Sometimes it is hard to think beyond the next few weeks or even days. It is very easy to say “f**k it, I may not even be here in a few weeks I contract coronavirus.”
For many, there is a sense of the relief from responsibility that comes with being confronted by our current vulnerability and lack of control. Oh, the pleasure of slipping into the oblivion that alcohol or other drugs provide. A few days ago I read a blog by Benjamin Hardy, PhD. He posits two questions:
- What decisions are you glad you made before COVID-19 happened, which are helping you better cope with the situation?
- How is your future self helping you get beyond COVID-19?
Even though these are insanely challenging times, our patients, who have chosen the path of recovery, are able to answer question number one with extreme gratitude for their sobriety and the coping skills they have been practicing.
Coping Skills Ease the Pressure of Coronavirus
Every time in the last few months or years, when our patients felt discomfort or an urge to drink or use, but allowed themselves to suffer without numbing the feeling with a behavior or a substance, they were developing coping skills that are now serving through the pandemic. These choices have allowed them to adjust to this time of fear and uncertainty and to be there — first for themselves — and then for their families and friends.
President Roosevelt said, “Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the assessment that something else is more important than fear.” Maybe this pandemic is your time to get clean.
Perhaps it’s appropriate to consider Dr. Hardy’s second question, “How is your future self helping you get beyond COVID-19?” What could it be like for you to emerge from this situation as a new version of yourself, substance free? Getting off the alcohol or drugs is just the first step. The real change comes from returning to your true self, exploring why the substances were important for you, and recognizing you are already complete; that you are enough; that you can bear the suffering.
Stay Strong During COVID-19
At the time of this writing, we remain open to patients who are choosing to take this time to get clean. We have over 25 years experience in getting people off opioids such as heroin, fentanyl, Oxycontin®, hydrocodone, hydromorphone, oxymorphone, kratom, methadone, or buprenorphine, and helping them to get on long acting naltrexone. We are also continuing our alcohol detox program.
Both the alcohol and accelerated opioid detox programs are outpatient treatments. We are carefully screening patients and implementing extreme precautions to protect patients, their families and our own staff.
Ask yourself, what is more important than your fear? If so, give us a call so we can answer your questions.
Joan Shepherd, FNP