My name is Stacey and I am in long-term recovery. My recovery journey began on January 30, 2011, when I regained consciousness in an emergency room in Austin, TX. My recovery journey has taken me from Southern California to Texas, South Carolina and now Maryland.
In recovery I have lost a parent, lost friends and have been moved by the company I work for several times but nothing quite prepared me for a total loss of physical connection the way COVID has.
Like many others in my community, I am an active participant in twelve-step recovery. I am a member of a homegroup, I attend meetings and meet weekly with members of my support group and sponsor. Or at least I did until March, when the governor implemented the first of many orders in an attempt to flatten the curve and keep all Marylanders safe.
Within hours I began receiving emails and text messages about recovery meetings moving from in-person to online platforms and began joining in when I was finished with work for the day.
I have been a remote worker for a few years, working for a national nonprofit, so working from home wasn’t a big shift for me. The biggest change was the loss of face-to-face interactions I had with both clients and friends.
It is definitely a challenge living alone and not being able to hang out with my friends or family. My mother, brothers and niece and nephews live in Southern California and being 3000 miles from them is a whole different challenge. While I love and appreciate facetime, there are limits to how much time I can spend on the phone before I have to disconnect.
I consider myself lucky being in recovery with the tools to stay sober in stressful times, a group of friends and family members I can reach out to when I need.
As a person in recovery I understand my responsibility to my community – to do my part by staying home and keeping others safe. While it can be a challenge, feeling unproductive and being bored, my phone is filled with people I can talk to, meetings I can log into and plenty of projects to keep myself busy.