Wesley Brewington

Submitted by Wesley Brewington, a person in long-term recovery from a substance misuse disorder. Wesley shares his recovery story with other Alaskans in this Day 001.

For many of us, the best strategy in stressful times is to find connection. As events and meetings are cancelled across the state, as our gathering spaces temporarily close, and as we practice social distancing, it’s important to find community where we can. Our community hasn’t gone anywhere, and in fact it’s more important than ever for us to be there for each other, even if that means from afar.

In the recovery community, a disruption to regular support events and spending time in isolation can be more than just lonely. Social distancing, quarantine and isolation can trigger some of the substance misuse habits we’ve worked so hard to overcome. At Recover Alaska, we’re committed to sharing resources and support no matter the challenges we face, and we’re still celebrating Sobriety Awareness Month through the end of March, even if the party’s moved online. Here are some of the ways you can continue to find community and support when you’re asked to stay home:

Here in the Mat-Su, Sober Voices Group offers daily telephone meetings. You can dial in at 712-432-0075, access code 654443#. Know that it’s not a toll-free number and themes change daily.

Alcoholics Anonymous offers statewide telephone meetings. You can dial in from anywhere on Sundays, Mondays and Thursdays from 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. with number 515-604-9546, access code 35033.

Needing your sober community more than ever right now? The Sober Grid app provides 24/7 live peer coaching and easy-to-access resources for tracking and sharing progress and giving and receiving support.

Ask your therapist about a phone session or video chat in place of your regular appointment. Chances are they’re already offering this adjusted service right now.

For moments of mindfulness, download a meditation app to your phone and give yourself some time to focus on something other than the news and the world around you.

Call your friends and family and take advantage of your favorite video call platform; check in with your sober peer and offer each other support.

Get outside! Take advantage of springtime in Alaska, the growing light and our wide-open spaces that allow us to practice social distancing in the great outdoors. Remember, social distancing means only gathering in groups of less than 10 people and maintaining a contact distance of about 6 feet.

Our buzz-free happy hour events might be on hold, but you can still treat yourself to a fun, sober cocktail with our zero-proof cocktail book, filled with recipes from Alaska’s favorite bartenders.

The situation in our state and around the world is changing every hour. To follow developments of COVID-19, we encourage you to visit Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services. But don’t forget to take moments to step back from it all and reach out when you need it. We’re all in this together.

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