Zoom virtual meet ups have become the thing that is holding everything together during this time of stay at home orders and isolation.
The key for me is the virtual 12 step meetings that I am attending almost on a daily basis. It is helping me to stay somewhat sane. It is important to connect with my tribe, my peeps, my friends even though it is only virtually. It is comforting to be among like minded folks and the fellowship. AA Zoom meetings are taking off like wildfire across the country. But AA’s aren’t the only ones meeting virtually.
Friends are getting together for virtual happy hours and meet ups. I was in a virtual happy hour conversation with some of my old sorority sisters the other night. There were 6 of us. They are drinkers, I was a drinker – they don’t know I am now in recovery. I haven’t seen some of them in 25 or so years except for Facebook interactions. I will admit it was fun to see them and catch up some. But of course the conversation turned to alcohol consumption – where they drink, what they drink, who threw up last from drinking, when we would all get together for the next drinking event, even my beloved Xanax was mentioned ……. I was starting to get that stinking thinking and triggered by all the “fun” drinking talk and memories. I had nothing to add to the conversation and I felt awkward. It was pity pot time, why do I have to be different?
What I realize today after the fact, as much as I love those girls from college, they are no longer my people. Sure I could join them in a drink, but that is not who I am today. I am not going to lie, I would love to be able to hang out with them and be part of the group that I once was. But I have grown and I have evolved into a different person from what I once was. I hate that drinking is the bind in some relationships and such a part of our culture. More than anything with the drinking conversation I got annoyed. I excused myself from the virtual group and conversation and went on my merry way, to call those who are now my friends, my peeps, my tribe and that was were I belonged.
It is official: The state of Ohio has issued a “Stay at Home” order. Only essential services are open. You can go out to work if you are essential or one can go out to get food … that is about it.
Today is officially the first day of the order. I started yesterday, so today is day #2 of full stay at home mode for me. We had been staying home quite a bit before the order so it does seem like it has been going on longer. We are to be at home at least until April 6th. which is about 2 weeks.
With my Ulcerative Colitis, even though I no longer have my diseased colon, I am considered an auto-immune patient. With this coronavirus that is one of the population that should be more careful and may have worse systems of the virus if you should get it.
One of the things that I had continued doing was my 12 step meetings. Now that the virus is starting to spike in Ohio and we are asked to stay home …. I am going to have to join the virtual meeting crowd. Our club is still open for those who choose to go in person. I personally think we should not be open, but I understand those who need the in person aspect. We have spoken to our local police department and they are aware of who we are and what we are doing and why we are still open and they are ok with it. Being on the board, I feel like I am abandoning the club and the people, but I also have to look out for myself. I had a really hard time coming to terms with the fact that I shouldn’t be going to in person meetings. This is another good lesson for me in giving up some control of my responsibilities. I am not the only person in the program that can do what I do.
Our business is still open and Steve is still occasionally going into to the office to help navigate this new normal for the company. I hope and pray he does not bring any of the virus home and that our employees stay well. They are taking a lot of measures to keep everyone safe and well.
So day #2 of me being home, I am doing what I can to keep myself busy and entertained. It will be interesting to see how this whole thing plays out. We all hope it will be quick with a low number of deaths and those affected, but only time will tell. If everyone would heed the words of the government and stay home we could get over this a lot sooner. I am trying my best to keep taking it one day at a time, but it is still scary!!!
With the whole world in an uproar with the coronavirus – everyone is trying to find their new normal while staying home in quarantine and/or social distancing. It hasn’t been easy for anyone and everyone has had to sacrifice something.
I think this is a good lesson in common human decency. Some people have it and many don’t. Who are those people who are hoarding all the goods, being rude to store employees doing their best and selfishly going about life possibly spreading the virus? I can’t say I have totally stayed home. I have gone to the grocery, AA meetings, restaurants for carry-out and of course I have been out to get my daily chai tea latte from the local coffee shop. I don’t think those activities are too hateful and we are being mindful of others and ourselves while doing these activities.
My girls both are at a pivotal time in their lives. Both are in limbo. Graduation is postponed until August. Jobs will be hard to find and moving may be impossible. We are all having to sacrifice, this is just how it is affecting my family. It is a small inconvenience when you look at the rest of the world and what people are going through. We are lucky that we have what we need and that we have the means to help our children through this should they need it, for that I am truly grateful.
I know it is going to get worse before it gets better. We all have to be prepared and be willing to hunker down at home as much as possible.
