[first posted March 18, 2020]
And just like that, overnight all of our worlds have changed. I already miss things that I did without a second thought less than two weeks ago before COVID-19 took hold. I am sure I am not alone in that. All of us are reeling from unprecedented change and disorienting events occurring wholly outside of our control. For many of us in recovery, this is not the first, second or third time when our worlds have come crashing down around us.
Every one among us have faced immobilizing fear and found our way back into life. We know about overcoming adversity, resilience and service to others. There are few communities better prepared to do the next right thing than the recovery community. We have experience that can support our own wellness and help those around us. This is exactly what is needed right now.
We are generous community because we have experienced need. We are a humble community because we have experienced life bringing us down, at times as a result of our own doing. We know what it means to be down and out and need to ask for help and as a result, we are there for others. We pay it forward.
Many people are asking me how they can help in this time of crisis. One way we can do this is practicing social distancing and helping keeping COVID 19 from spreading. We must be good citizens and do our part to not spread this virus. A whole lot of lives depend on all of us doing are part in this effort. We should model it for the rest of society.
It also means taking care of ourselves. Taking care of ourselves physically, mentally and spiritually is really important right now. It is a really high stress time and one of the most important things we can do is to keep ourselves in recovery. Each of us is worth that effort. Many who love us are counting on that.
It then means taking care of our families, and then trying to help those around us. I see a lot of groups putting meetings on line, taking the crisis seriously and jumping into action to take care of each other. This is a basic tenant of recovery, and for many of us it is central to our identity.
So what should we do now?
I think we should do what the recovery community does best – service to others, the sharing of hope and the importance of living one day, one hour or one minute at a time when life is difficult. Because what we do have control over is how we react to the events occurring around us. We have valuable experience and tools in our toolboxes. Start thinking about those around you who may need help and check in on them on the phone of through media regularly. This is our chance to be part of the solution.
Let’s focus on what we know best and put it into action. This is our time to model self-care, hope, resilience, good citizenship and service to others.
Let’s do exactly that and show the world how we really are a community of consequence at a time when what we have to contribute has never been needed more.
This really can be our finest hour. Let’s make it so.