Recovery can be a difficult road to walk, and with the current health climate and COVID-19 pandemic, the road may seem steeper than usual. When we could at one time meet up with friends during a challenging moment or have big family dinners, we are now seeing many things move to an online platform. These can make us feel isolated and without proper connection to those we love, adding to the difficulties of recovery, and that prospect brings with it many things that can potentially trigger the need for substances.
While this period may seem bleak and loneliness has a tendency to creep in, try to focus on the positives of the advancement in technology that allows us to see our friends and family on video even if we cannot meet them in real life. Having an upbeat mindset in the face of this can help you get through this moment in time.
Even more critical for addicts on the road to recovery, technology allows you to find and attend meetings from the comfort of your home so you can stay on track.
Benefits of Online Meetings and Support
It is essential to make sure you feel supported during your recovery and have people in your life who can hold you accountable and encourage you through counseling, therapy, group recovery, and personal connections. Many of the same aspects of these types of reinforcements can also be found in an online platform.
In looking at the benefits of online recovery meetings, there are many things you can take advantage of in this type of medium. Not only is it a safer health option right now, but you can also meet a broader range of people than when you go to a meeting in person. You can hear about experiences from groups of people you might not meet otherwise and from people all over the world. You can connect directly with people and share your triggers and hear how people are dealing with theirs.
Local recovery meetings are also in session online, so you can see the same people you are already familiar with in your community. For those who are uncomfortable with finding a new group, these local meetings are crucial.
Another positive aspect of online recovery meetings is that you get to join them from the comfort of your own home. Not only does this make it convenient and easy, but you may begin to associate your space with being a place of healing. You bring the atmosphere of the meeting into your life and your surroundings. Psychologically, this may bring even more calm into your life because you can start to look around your room and your home as somewhere that you are making positive changes and commitments.
Best Online Recovery Groups
There are many groups online to choose from, making it easier than ever to find one that fits your needs. For example, SMART Recovery offers a recovery plan that can be used as a standalone program or in tandem with an existing one. They specialize in promoting self-reliance and understand how overwhelming making the change to an online platform can be. Along with their group offerings, SMART Recovery also has message boards, a chat system, and an online library with worksheets, essays, blogs, and even a podcast.
In the Rooms is an excellent option for ultimate time flexibility with meetings. They provide 130 weekly meetings, a comprehensive collection of blogs and news, direct messaging, and social boards. As well as being a group for those in recovery, it is also open to friends, family, and allies of those recovering, giving the people closest to you a chance to get more involved.
For a recovery path exclusively for women, the group Women for Sobriety offers both phone and online support. Their online service is a chat room and message board set-up free of charge and available 24/7, providing you with a constant feeling of community day or night.
The online forums of Sober Recovery are perfect if you are newly on your path to recovery or have been already for a while. This group has over 168,000 people participating on the message boards. One of the highlights of this forum is the Anxiety Disorders section. People can come together and help each other through difficult moments, especially in a society where drinking has become so normalized as a method for coping with stress.
Other Groups to Fit What You Need
The options are endless when it comes to online groups, and now more than ever, it is easy to find precisely what you are looking for. Recovery is not a one size fits all approach, and if the traditional 12-step program does not appeal to you, check out the following groups and see if they spark your interest. These include Collegiate Recovery, Nurses Helping Nurses, Refugee Recovery, Wellbriety, LifeRing Non-Secular Recovery, and Bridge Club by Tempest.
Other great tools to utilize now are the countless apps available for the recovery process. These are worth looking into if you are someone who utilizes technological advancements. Tune in to the Forever35 Sober podcast, which has grown into an online group as well.
Right now, it is essential to realize that you are not alone in struggling with the state of the world. This pandemic has knocked even the most accomplished people off their feet, so remember that feelings of uncertainty and stress are expected.
Recovery is something that takes a willingness to show up every single day and face the challenges of the path head-on. It is crucial to reach out if you need help or feel that you are struggling even more than usual in the current climate.
With the help of technology, now more than ever, you can feel the support of not just your local community but a community all over the world. Don’t let the absence of in-person meetings make you feel defeated. Utilize the many benefits of video chats to keep your recovery on track.
Native of Moldova, Dr. Zhitar is Board Certified in Addiction Medicine as well as Internal Medicine and completed his training at UPMC Shadyside, Pittsburgh, PA in 2000.