By: Marilyn L. Davis
Uncertain and Dangerous Times
2020 will go down in history as the most frightening, uncertain, and dangerous time the world, and more importantly, each of us has ever had to face.
We are in the grips of an unseen, vicious, and prolific virus that shows no signs of relinquishing its hold on our collective physical and mental health, our finances, and our families.
We have lived dangerously before in our use, but this threatens even those in recovery.
Isolation – A Necessity and an Obstacle
I’ve been socially isolated, quarantined in my house, now for eight weeks, where my only communication is by phone, social media, or with my cat, Jackson. Granted, I’ve always talked to my plants, believing in the notion that they, too, respond to positive vibes, but that’s losing its appeal with each day.
It’s getting hard to pretend that fear isn’t lurking behind every action. Will this be the phone call that alerts me to a friend diagnosed with Covid19? Can my daughters and grandchildren keep up with home-schooling? Are their businesses going to survive? Does going to the grocery store pose a threat? I’ve gone 3 times since the isolation and each time, I’m acutely aware of social distancing whether others are or not.
Be Safe is now isolating from those who helped me feel safe. Be safe is currently making me assess what I have at my immediate disposal to survive. Food, for Jackson and me, cleaning supplies, doled out – I’m only using the single sheet of paper towel and making sure I’ve wiped as much with the one sheet as I can. Be safe is washing my hands so much that I’m chapped.
But ‘Be safe’ is also being grateful that I am not sick. Thankful that my children and grandchildren are not showing any symptoms. And I appreciate the daily phone calls to see how I’m doing. All of these things help me not obsess and make my thoughts safer.
How are these ‘be safe’ solutions? When I’m grateful, thankful, or appreciative of things, the fear lessens.
In Uncertain Times, Fear Fuels our Addiction
Fear is an emotion we feel when we’re alarmed, or we anticipate danger. We don’t have to imagine horrors today; they scream at us from the headlines of every news source, people talk about them on the phone, and no one is immune.
Our literature classifies fear as an underlying reason or motive for use.
How Can We Help Each Other ‘Be Safe’?
Writing has been a safety net for me. When I’m feeling or thinking about something, I’ve written it, whether for From Addict 2 Advocate or for Two Drops of Ink. Both of these have allowed me to vent, offer encouragement, or feel connected to people.
I also know that comments, questions, and advice have helped me long-distance. With long-time writers in Iran, Portugal, France, Canada, upstate New York, and local, I felt connected to the world.
We have to start sharing our experience, strength, and hope in these troubled times more. What does that mean to me?
- I won’t just like something; I’ll comment and feel connected.
- When I comment, it is also to let the writer of a post or the person who took the time to share, know that I appreciate what they are doing.
- I’ll share helpful information to, hopefully, alleviate someone’s fear for that day.
- I’ll try to remember that other countries are finally showing a decline in the number of confirmed cases of Covid19, and we will, too.
- Better communication: Listening and then speaking, genuinely reading the other person’s fears, and if I have a solution, share it.
- When I’m afraid, let someone know.
We Have 24 hours
What can I do in 24 hours to lessen my fears? For one, don’t pick up. Don’t give in to imagined concerns – try to manage the factual ones.
Are there things you can do to lessen the fear and prevent a relapse? I know you have solutions that I haven’t thought of – share them.
In these uncertain times, having someone tell me that this worked for them is not only encouraging but necessary for us all to ‘be safe.’
Writing and recovery heal the heart.
How are you doing in your recovery? Do you have suggestions for people? Want a platform for your story? Then consider a guest post at From Addict 2 Advocate.