AA has been a challenge. Our club is still currently open. I am sure it is only a matter of time before we are mandated to close. Recovery fellowship and meetings are so important to the recovering addict / alcoholic. It is amazing how this recovery community from across the country and the world have come together putting meetings online in different forms. We have set up virtual meetings at our club. I think we finally have it set up and ready to go. Some people are still going to meetings in person while others are opting for the virtual type. I feel it is a personal decision. I somehow got “elected” to put together the virtual meetings for our club. With the help of a couple others, we did it! It was a lot of trial and error. But I am proud that I figured it out as I am the least technical person I know. I think I am ready to go to virtual meetings, but being one of the point people for the virtual, I also feel I have an obligation to be at the meetings in person to “broadcast” via my computer to those at home. The state has asked that no more than 10 people gather, our meetings have had more lately. We have a board meeting tomorrow and I believe we are going to need to set some parameters to limit numbers of people in the meetings in the midst of this virus outbreak. We too need to be careful of not spreading the coronavirus among us and to others.
Our family restaurant and manufacturing business is still open – we are mainly delivery and carry-out so we are allowed to still operate. I pray for the wellbeing of our employees and am grateful that our doors are still open and that we can provide jobs to many. As a company we are doing what we need to to keep everyone safe.
These are very scary and uncertain times for everyone across the world. I mostly anxious about the economy and what is going to happen. My mental state has been surprising better, but the anxiety is real.
All we can currently do is take one day at a time and practice love and tolerance … and Pray!
I had a wonderful care team made up of my primary care doctor, my psychologist and my chiropractor. Each one of these people were essential in helping me deal with my Ulcerative Colitis, depression/anxiety and in helping me to get sober. They were an important part of my life and making sure I continued to live.
My primary doctor worked really hard in trying to control my Xanax intake and my obsession with self harm. He referred my to my GI doctor who in return referred me to the Cleveland Clinic for colon removal surgery. He took good care of me after that surgery and took my phone calls at all hours. This physician really cared about me, was a family friend and went the extra mile to ensure my safety and health. He retired (2015)
My therapist worked with my doctor. It was her who called him and said I needed treatment for the addiction to benzo drugs. My therapist helped with so many mental challenges including my diagnosed clinical depression and general anxiety disorder as well as the addiction / alcoholism and the self harm. She knew me most times better than I knew myself. I always told her I would never let her retire because I needed her in so many ways. She retired (2018).
My chiropractor who became a friend was a great help during my illness. When I could not eat due to the effects of the Ulcerative Colitis she delivered supplements to my home. When my mental health started getting wacky she referred me to the local psychologist who became my therapist for 15 years. She has helped me through thick and thin. It was my friend and chiropractor who I went to when I was told I had an addiction issue from my therapist to ask her thoughts and what I should do regarding going to treatment. It was her who took me to my first AA meeting. She helped me heal from my car accident. She has taken care of me and my girls and has been a great asset to our health. Today was our last appointment …. she is retiring.
The above care team was the best and they all went far above the call of duty to care for me. I don’t know what I would have done or where I would be without them. Probably not alive. Even though I have grown and have a handle on my mental health for the most part and little problems with the no colon / Jpouch I feel like I am now left to my own devices. I don’t do well with change and things have changed greatly and life continues to move on.
I have a new therapist who I can really connect with who I saw on occasion in past. It is a good fit and she is very helpful to me. She is always there to return a phone call at all hours and to talk me down no matter what the problem. I have a new physician, I like her, but she doesn’t know me like my original doctor or my (real) history. Medicine has changed and it is almost impossible to get an appointment when needed. I will try the new chiropractor at the office, but it won’t be the same. I retired so I can not complain when others do the same especially since they are older than I.
So really I have to put my big girl pants back on and embrace the change. I do miss those from my original care team but it has been years since my surgery, my mental health diagnosis, and addiction. They have all moved on and maybe I need to do the same.
Some of the gloominess lingers, but you would not know it. It is a feeling way down deep inside of me. I am certainly not as bad off as I was just a few weeks ago, maybe the med change and therapy has helped …. I don’t know. I have an appointment with my therapist tomorrow and a follow up with the Dr. about the meds. Not sure what to say or do.
It is hard though to be too gloomy, I just got home from a week of warm sunshine and beaches in Siesta Key. It was good to get away with Steve. My Mom and her husband, one brother and sis in law and my 3 year old niece were also there. Caroline really made the trip more enjoyable and exciting … everything is exciting to a 3 year old. She is such a good girl and a lot of fun. Some of the time though all the family and activity was just too much for me to handle. I did get an afternoon alone while everyone else went off on an adventure. It was much needed and helpful, although I could have used more.
I didn’t really feel like drinking while I was away. I was around a lot of alcohol. My Mom had about a dozen bottles of wine and alcohol just sitting on the counter. It would have been easy to have a slip. Who doesn’t want to have drink on the beach? I miss it and I don’t miss it. It is hard to explain.
I really miss my routine and my recovery peeps when I am away. I am such a creature of habit and a homebody. Though I do enjoy getting away on occasion, I mostly like being at home. I did not go to any recovery meetings last week and that makes me a little antsy. We got home yesterday and I have already been to 2 meetings to make up for lost time.
So will the gloominess continue to linger or is a new day dawning on my funky feelings. I guess only time will tell. Today though I can find the gratitude and good and that is progress!