How to Apply 12-Step Principles During COVID-19
For more than eight decades, thousands of recovering addicts have found inner peace and a reserve of spirituality in the 12-step model of Alcoholics Anonymous. For many, AA, NA and similar groups are synonymous with lasting sobriety, freedom and the support of recovering addicts. However, the emergence of COVID-19 and the need to stop its rapid transmission has prevented traditional 12-step groups from being able to meet in person.
How can you continue to apply 12-step principles to your recovery outside a group setting? As it turns out, many of the values, teachings and takeaways of the 12 steps are uniquely relevant in these turbulent times.
Accept What You Can’t Change
The first of the 12-step principles requires you to admit that your life has become unmanageable because of your addiction, and that you can’t recover alone. Likewise, the uncertainties surrounding the novel coronavirus have turned many aspects of daily living upside down, leaving us all feeling somewhat helpless.
Many 12-step addiction recovery groups recite the Serenity Prayer during meetings. Though there are different versions of this prayer, the most common is as follows:
“God, grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.”
When applied to coronavirus, this simple supplication can help you maintain a realistic perspective. Realize that, while many aspects of this global pandemic remain out of your control, you can still take practical steps to keep yourself and your loved ones healthy and safe. When worries about COVID-19 make it difficult for you to concentrate on anything else, meditate on the Serenity Prayer to regain your equilibrium.
Right now, we’re all working through extraordinary challenges, but you can use what you have learned in 12-step meetings to your advantage. For example, one crucial takeaway from the 12-step principles is that asking others for help is not a sign of weakness. If you’re struggling to stay positive, contact an understanding friend or family member, or reach out to your therapist or recovery sponsor. Regular check-ins with people who care about you – whether via phone or over the internet – can help you protect your mental well-being during this pandemic.
The need to self-isolate to slow the spread of coronavirus can be a specific challenge for recovering addicts. While you may miss the fellowship of your regular 12-step group meetings, you can find this camaraderie in online support groups during the pandemic. Join an existing group, or start one on your own.
Have Faith That Things Will Get Better
Belief in a higher power is one of the core tenets of the 12-step principles. For some people, this means trusting in a god or gods, while others interpret the concept of a “higher power” to mean the universe at large or the natural world. Regardless of your spiritual background, you can use the idea that there is something larger than yourself to help you feel grounded.
All things must pass, and someday, the researchers who have been working nonstop to develop a vaccine for COVID-19 will succeed in their goal. Meanwhile, you can continue to take things one step at a time, just as you have done throughout your recovery journey.
Your Healing Sanctuary
Many years before the emergence of the coronavirus pandemic, the nationwide drug epidemic was threatening the lives of millions of Americans, ravaging small communities and causing untold pain and suffering for families. At Beach House, we continue to play a vital role in helping adult men and women reclaim their lives from drugs and alcohol during this crisis, and we maintain our commitment to staying COVID-19 symptom-free. To learn more about the active role we have taken to make our secluded five-acre retreat one of the safest in the nation, contact us today.