The Power of Human Connection

The pandemic and shelter-in-place order brought uncertainty about the future, but it also helped shine a laser focus on what is most important in life. Covid -19 created not only job loss, but also a lot of fear of other people and health in general.

Different strains of the virus continue to be on the rise. On one hand, what it did bring about were more options for job change with the ability to work from home as needed. Those that were fortunate and had this ability to work from home did so, however many people were out of work.

I personally was able to rethink my vocational goals and look at a job that wouldn’t be affected by a natural disaster such as this one. Having the 6 months off to set my own schedule and learn about myself was an opportunity for me to make the switch from my previous industry to work in the recovery field full time. This was also an opening for people to look at life beyond going to work and focus on what is really important, family, friends, self-care and community. On the other hand, for those in the recovery community it brought more a nxiety and less accountability from the in-person groups thus bringing about higher relapse rates.

Many people had time on their hands, boredom, the enemy of recovery. Many wound up losing the battle with addiction and not making it to the other side. This shows how important community actually is. The power of one person helping another, reaching out to others can make all the difference. In person meetings are especially beneficial for people new in recovery, especially those who are at home without support or experiencing the challenges of not knowing people in the group and having a chance to socialize. The in -person meetings give new people a chance to introduce themselves to the group and get a real heartfelt welcome. Many 12 – step meetings give out chips or medallions to celebrate various lengths of time in recovery and show others that the program works. For over a year, this was not happening, at least live and in person, only virtually.

The power of human connection with others is very important for recovering addicts, and people in general. Since many businesses were shut down during 2020, this created a lot of room for people to isolate themselves from others. It also offered the opportunity for 12 step meetings to move forward onto a new virtual platform. The virtual platform made it easy to go to many different meetings, different locations, and work from home. I even went to one in Scotland! All from the comfort of home.

Many people actually preferred the virtual platform and continue to attend. The virtual platform continues to assist those who are still worried about passing the virus, especially to elderly loved ones they may live. People now have options; they can choose to venture out into the world and attend in-person meetings or continue to attend virtual meetings or a combination of the two.

I have noticed some changes as meeting begin to reopen in person. Some awkwardness between what prior to Covid had some interaction between the group has been lost. It may take some time to transition from isolation to connecting with other people again. When the future seems uncertain it can be a scary place, but together as one we will get stronger together and be able to recover.
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