No-one would choose the conditions of a pandemic lockdown to help with getting sober, but in some ways finding ourselves in this position again might actually be helpful if you're trying to kick the drink.
That's because lockdown living conditions are super helpful for getting sober. Think about it. What do we need to do when we first quit drinking?
* Hunker down
* Limit social gatherings
* Soak up recovery related material
* Focus on physical health (diet, exercise, sleep)
* Reach out and connect with others who know what we're going through
And what is this lockdown giving us?
Well for starters, we're all hunkering down - on Government orders! We're staying home, pottering around the house and garden with only short local jaunts away from the property. These are the ideal gentle conditions for someone needing to focus on themselves.
In-person social gatherings have been completely halted. Only being allowed to have social interactions with people within our 'bubbles' means we're largely shielded from any of the normal social drinking pressures we might get at parties and BBQs etc. ("Why aren't you drinking?" "Just have one!") Of course you might still want to attend virtual work drinks or group catch-ups online - a great way to feel connected to others - but the good news with that is it's impossible for others to tell what liquid is in your glass through a computer screen. So fill your tumbler with fizzy water, ice and lemon, or your wine glass with lime juice. No-one would have any idea that you're avoiding booze! And you still get to have lovely chats with friends and colleagues.
Time is no longer a precious commodity. We have oodles of it! So why not fill all those available hours by listening to recovery podcasts, reading e-book or listening to audio versions of sobriety memoirs or brain re-training manuals (e.g. Annie Grace, Allen Carr, Jason Vale). Watch YouTube videos , Ted talks, vlogs etc from sobriety and recovery people. There is SO MUCH free content available online which is inspiring and informative. Seek it out (many suggestions on our Reading Material Sober toolbox page here) and get absorbing!
Hours pottering around the home also means we've got space to focus on our physical health. We can take our time preparing healthy balanced meals, and enjoy them slowly at a nicely laid table (get the placemats and candles out!). We've got the time to do that yoga session online (some yoga videos made especially for Living Sober members here), televised gym class or YouTube workout. And now's the time you can finally slow your bedtime routine right down to try and get a good long sleep. Charge your phone in the kitchen! Have a lovely long hot bath before bed. All those things that sleep experts say leads to a lovely restful night.
And finally, take the time and make the effort to seek out connections with others who have a similar goal regarding alcohol. You can obviously do that through our site here at Living Sober (make sure you register to become a member - it's free and you can be anonymous! - and get inside our Members Feed where all the real-time, direct interactions go on), but also through Facebook groups, online meetings, one-on-one chats with a sober buddy or DMs with sobriety social media accounts. However you do it, connect, connect, connect with others who know what you are doing in trying to quit booze - either because they're also doing it right now, or have gone through the process before and know exactly the effort you are making.
We've always been stronger as sober individuals when we come together as a group and share our truths, and at no time is that more important than now when Covid-19 is impacting us all.
There are not many bright sides to look upon with this pandemic, but maybe we can relish the opportunity it offers us to focus on the things we need to if we're trying to reshape our relationship with alcohol. You never know, you might come out of this crisis stronger than you've ever been before. And wouldn't that be a fabulous thing.
Mrs D xxx
Great reading. It would be a fabulous thing, coming out of a lockdown sober and strong.
Love this, @mrs-d You’re describing much of what happened for me in May 2020 when I stopped drinking, six weeks after the pandemic started. I used that first and longest lock-down to be totally removed from social situations, explanations, stress, and temptation. Here I am 15 months sober and I do believe that base of solitude was important. What a way to grasp grace from tragedy by getting sober using tools offered by a global pandemic? That’s good work in the world and for the world.
Thank you Mrs D for this . It’s like you’ve read my mind on how I am approaching my first weeks of sober living .
I needed this time to catch my breath and to slow down, and I am finding my body is doing so much better being nurtured .
Ngā mihi . Kia pai tō rā – Thank you , enjoy your day.
This is such a great read. Everything I need linked at my finger tips on on place! Cheers Mrs D x