From The Share by Paulo Murillo
We asked these clean and sober folks with different lengths of recovery time, how they are maintaining their sobriety during self-isolation as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
LIFE REVOLVING AROUND SERVICE
“My sobriety equals life. When I was using, I was in so much fear. I couldn’t do anything. I couldn’t leave my house and escape my own prison. I didn’t have a life, no dreams. Today, I love everything about my life, because I’m not afraid to live it. I love helping people and that’s something I couldn’t do because I was always trying to serve myself. Being a service is a great tool to help me get out of myself. Now it’s super rewarding to actually help someone else and see the results. I’m in a committee for a convention on recovery. I have sponsees in the program. I speak at meetings. The coolest thing is my job. I work in hospice, so I get to be with people who are leaving this world and I’m a massage therapist too, so I help people that way also. My life now revolves around service and it’s really cool.”
—Ethan Hall, sober since March 7, 2018.
“Being on self-quarantine is a bit much, but I’m taking it one day at a time like I do my sobriety. I’ve been reaching out to my sober connection and I’ve been talking to my sponsor and being of service at the Van Ness Recovery House who are also in self-quarantine. I do movie group on Mondays for them. We watch a movie that’s HIV, alcoholism, or drug-addiction related and I have the residents do a writing on what we just saw and we discuss how they related, or what they got out of it. My sponsor told me told me stay home as much as possible, but I go there on Mondays. I’ve been doing the ZOOM meetings every other day. The ZOOM meetings are nothing like fellowshipping in person because it’s easy to get distracted, but I try to stay positive. My advice to people who are newly sober during this time is to reach out to people who have been sober longer, talk to them and ask how they’re getting through this.
—Ayanna Miller, sober since January 9, 2018.
“I learned that I really, really miss going to meetings — in person. And I learned that I really, really dislike zoom (though I am grateful for it, of course). I’m also supremely grateful that I got sober a decade ago and am not newly sober in the middle of a pandemic. What I’ve learned as a sober gay man is that COVID-19 is no excuse to get loaded. Because as nerve-wracking as the news is every day, I do not need to be adding the huge problem of relapse to my days of isolation. And, since I’m an ex-tweaker, I doubt I’d be doing any safe isolating if I did get loaded, right? Staying sober remains my touchstone and salvation. Despite whatever fate throws at me. No. Matter. What.”
—Michael P Roman, sober since November 23, 2009.
ASK FOR HELP
“I just moved to a sober living after completing the Van Ness Recovery House program. I feel very fortunate that in this sobriety, because this isn’t my first sobriety, I really laid out a solid a foundation for myself. I continue to reach out to my support group, my sponsor and the staff at the Van Ness House. I talk about what I’m going through and what I’m feeling. I ask for help and follow direction. I’ve been very fortunate that The House has been problem-solving and thinking of ways to keep in-person meetings going while practicing social distancing. I get to attend those and I do meetings with my housemates at sober living, but everything is different. We sit apart from each other, we don’t hug, or hold hands to pray out in the circle. It’s all kind of weird, but I’m hearing the message. I feel like my sobriety is unshakable. I’m really calm. I feel at peace. I survived crystal meth, prison, HIV and my Higher Power didn’t bring me this far to have me die from coronavirus. If I do get sick, what can I do? I’ll cross that bridge if I get there.”
—Jesus Torres, sober since May 7, 2019.
Covid-19 need not be the end of the world, and there is a light at the end of the tunnel. It’s hoped that the world can start returning to normalcy within the next few months. Until then, continue to check out our tips at My 12 Step Program