let's start here.
If you are struggling, you are not alone. Almost everyone I talk with is struggling in some way. It's OK to not be OK sometimes. The concern for people in recovery is that if we allow the pin ball game of the mind to go on for too long we just might end up back in the lifestyle of active addiction, which is nothing but death, loss, and destruction.
Whether someone has struggled with addiction or not, basic face to face human interaction is vital for our health. No matter if you're an introvert or an extrovert, we need relationships and real interaction with people.
My concern with this COVID-19 pandemic is that our response to this virus is causing more issues then it's fixing. The depression and mental issues are causing bigger problems, and it's alarming.
I personally am over 11 yrs into recovery and have my own recovery coaching business. I am alarmed at what is happening in the recovery community. As many as 6 people have died from overdose in recent weeks in my county alone, and I know of at least a half dozen more people that have been brought back to life from the administration of narcan.
On top of that I am talking to people everyday that have relapsed, or they are doing everything in their power to fight the urge to go and relapse.
Isolation can be rough and can often leave us to our thoughts, so we have to be aware of what we are thinking about. Here are some ways to stay connected with others in a time where it can be challenging.
Can we just start by stating the obvious?
Every single person I'm taking to (and I'm on the phone most of time) has admitted to struggling a bit during this time. One of the most needed life lines has all but been cut off, and that life line is human connection and relationships.
Being intentional is a form of currency right now. Not having the time to do it is not the issue with most of us. Imagine your phone call to a friend being the thing that snapped them out of a thought process that was furthering a form of depression, or worse yet maybe even sending them to relapse.
Who can you call to let them know that they are important to you?
Just because we can't see each other face to face doesn't mean we have to stop being generous and joyful. What if you surprised someone by sending them an unexpected gift card straight to their Amazon account?
What if during one of your phone calls with a friend (because if you haven't been doing that I'm sure you will start after reading this, right?) you asked them what they needed, and then had it sent to their house?
What does receiving a surprise do for you when you get one?
It has the potential to pull them out of a funk they may have been in. Generosity can be contagious, your gift just might cause them to do it to someone else. It could also give them the extra push they need to smile that day, and some people are having a hard time smiling right now.
Write Encouraging Emails or Letters
Let's be real now, it's not like you don't have time to.
When was the last time you received an encouraging letter in the mail, if ever? Sit down and let someone come to mind. When that person has come to mind, write them the kind encouraging letter or email that you would want to get for yourself.
These simple things can be overlooked, but put yourself on the receiving end.
Imagine a random email notification of a 50$ gift card being sent straight to your Amazon account. Imagine a random ring at the doorbell and on your porch is some flowers, a book you've been wanting to read, or a new blanket for all your Netflix watching during this time.
What if you went to your mailbox and instead of more bills there was a letter from a friend, and the message left you smiling and encouraged?
And let's not forget the obvious, pick up your phone and call or FaceTime your friends.
We need each other right now. It's easy to let the "social distancing" get us thinking too much, and maybe thinking about things that aren't helping.
Let's stay connected, and remember we are all in this together.
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