This is a completely unprecedented time in history.
COVID-19 has shifted our way of life and challenged our own fragility. As the world migrated inside in order to shield themselves from the virus, it presented many untold consequences and challenges. Namely, sobriety.
With isolation, depression, and loneliness seeping in as quarantine carries on, the more likely addiction relapse is to occur.
Maintaining sobriety is difficult, to begin with. Introducing other problematic elements such as isolation makes temptation inevitable. Nevertheless, there are ways to combat these relapse triggers and ultimately help you take back control.
Monitor Your Physiological Responses
Recognition is a crucial step in combatting temptation and gaining a stronghold over addiction. The longer we go on isolating ourselves, the more likely we are to feel the effects of depression and anxiety. Often this can lead to physical changes including but not limited to sleeping trouble, worsening eating habits, or even decreased immune function. While you may not consciously be aware, these degrading effects may still be present.
Take a step back and assess your own situation. Have you been living by yourself throughout quarantine? Have you been experiencing more anxiety, stress, and or depression than normal? Have you found yourself beginning to lose control of your own sobriety? If any of these questions apply to you, consider seeking comfort from family and friends. Not only will this help fill the void of socialization, but these people who care about your well-being will hold you accountable.
Tips for Staying Sober
Fortunately, there are many amazing resources available to you for maintaining your sobriety. The first being sober living homes.
Seek Built-In Support with Sober Living Homes
If you believe you or a friend has relapsed or come close to, these are great options for sober recovery. “A sober living home (sometimes called a halfway house) operates as a bridge between an inpatient facility and the real world. For a lot of people in recovery, moving into a sober living home after treatment makes the difference between going back to their old habits or continuing on the path of sobriety (Juergens, 2020).” They provide a safe and supportive place where addicts and alcoholics can start their journey from active addiction to sober living.
A great thing about these homes is that you can come and go as you please. You are not restricted to the campus. While there are some rules you must still abide by, they allow for a more informal recovery process and make you feel more in control of your life. Here at Stairway, we make Chicago sober living our number one priority.
Video Chat with Your Sponsor
While COVID has limited our ability to communicate face-to-face, there are still other options available. Applications like Skype, Zoom, and Facetime allow you to still have a similar experience. A sobriety sponsor understands the struggle you are going through and is intended to be there whenever doubts or concerns arise. Most importantly, they are to be a compassionate and sympathetic friend. Together, you can work through your concerns and come up with solutions tailored for you.
If you find yourself slightly overwhelmed and or beginning to slip, hopping on a video call with your sponsor is a good way to find support and combat your challenges to sobriety. For help finding a sponsor, be sure to attend your local AA meetings and establish rapport with others. Once relationships have been established and built, you will be able to choose a sponsor that best meets your needs.
Let a Therapist/Counselor Help Guide You
Counselors and therapists are another amazing resource at your disposal. It is important to find one that specializes in addiction recovery and treatment. They have experience with others similar to yourself and have extensive training and background in treating these kinds of issues.
Make sure to ask around in order to find a therapist that best suits your needs. Often times, word of mouth is the best resource. If you find yourself not having any luck, then take to the internet and do a bit of research on therapists in your area that can be of assistance. Having an unbiased person to let out your frustrations and setbacks can be very liberating in itself. So, definitely consider therapy as an option.
Gain Control of YOUR Sobriety
There is no question that battling sobriety in the middle of a pandemic is no easy feat. It takes will power and determination to continue with sobriety in quarantine. However, thankfully, there are many resources available to you that can help manage your woes and assuage any fears and trepidation you may have.
Here at Stairway to Freedom, we understand that this is a difficult time. It may feel as though there is much to overcome, but we want to help make your journey through sobriety easier. Let us be your guide to Chicago sober living! Make sure to check out our recovery housing facilities and contact us for with any questions or concerns you may have!