2020 was a wakeup call for many. We’re more than halfway through the year and it still feels like there’s no end in sight to the madness that resides in the air. There are riots in the street, political unrest, a failing economy, and a pandemic. Individuals who are in recovery from abuse or addiction are having an especially difficult time in 2020.
If you identify with the pressure of this year and how it’s impacted your mental state, sobriety, and road to recovery, know that you’re not alone. Stress and anxiety is running rampant in our society, and old temptations and wounds are bubbling back up as many sit in their homes in isolation waiting for an end to the madness. A way people have gotten through the chaos is by plunging heavily into art, creativity, and their passion.
Especially as you’re in quarantine and needing emotional support, these three things are simple ways to fight addiction and get through this difficult season. You’re not alone and there is an end to this chaos.
Seek people out
Being passionate about people is a great desire to have, and you might be feeling unfulfilled in a world of social distancing. It’s never been easier to lose touch of people especially as governments mandate quarantine and what activities you can do.
Despite this, the truth is we as humans need each other. Especially as we encounter hardships, temptation, and affliction. Which is why it’s important you seek out others and allow them to pursue you. Yes, things may look different. Rather than meeting at coffee shops, you may be doing Zoom calls. It’ll probably get awkward. But there’s nothing like intentionality and growing community in the face of separation. Sometimes more direct medical treatment is required, and that’s OK. There are many online therapists and counsellors that will listen and council you through whatever hardship you’re experiencing.
Professional medical help
If you feel comfortable, there are few places that are still open that can benefit you while on your journey. If you’re dealing with drug or alcohol abuse more direct measures are needed. Don’t let the coronavirus be an excuse for you to continue habits that are more even more likely to lead to destruction in your life. Seek out an addiction treatment programme and get plugged in with a community of like-minded individuals that can build you up and get you help. Other times, more serious mental problems or other physical trauma can cause neurological disorders leading you to make consistently bad decisions.
Seeking out professional help from a therapist, orthopaedic specialist, or another medical specialist may be what you need. You don’t need to fight your demons alone – even if we’re living in the middle of a pandemic.
Channel energy into your passions
It’s easy to get down. Depression, anxiety, fear, and temptation are all at bay and hitting a little too close to home this year. But rather than letting this negative energy get to you and bring you down, what if you attempted to pursue something you were passionate about? There’s never been more free time in an individual’s life than in 2020, and that can be to your benefit or it can feed your addiction.
These are great times for creatives. If you enjoy music, then give yourself to it! Channel your pain into song and lyric, and sing about things that bring joy and freedom to others going through what you’re going through.
Maybe you’re into taking photos, journalling, or studying the Bible. These are the sorts of things you can give yourself to that will produce growth and return for yourself. These types of activities are great distractions from addiction and temptation since they strengthen your soul and fill you with things that are whole and good.
The best part is that they not only help you, but they help others around you. Starting a blog and being raw and real with your struggles will inspire and encourage others. Things can’t live in the darkness, so this is another great way to find freedom by bringing everything into the light.
And if you’re not the type of person who’s naturally musical or artistic, looking for ways to learn or improve yourself are just as valid. For some, finding new ways to make money or picking up new skill sets are important.
Work on other parts of yourself
There isn’t a whole lot of accountability in the world right now. It’s natural to let the news dictate what you’re feeling. In fact, it’s easy to sleep in, watch movies, and secretly let other addictions run your life. It’s too easy in 2020.
There’s a lot of research that show that working on multiple areas of life is more effective than focusing on one thing. Time management and discipline will reap more benefits and help you fight off depression and addiction.
Getting up early, exercising, and eating healthy are things nobody wants to do…yet they’re incredibly rewarding activities. And they require a lot of discipline and accountability on your behalf, which are great skills to help you fight other battles in your life. So focus on working on these other quadrants of life like your physical health, diet, and time management. Drink more spring water and hit the gym! While the world is recommending that you give in to entertainment, junk food, and whatever pleasure you desire, it’ll pay off in the journey of your life to press into the discipline and things that actually provide a return on what you’re investing.
You Have what it takes
You more than have what it takes to overcome whatever struggle you’re facing. Even on your worst days. Even in the midst of an election year. Even during a pandemic. Staying positive, plunging into wholesome things, seeking community, and working on disciplining yourself are the keys to freedom.
You’re not alone in this journey, and many people are experiencing similar frustrations with this year. Don’t let it take you out. Freedom is real, and how you respond to your situation is what determines if you’ll achieve it.
Image credit: Freepik
Isaiah Ram is a writer, musician, and missionary from Atlanta, Georgia. He and his wife write worship music in their band, Wind & Color. Isaiah currently is working with a local, thriving, and sustainable cashew operation called Beyond the Nut.