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Remote recovery 

How to deal with addiction in isolation

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click to enlarge Stock up on La Croix for a sober quarantine.

Stock up on La Croix for a sober quarantine.

unsplash/matt botsford

My name is KT, and I'm an alcoholic. As I write this lil article, I am officially 107 days sober after an arduous, sweaty—and, admittedly, sometimes fun—struggle with booze. As I write this, I am also keenly aware of how the stay-at-home order would have been my dream scenario 108 days ago. Isolation? TV binges? Wine delivery? I'd be dead. And, for that, I am genuinely grateful for sobriety, as trying as it can be.

When I began attending AA, I quickly became aware of Chicago's tight recovery community. Folks are painfully kind and generous with their time, and there is no such thing as small talk. While I can only speak from my experiences as an alcoholic, I believe these dynamics remain true as meetings take place over Zoom. If you're out there looking for online resources and meetings in this sick, sad time, here's where you can begin:

Alcoholics Anonymous Meetings: An oldie, but a goodie. Don't let the God-biz scare you off—my higher power is a committee comprised of Alison Bechdel, Maria Bamford, Bea Arthur, and Bruce Springsteen. It works if you werk it.

Narcotics Anonymous Meetings: Second to AA in terms of size, NA provides a healing fellowship for folks grappling with drug addiction.

Al-Anon Meetings: This organization exists to support people who love an alcoholic and want peer-to-peer support as they navigate their relationships.

Adult Children of Alcoholics Meetings: A more focused version of Al-Anon, ACA empowers individuals to flesh out the impact of their parents' disease and recover their full selves.

SMART Recovery Meetings: If you're totally allergic to the woo-woo qualities of AA, SMART might be the place for you. Relying on science and cognitive behavioral therapy, this nonprofit org addresses addiction through a secular lens.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Hotline: This government organization helps individuals connect with a recovery community suited to their specific needs.

Of course, this list is hardly exhaustive. There are as many recovery communities as there are hardships, and addiction doesn't discriminate when it comes to identity. Regardless of your background, you don't have to suffer alone. If you find yourself in need of community and refuge, this moment of Internet communion might just be your most accessible entry point.   v

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