According to Alcoholics Anonymous, since the outbreak calls to the AA helpline have gone up by 22%, and use of its chat service has increased by almost a third. So, how are people in recovery coping under lockdown? Read our first story about life in lockdown. 

Lockdown during the Covid-19 outbreak is a harrowing time for people the world over most of all for the recovering addict or alcoholic. I feel the hardest part is the isolation. After all, we are sociable creatures and we rely on others, who also rely on us. At the start, I struggled with the thought of social distancing, that the meetings would close and any disruption to our regular routines which aids our recovery.

I now attend three to four online meetings a week and I feel the love and support from my peer network. It was a bit scary to start with, as I didn’t know how it worked, but now I feel they are a lifeline. I participate a lot more and share more than I did before the lockdown. It’s an easy way to build confidence as you’re in a comfortable environment when you attend.

I would say the good thing for me on lockdown is the money. I have saved so much as there is nowhere to use it. I think that would go towards a holiday and some driving lessons when this is over.

Boredom is the biggest challenge for me. Being a resident in recovery programme you are surrounded with the same faces 24/7 and hear the same stories 24/7 and like a family we have our groans and moans at the silliest of things which we normally wouldn’t have. When you are bored you notice everything, like who never washes the dishes or crumbs on the carpet.

“Unity is key in times like this.”

I stay connected with most people I know via Zoom and WhatsApp video calls. During lockdown, I feel it helps a lot when you can see the person you are talking to and hopefully likewise for them, you get a true sense of how each other is doing that way.

At the moment, I am helping out with the technical side of lockdown – mainly getting systems up and running and maintaining the internet availability so everyone has a chance to stay in contact with their therapists and counsellors, 24/7 access to online meetings when they feel they need one and staying connected with loved ones and friends. I also take the time to link in with peers on the computer and play online games to ease boredom and stay connected. Unity is key in times like this.

I would advise to anyone in recovery, (if you can) to go for a walk every day or do any exercise, to video call at least one person a day to connect, and to try an online meeting and see if it’s for you. Most of all, just talk to others, let people know how you feel and enquire about them too. We will get through this with unity and solidarity.

– By a resident of SCT’s recovery programme. 

Click here for resources available online for managing recovery during the outbreak of COVID-19.