Tuesday, March 17, 2020


Seemingly overnight things are different. Classes, business, recovery, and political meetings, theme parks, and even restaurants and bars are shortening hours or suspending operations, or outright cancelling anything involving small, medium, or large gatherings. The Covid-19 pandemic is here, and many of us find change of even the littlest things burdensome. The changes brought on by attempting to cope with a pandemic, though, are momentous. Change can be inconvenient, disappointing, heart breaking, and calamitous. Many roll with reality's punches and simply get on with things. Many become grumpy and spoil their day and take it out on friends, family, and associates. For recovering addicts, such change is simply one more possible excuse to develop the fuckits and jump back into the nightmare.

The change list is endless: The kids are home all the time now, I had to leave my job to take care of them, Betty has a paper due for her history class and her boyfriend cancelled out on their date, my doctor's appointment has been moved to four months from now, they've cancelled the political rally I was going to attend, I can't find a mask anywhere, and we're running out of toilet paper!  

So, what can you do besides set your hair on fire and use drugs to make it through the coming weeks? Well, if you've ever been in the military, chances are you've heard the following: Adapt, Improvise, Overcome.

Adapt: It is a verb, an action word, that means "(1) make suitable for a new use or purpose; modify; (2) become adjusted to new conditions." Change is the one thing that never changes. It happens all the time. Life forms that can successfully adapt to the changes survive. Those who cannot become extinct.  Kids are home all the time now, unplug the game platforms and start your own home school. All those home repairs you've been putting off? Now might be the time to get to work on them. Your home group recovery meeting has been suspended? Use the telephone, read the literature, work on your steps. The point here is that you have a mind; Use it.

Improvise: Another action word. This one means "(1) produce or make (something) from whatever is available." Running out of toilet paper? Ration what you have left, use Kleenex, bum wipes, or if you are really tough, those old rolls of Christmas wrapping paper. Before there ever was toilet paper, the Romans used sponges to wash their butts. Can you do your job from home? Can you learn how to do that? If your employment has been suspended, can you find a temporary job you can do at home? Perhaps your meetings could be done through conference calls, or social media. Your way of doing things may be interrupted, but you still have other choices.

Overcome: Yet one more action word which means "(1) succeed in dealing with (a problem or difficulty); (2) defeat (an opponent); prevail." In other words, win. For us winning involves getting through the next twenty-four hours intact, alive, sane, and clean.

Once you are in recovery, no matter what happens, relapsing is a choice. Reality is well stocked with curve balls to throw at us. Burning your bat and hitting up a dealer or your local bud emporium to numb out in response to those curve balls is a loser play.

Adapt, improvise, overcome, and be careful out there.


1 comment:

Unknown said...

TY so very much! I'm going to use this in group today!

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