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With one in four Americans out of work, more than 40 million, it’s a given that many who’ve lost their job are working programs of addiction recovery. There simply is no way around it; most people in early recovery work for businesses that are not deemed essential services.

recoveryEven those who have years of abstinence under their belt have fallen on hard times. No longer earning wages can be a dramatic blow during regular times. Being fired or laid off happens, but during a pandemic, it’s challenging to expect to find new employment.

Significant life changes are the worst nightmare for people in recovery. Alterations to one’s life should happen gradually and deliberately. Of course, there has been nothing about the pandemic that has gone smoothly.

What’s more, losing your job without having access to your typical avenues of support only serves to compound matters. Millions of Americans in recovery have had to rely on video conferencing platforms to remain a part of the fellowship. While helpful, holding meetings on a laptop or smartphone is not the same as connecting in-person.

Hopefully, you are not one of the 40 million collecting unemployment, but if you are, then it’s critical that you use this time to step up your efforts in the program. Being out of work and isolated from your support group is anything but ideal. Letting down your guard even in the slightest of ways can be disastrous and jeopardize all your hard work.

Addiction Recovery in the Face of Adversity

Now, perhaps more than ever, you can significantly benefit from making daily gratitude lists. It’s understandable to want to resign yourself to self-pity, but it will not serve you well. It’s crucial for you to remember that millions of individuals are in the same boat.

Life isn’t perfect, nor is anyone; however, you can take this opportunity to double down on your addiction recovery efforts. The key to continued progress is being proactive, not reactive. Attend more virtual meetings, call your sponsor more often, and reach out to the newcomers you met before the country went into lockdown.

You can play a vital role in helping others stay clean and sober during these challenging times. Moreover, helping others feels good and enables you to stay out of your head—a dangerous realm for people with a history of addiction.

Find time to journal to release the feelings and emotions that you are dealing with these days. Every American is contending with anxiety and uncertainty about what the future has in store. None of us have the ability to change the new normal. The “Serenity Prayer” reminds us of that fact:

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
Remember that this too shall pass, and you will ward off feelings of despair and negative thinking. Do something each day for your recovery, and you will persevere during these troubling times.

Orange County Drug and Alcohol Treatment Center

Reports indicate that drug and alcohol use is on the rise significantly, as is relapse. If you find yourself in need of professional assistance, we will encourage you to reach out to Hope By The Sea for help immediately.

The HBTS team offers many unique, evidence-based therapies for those struggling with behavioral and mental health disorders. We can help get on or back on the road toward lasting recovery. Hope Starts Here!

We want to express our sincerest condolences to everyone around the world who has been affected by the novel coronavirus pandemic. You are in our thoughts and prayers.