Does this Coronavirus quarantine suck for you? You get to say no. Really! Some people LOVE it. I know several people that are on a paid vacation right now. I also know people who are HAPPY to be working instead of stuck at home with nowhere to go.
And I’m honestly happy for them. Honestly. “Rigorously honestly”. 😉
I truly believe there are some positives to this pandemic.
This ESPECIALLY INCLUDES those brave people who work to save lives everyday and those who support them!
And, it does NOT mean I have forgotten those who have lost their lives to this treacherous disease or the loved ones who have had to grieve.
I believe the “upside” to so many people being stuck at home right now is that – for the first time in 100 years – a huge portion of the WORLD can take a collective “breath”. (No pun intended. Sorry about that.)
The Earth is getting a breather right now too. Think of all the pollution that the planet is being spared during this nightmare. Far fewer planes, buses, cars, cruise ships, etc. spewing crap into the skies and waters.
You may think I’m a bit of a nut to look at the positive qualities of a PANDEMIC. How is it possible to look at “the sunny side of the street” when there is so much death and suffering right now?
I’ll tell you how…
MY FUCKING LIFE DEPENDS ON IT!!
Being an addict/alcoholic does not afford me the luxury of wallowing in despair and negativity.
Just the opposite, in fact.
In one book I’ve read it says: “As we morbidly pursue this melancholy activity, we may sink to such a point of despair that nothing but oblivion looks possible as a solution” 12&12 Step Four, p.45.
In other words…if I DIDN’T find the positive side of things, I would buy hooch and take my cooch to find a bad guy to smooch. I would blow up my beautiful life; probably get myself unmentionable diseases (IN ADDITION TO the Coronavirus); and eventually kill me.
So yea…I’m willing to find the positives during this grim time in our history.
This doesn’t mean I haven’t struggled at times during this PANDEMIC.
[Note: I capitalize PANDEMIC because I still can’t believe that we are in the middle of a PANDEMIC!!!]
I have DEFINITELY had difficult moments dealing with the change in routine; financial insecurity over losing some clients; not being able to meet with my friends and recovery groups face-to-face; and having my husband in my space 24/7.
So, instead of whining about all of this, I am going to tell you what I’ve done about it. Maybe these strategies can help you too!
I remembered that old saying,”If you don’t like how you’re feeling, change what you’re doing.” That is such an ASS KICKER! After being irritable and discontent for long enough, I KNEW I had to change what I was doing! This meant pulling out the BIG gun:
1. Pray for help
It doesn’t matter what/who you pray to. I, personally, pray to Love. (The purest version, not the romantic kind.) I figure all good ideas aren’t going to TRULY come from me. I need some major inspiration during these kinds of tough times. Praying is the ASKING/TALKING part. Then, I have to:
2. Meditate/shut up and listen
I have found that praying doesn’t really work unless I silence myself through meditation so that I can “get” the answer. This was a piece I missed for WAY TOO MANY YEARS! Let me be the first to tell you, I am not one to rock back and forth chanting for hours every day. I was grateful when some kind woman told me that any time I can quiet my mind long enough to listen to something other than my obsessing noggin’ is when answers, inspirations, Love can come flowing in. Did you know there are WALKING meditations? RUNNING meditations? SLEEPING meditations? I love having options.
3. Follow directions (from those who love me and whatever I got from meditation/prayer)
These included the following:
4. CALM THE FUCK DOWN!
I needed to stop worrying about the PANDEMIC creeping into my house under the doors. That wasn’t going to happen. I needed to take a deep breath (or 10) and just SIT IN GRATITUDE for what WAS going well. Do that whole “focus on the positive” thing. It’s rare for me to escape a meditation without something to be grateful for.
5. Write a list of things that I wanted/needed to do.
6. Then, do one thing at a time…without EXPECTING to have them all done in one day, or week.
I needed to take it one moment, one precaution, one problem at a time. See what was in front of me and deal with that. Did I need to pay a bill? Could I pay that bill? If I couldn’t, then I needed to call that company and see if they had a repayment plan. If I had work I COULD do, I needed to do it. If I needed to apply online for more work, then I needed to see what jobs were available. BUT ALL OF THESE HAD TO BE DONE ONE AT A TIME!
Next, and BY FAR the most difficult, I had to:
7. Make things right with my husband
I don’t know about you, but once I find out what my fucking problem is, I can pretty much deal with it. I don’t LIKE to deal with it. I will AVOID dealing with it. But I CAN deal with it.
When it comes to my husband [feel free to insert the person/people you are currently quarantining with right now: child, mother, father, sibling, and/or significant other], I am a STUBBORN ASSHOLE and I REALLY don’t like to be wrong! Also, I sometimes cannot see what I am doing wrong.
I’m like a jackass wearing blinders:
To make a VERY long story short…I learned that the dramatic change in our routines were causing us to get on each others nerves. This, in turn, was bringing other stuff to the surface.
I was so angry with him, I could honestly see where people who weren’t as close as us, or hadn’t gone through as much counseling/recovery, or were in domestic violence situations would TRULY be having serious problems right now. It made me very concerned for them. If you are one of these people, please don’t hesitate to check out these resources:
- National Domestic Violence Hotline (USA) 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)
- National Domestic Abuse Helpline (UK) 0808 2000 247
- Our Health Service (Ireland) 116 123
- Talk to someone now ONLINE
After a lot of talking, my husband and I realized we needed to set NEW boundaries with each other regarding the amount of time and space between us. We are very blessed to be able to get away from each other, in the same home. I can go in a different room and watch a different television.
The trick was to not take it personally when one of us said, “I need to be alone right now. I need space.”
Making a “new normal” for my relationship in quarantine led to making a “new normal” for my recovery in quarantine…
8. Deal with my recovery in a consistent manner.
This meant I needed to get back to a consistent schedule of meetings, talking to my sober peeps, and working with others. I understood that the shell shock of the PANDEMIC had thrown me off my recovery game, but it was time to get back in the saddle. PRONTO!
Finally, and something I have found brings me great happiness in my life:
9. Help others (or at least TRY to)
Despite what fear and other people were doing, I wasn’t going to go shopping and buy all of the toilet paper, canned goods, Purell, and Lysol wipes that every store had! I needed to be conscious of others. Leave some for the rest.
I have also tried to help people in recovery who have been freaking out during this isolation. I have found that sending a simple text, sending a supportive tweet, or reaching out with a phone call has made people feel so much less alone. It has also brightened my day considerably!
It never ceases to amaze me how much it helps to get out of my own head and into someone else’s.
Sooo…those are the things that have saved my ass during this quarantine – so far.
In addition to those brave people who work to save lives everyday; deliver what we need; work in our grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations, and pharmacies; and manage to keep this world WORKING so that so many of us can stay home.
I wish you and yours all the best in health, Love, and recovery. Take care.