The Covid-19 pandemic has caused a lot of dysfunction in everyday society. This dysfunction can be felt from the new onset of working from home or the ordering of food and essentials online for home delivery. It seems the traditional way of living day to day has changed and it is taking a lot of energy and effort to deal with the “New Normal”.
One of the communities affected by the pandemic is the community of recovering alcoholics and addicts. Individuals in recovery are trying to maintain sobriety from alcohol or drugs and attempting to begin a new lifestyle. The Pandemic has rewritten the rules on what can be done and what is available to the community that wants sobriety or those trying to maintain it.
For the most part, Alcoholics Anonymous[GH1] meetings have resumed but many are on a very limited basis. Virtual meetings seem to be the most prominent format used for facilitation. Although helpful, my experience has been that virtual meetings have limitations and they lack the benefits that come with meeting in person with a group of like-minded individuals who share a common goal of sobriety and life improvement. There is something healing about being in a room with other alcoholics or addicts who can relate to your life and current circumstances. Although those same experiences can be shared in a virtual meeting, the cognitive feedback experienced by facial expressions or shared empathy cannot be duplicated in an online format. It is common to let down walls of ego and fear when in the presence of others who genuinely display an attitude of caring and sharing of hope. In an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, it has always been said that the most important part of the meeting is the 15 minutes before the meeting and the 15 minutes after the meeting. It is during these times that you get to interact with the group members on a conversational basis and true friends and bonds are created.
There are groups being held with masks in place and social distancing in order. These meetings do help the alcoholic population and seem to still provide the personal recovery experience that is needed in the recovery process. There is a limitation, however, of securing the much-needed personal bonding with another Alcoholic when you cannot see their full face and you must remain 6 feet apart. The development of intrapersonal relationships in recovery is vital to the success of those seeking sobriety. The maturation of a relationship without full availability of both presence and body language do limit its effectiveness.
There are other alternatives to recovery during these turbulent times. One alternative for recovery is termed Intensive Outpatient Recovery (IOP). This offering is a program facilitated by a professional counselor who helps the individual learn about addiction and other vital coping skills needed to stay sober. The IOP group experience can provide valuable insight into a person’s addiction and can provide meaningful support to the recovering addict. If you are considering recovery at this time and are hesitating due to the lack of availability of Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, New Dimensions can help.
New Dimensions Can Help!
If you or someone you know is experiencing any of the above symptoms or problems, New Dimensions can help. Our team of experienced therapists and psychiatrists can help you overcome these challenges and help you develop the skills you need to thrive. To schedule a complementary assessment or to find out more about our programs, contact us at 1-800-685-9796.
Our affiliate, MHThrive, provides Individual Therapy, Couples and Marriage Counseling, and Family Therapy at our locations in Katy, The Woodlands, and the Clear Lake area of Houston, Texas. We also provide telehealth therapy for anyone who resides within the State of Texas. To schedule an appointment with one of the MHThrive therapists, contact us at 713-477-0333 or visit www.mhthrive.com to learn more.