"I've had some panic attacks in the grocery store and post office which is something I never experienced before."
Today's sober hero is Susan who lives in Columbus, Ohio - USA.
Mrs D: How are you feeling about what's going on with this Corona-19 virus?
Susan: My feelings seem to shift daily - even hourly. I feel very privileged and grateful that my wife and I are financially secure and that I am still able to work from home. I am lucky to be living in Columbus, Ohio where our Governor and local officials are being reasonable and making science-based decisions. On the other hand - I worry about our elderly parents and how long this is going to last.
Mrs D: How have your emotions shifted and changed since the crisis began?
Susan: I was calmer in the beginning. The longer it drags on the more anxious I am becoming. I've had some anxiety (or panic) attacks in the grocery store and post office which is something I never experienced before. I am also getting more depressed as time goes on.
Mrs D: How long have you been sober for?
Susan: 7.5 years.
Mrs D: How is being sober helping you at this crazy time?
Susan: Ha ha! That's a good one. I think being sober is allowing me to be more present and aware of my feelings. I think it is also helping me realize that this is something I have no control over.
Mrs D: Have you had any pangs to drink since the lockdown began?
Susan: Not really - I'm well aware of what a slippery slope that would be!
Mrs D: Any particular self-care actions that are helping you in these gritty times?
Susan: I have started working out with my personal trainer - outdoors, physical distancing. That gives me something to look forward to and takes the pressure off of me about when to exercise. I am walking daily with the dog and my wife. I also like to hand-stitch, so I have been doing a lot more of it.
Mrs D: What are you doing to fill in the days?
Susan: Working from home, walking the dog, working in the yard, cleaning my own house, working-out with my trainer or on the back deck by myself, talking to the neighbors outside, playing Words with Friends, checking in on my mother regularly. I also end my day to listening to a Facebook LIVE concert by Melissa Etheridge. She is playing four songs every single day until the quarantine is over.
Mrs D: What would you say to people who are struggling with alcohol while they're in lockdown?
Susan: It's a really tough time. I think it's hard to envision not drinking if you are currently using it for "self-medicating". On the other hand, it might be the best possible time to quit. All of the reasons that you've had for drinking up until COVID-19 are likely non-existent now - parties, work meet-ups, dinners out, etc. The only way you're drinking now is alone or with whomever you are living with. It might be the best time to try "alcohol free".
Mrs D: What's in this photo you've shared with us?
Susan: My hand stitching, Bailey (my dog), Me (in a mask), a Passion Flower (from my workplace: Passion Works Studio)
Mrs D: Anything else you'd like to add?
Susan: I hope everyone is staying healthy and staying home. We are truly "One World" during this time of crisis. Please know that the majority of Americans are good people and don't support the racism, anti-immigration, and homophobic rhetoric that is coming from our national government.
Thank you so much for sharing your story. I also wanted to add that I for one don’t think the majority of people from the US uphold the attitudes and racial tones that are reported in the press….
Glad you are keeping well and safe during this tricky time.
It certainly helps to hear your voice and approach in dealing with the stress xx
Great messages here! Thanks Susan
Bravo! I admire your strength.
Excellent! Stay strong and stay safe!
You’re an inspiration, Susan!
Susan is a strong voice for personal empowerment and strength of character. Her journey has been filled with exhilarating moments and incredible challenges. She is stronger for it all and I’ve always been inspired by her.