Advice /22nd May 20

Managing isolation IN isolation by Thomas Cashell, Rutland Centre

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Managing isolation in isolation - Thomas Cashell, Rutland Centre

In today's current climate of restrictions in Ireland due to the Covid 19 pandemic. It is important to play our part in restricting the spread of Covid 19. How we maintain this is through social distancing, self-isolating and personal hygienical practices. Social isolation and distancing can be counterproductive to maintaining recovery and a creative approach may need to be employed to stay connected while keeping our distance. To maintain recovery, it is important not to isolate while in isolation. Though, the addictive voice may look for excuses to return to old behaviours, recovery teaches that there is really no excuse as we are all creative, resourceful, caring, beautiful people. So, when a person in recovery is not making efforts to keep contact with supports and others in recovery, addictive tendencies and negative voice are left unchallenged and may begin to fester. Thoughts of recovery or recovery affirming conversations become more distant and can fade. This can be a warning sign to make more efforts to reach out and connect. Even for those that enjoy time by themselves, too much of anything can have a negative consequence. A sense of worthlessness can start to creep back in as productivity reduces and our personal presence is not reinforced through others and you can be left vulnerable and without a healthy voice in your mind.

We are most concerned about the impact of the present isolation or the lack of social interaction on the recovering person. A loss of a sense of community can be detrimental to a person’s recovery from addiction. One of the main consequences of active addiction is a feeling of social isolation and a disconnection from oneself and others even though many may have family close by. While entering into recovery does not make these feelings disappear, the recovery ‘work’ for the individual is to reconnect, reach out, find identification with others and give and receive support. Though it may be more difficult today to stay connected, it is not impossible. We can do are part to restore our sense of belonging and community by using our resourcefulness, which people in addiction have in abundance. Staying connected strengthens our inner recovery voice.

Here are some useful tips: Sharing our thoughts via phone or video chat, logging in to online meetings. Making a day by day plan and building a routine during this time eg chores, meals, walks, phones calls, online meetings etc. Checking on neighbours. Finding a hobby. Reading recovery or wellbeing enhancing literature.

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