The chaos, disruption, unpredictability and fear brought on by this Corona virus are most certainly not unfamiliar feelings to all of you. Because as families dealing with addiction, you know this territory from the inside.
And, most importantly you know how to meet this avalanche of uncertainty with the same strength and strategies that you meet the crisis of substance use disorder in your families.
Everyone has their favorite go-to practices when you feel like you are living between a rock and a hard place.
Right now, many support sources, like 12- Step fellowship meetings or having a cup of coffee with a good friend need to be done electronically. We are very blessed to live at a time when these options are available.
But there are effective practices that we all have in our big coping-with-life-tool box that we can draw on immediately.
Affirmations. (I am equipped for this time and these circumstances.) Slogans (This too shall pass.) Any form of prayer. Meditation. Cherished spiritual readings. Walking. Yoga.
And let’s not underestimate the great value of whipping up some delicious comfort food in the kitchen or a serious cleaning binge that being confined to the four walls of your home finally gives you time to tackle.
All good for the soul no matter what the challenge.
Over the weekend, our family headed out to a rugged coastline spot that we have loved for many years. There’s a light house there at the far point of a rocky cliff and the crashing ocean waves sends white salty spray shooting like fireworks into the cold air.
We brought some kites to fly. They were missing some essential frame parts, but with deft make- shift engineering we got those bright rainbows sailing high over the sharp rocks, sea mist and wind-driven waves.
Flying the kites felt like all those peaceful practices – like prayer, yoga, meditation etc. etc. etc. – fused into one gorgeous moment. And it stabilized my mind racing with random fears about all the ifs and what ifs swirling around all our lives.
It was a moment filled with gratitude for seeing the half-full side of these circumstances – time to enjoy something as simple as flying a taped- together kite with loved ones.
We all have learned how to face fear with strong strategies and gratitude because the addiction circumstances in our lives demands that of us.
Let us all lean deeply into our collective strength and gratitude as these days pass.
It would be a great service, if you could share your strategies right here with our online community. I know we can all benefit from each other’s experience, strength and hope.
In closing I would like to share a poem by Lynn Ungar.
What if you thought of it
as the Jews consider the Sabbath–
the most sacred of times?
Cease from travel.
Cease from buying and selling.
Give up, just for now,
On trying to make the world
Different than it is.
Sing. Pray. Touch only those
to whom you commit your life.
And when your body has become still,
reach out with your heart.
Know that we are connected
in ways that are terrifying and beautiful.
(You could hardly deny it now.)
Know that our lives
are in one another’s hands.
Reach out your heart.
Reach out your words.
Reach out all the tendrils
of compassion that move, invisibly,
where we cannot touch.
Promise this world your love —
for better or for worse,
in sickness and in health.
Connect With Nancy
For information and guidance for help and resources for you or your loved one please email: email@example.com
Nancy is co-author of Unchained: Our Family’s Addiction Mess Is Our Message.