This year has been hugely challenging for everyone. Life in lockdown hasn’t been easy for many reasons, one of the issues facing society as a whole is that people are now more isolated than ever before.

When lockdown began, I feared for what this might mean for my early recovery. Having just started to embrace the programme, physical meetings were lost seemingly overnight. While initially I missed (and still do miss) some aspects of physical meetings, I’ve also been able to embrace online meetings which have been hugely important as a newcomer. Despite having lost our physical meeting spaces, those of us in recovery should consider ourselves lucky in lockdown, I certainly consider myself very grateful to be a recovering alcoholic and to have the programme in my life at this time.

Lockdown has caused feelings of isolation and loneliness around the world. People have had to spend extended periods of time without seeing loved ones, spend weeks alone during quarantines, and don’t even have the morning commute or a day in the office as an escape. This isolation has led to an increase in stress levels and had a huge impact on our mental health. With all of this why should we as people in recovery consider ourselves lucky?

Our programme is built around connection. While regular people started coming to terms with and experiencing these feelings of isolation, we as always, had the twelve steps and our programme of recovery.

We have access to meetings around the world at any time of day or night thanks to Zoom, we can constantly meet new fellows to share how we’re feeling. Our phone rings and our message notifications continue to appear, each one from a fellow asking how we are today with genuine thought and concern, ready and willing to listen and chat through any tough moments, thoughts or emotions we’re facing, or to smile and laugh alongside us when times are good.

At a time when there’s increased stress all around, having this connection and support from people who are exactly like us, from people who know exactly what we are going through and who are here to listen and support us without judgement, it’s something genuinely incredible and something that I’m grateful to have in my life. Imagine not having this? Imagine having to face what the world is going through without what we have, without a programme?

Today we are not alone, today and every day that we work the programme we are surrounded by love, compassion and support.

In this time of darkness, we have light.
We are the lucky ones…

/ Jay