Let’s focus the recovery community on hope, connection, and purpose


In recent weeks I have been less focused on the science of recovery and more on the social connectedness elements of recovery. I hope that my colleagues writing here on this blog with me are ok with the direction I am taking as of late. I am focused here simply because I think that there is nothing more important right now than bringing our community together and mobilizing it to help each other and assist in any way possible in this time of unprecedented national crisis.  As I stated in in my last post, I wholeheartedly think that this could be our finest hour if we come together and support each other and our community.

I want to ask readers to do something. Please, if you agree with what you read here, share this post and then get involved in any way that is safe for you to help others while maintaining physical distancing. We need to be socially connected while being part of our national effort to shelter in place and save lives.

In essence this is what I am convinced we must do as a national community.

We must focus all of our collective efforts on three things. Hope, connection, and purpose. And spread these concepts as broadly as we can to everyone to find these three things in this time of difficulty. These are not just the keys to our own recovery, but they can and will support the well-being of the larger communities in which we live.

Hope – As you know, we are in very difficult times. Loss, despair, and uncertainty are not good things for us or those around us, and there is a lot of it about. They are as infectious as the COVID-19 virus that has changed our lives in such a short period of time. One thing I know to my core is that we in the recovery community have faced down loss, despair, and uncertainty, and found hope as the doorway that has led us into recovery. We need to share this with everyone around us daily. The truth is that hope is just as transmissible, and we all need hope just as much as we need air, food, and water. Look for it, and share it whenever possible. It is an element that increases exponentially when shared. Please find and share hope as much as possible.

Connection – This is probably self-evident to most. Isolation can be a deadly thing for a person in recovery. We seek connection to preserve our own lives. It has been heartwarming to see so many groups nationally scramble into action and place recovery support online. We need to realize that marginalized communities lack access to high tech resources, and we must consider helping those who lack access to the internet. Rural communities without broadband access are also more isolated. We should also note that people early in recovery most likely will have a more difficult time feeling connected to people to whom they are not already connected to and may be struggling with unsafe living conditions and other factors those of us in longer-term recovery have often resolved. I would challenge all readers to look for ways to connect with people who may be struggling with isolation. We can and should help those around us to find connection and get out of isolation. It will save lives.

Purpose – All humans need purpose. Many among us recognize service to others as a fundamental tenant of recovery. Many of us are struggling with our lives being turned upside down over the last few weeks. Purpose may seem out of reach as we are sheltering in place and coping with what is occurring with the COVID-19 crisis. We are in a time when much is needed around us. We can find purpose if we look for it. I see examples in people sewing masks, making hand sanitizer or simply checking in and giving words of encouragement to each other. There are many things we can do to support our community and be there for each other, even in vey simple ways. Think about what talents you may have or ways that you can pitch in to give meaning and purpose to your life and help.

Please consider working these three things into your daily routine. The life you save may be your own – and it may just help get our nation through these difficult times.

Thank you for being the community you are!