Substance Sunday - Quarantine for Success

So we are a few weeks into this thing and I know some of us aren’t making the adjustment all too well. One population that has a unique set of stressors is those suffering from addiction. It’s no mystery that we are all on edge with an enhanced tension unlike any we have been prepared for. The typical addict struggles with being comfortable in his or her own skin, compound that with being trapped inside for weeks now and it’s a perfect test of strength. 


Tempers are shorter, tolerance levels have been depleted and a new day can bring about challenges that we aren’t always prepared for. Maybe you’re still working from home and those 4-7 conference calls, video included, can frankly piss off. Hearing these tired jokes, “hold on, I have to change my coworkers diaper,” or seeing your managers walk in front is her camera for the 80th time this week, we are in a never ending Groundhog Day. As addicts we have a knack for loving and hating routine, we love an exciting pattern of self seeking behavior, but we loathe a mundane cycle of being on a hamster wheel of repetition. 


While we might not agree that Tiger King is the most exciting thing to come out of this, or that life is truly better without sports, one thing we can all agree on is this: quarantine sucks. We are all prisoners in this. With no end in sight we are flying by the seat of our pants to fine the best ways of dealing with this. Addicts and alcoholics might be having a harder time coping with this on the fly. There are meetings available via zoom and other video conferencing platforms, but we are now all closer to relapse than ever before, we isolate when things get bad, but how can we isolate in isolation? This is the dellemma, how do we break out of our isolation when doing so brings us back to isolation?


I have some ideas for you. Some you’ll like, some you won’t. But this is your fight, I hope these work.  


Solitaire: Too easy, too obvious, but hear me out. You’re already in isolation, might as well play a card gameto help to keep your brain engaged and active. Plus it keeps your hands moving. Frankly, any card fame, solo or otherwise, could help keep energy flowing and the brain moving. Taking up something like chess might also be something fun to explore. It can challenge our brains and keep us moving forward mentally. 


Walking: You can so spot distance while doing something good for your body. Getting your steps in, 10k minimum, is a great habit to enslave yourself to. You can do it alone or with someone you’re in quarantine with, although be mindful of anyone you come in contact with. Getting fresh air is also very advisable at this time. Clearing your mind can also be achieved on these walks. 


Reading: In the words from the tragic character from the infamous Twilight Zone episode where the man breaks his glasses on his way to a library in a world where he’s the only one left, “there was time!” You have all the time in the world now, provided you’re not chasing a child around your quarantine. It’s the perfect time to start and keep reading. Keep that brain engaged and get lost in a good book! 


Build: If you’re good with your hands, or even if you’re not, and if you have a spot to do it, build something. Literally, anything. Furniture, shelves, toys, whatever it is, have fun doing it. 


I know these are only a fewideas, but perhaps they have trigger other ideas in your head. We only want to see everyone pull through on the other side of this thing for the better. We’d love to hear the ideas you’ve come up with, it might help someone else in need!


We’re all coping with this differently. Some of us are making the best of it, some of us are counting the seconds for this to be over. We strongly urge everyone to check in on loved ones throughout this ordeal, we all want to come out on top, no one says we can’t come out on top together here. If you’re an addict or an alcoholic and you need someone to reach out to, feel free to reach out to me! 

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