There is no one who would deny that this has been a stressful year. As the Grateful Dead said, “If the thunder don’t get you, the lightning will.” If you manage to avoid catching COVID, then you are probably at least contending with some mixture of financial and childcare stress, the nail-biting political divisions we see daily on television and social media, and a constricted social universe. Our society already suffers from an epidemic of loneliness that has been cruelly worsened by the physical distancing required to keep the pandemic at bay.
Even people not struggling with addiction are finding their drug and alcohol use rising, along with other unhealthy habits. In a perfect world, we’d all reach for the yoga mat, go for walks, eat tofu, meditate, and practice mindfulness, but… we’re only human. Stress can lead us to excel, but it can also lead us to harmful habits, whether it be ice cream or potato chips, or that extra beer we know we don’t need. The additive, multifactorial, unrelenting stress that the year 2020 has brought would challenge even a Zen master to keep his or her cool.
For those struggling to stay in recovery from a drug or alcohol addiction, each day can be a challenge, even on a good day. That’s why the saying from Alcoholics Anonymous, “one day at a time,” has withstood the test of time, and has proven so helpful as a way to make facing the stresses of each day seem manageable, without relapsing to your mind-numbing crutch of choice.
What can you do to stay in recovery when the world seems to have gone crazy?
People joke on Twitter about how the year 2020 has been the longest decade they can remember, but in truth, it is hard for