By Dana Bowman, author of How to be Perfect Like Me
Because I am an alcoholic, and I like to future-trip a lot, I used to play a fun game called ”What would make me relapse.”
I never really figured on March
I’m not going to relapse. At least not today. I take things one day at a time around here, and pending further review, I might take that down to one hour at a time.
Currently, in this household, there are two boys who cannot return to school for the rest of the year, two cats, and two very neurotic dogs. There is homeschooling looming on the horizon. There is a husband who comes home from the Big Scary World at 5 p.m. There is also a long list of writing projects I need to do. I also need to remain calm, keep my sanity, while constantly wiping everything down.
But mainly? I need to stay sober. That is my first priority. It is more important than getting a schedule or making meals or making sure my kids are not bored. In fact, lately, it has felt almost like I’m back in my early days of recovery when life was pared down to lots of Netflix, pizza, and meetings. It’s going to be a hard reset over here for sober living, and I am more than willing to do it.
Sober tips during quarantine:
- Uh, follow the same tips that apply to NON-quarantine. I tend to overthink on all the things, so I follow my old buddy Mo’s advice: “Go to meetings. And don’t drink in between.” The good news? We can no longer use the “I don’t wanna go out” excuse to not get to a group. There are literally a KAJILLION options for online meetings.
- Miss your own recovery group? Start one yourself with your sober peeps using the Zoom app (or Marco Polo or Google meetup or whatever). Google “basic twelve-step meeting format” and go. Don’t worry about the precise protocol or format. Just do it. While you’re at it, get a text group going. The basic plan? Talk to someone in recovery every day.
- Read all the sober literature you can get your hands on. This has really been a savior to me since I do have a very busy brain and bedtime is tough. Sober literature to the rescue! Avoid the news and zombie shows on Netflix and immerse yourself in stories of recovery.
- Record your sobriety as part of your daily calendar. I have pared my daily to-do list down a lot, but I do jot down “mtg” on each day. It is a visual reminder for me to reach out and keep it simple.
- Try to maintain a sense of humor. Children and pets are good for that.
- If for a while you revert back to feeling like you’re in super early days of recovery and feed your kids frozen fish sticks at 3 p.m. because you forgot it was lunchtime? No problem. You are sober, they are fed, and that’s GOOD ENOUGH FOR NOW.
- Also: This too shall pass. I really mean that.