You might be surprised to know that people in recovery are prepared for times of uncertainty.

First, recovery people are help oriented. Surprise surprise, but the most self-involved and least reliable people when they were using are now dedicated to helping others be all right in times of uncertainty. Over the last few days, I’ve found myself blown away by the lengths people in recovery have gone to help others in the time of Corona Virus. Posts of people offering to help are everywhere. Meeting information is being quickly passed along, and groups have formed left and right to keep people connected and close to recovery. It’s a major challenge because connection is the cornerstone of recovery. People desperately need each other.

Ironic that a group of people who used to disappoint their families and friends like it was their job are now showing up in major ways.

It makes perfect sense for many reasons, though. One, we are taught to be of service in recovery. Help someone who needs help and, in the process, help yourself. Second, we are used to living in uncertainty. Many of us had years, if not a decade, where we didn’t know what was around the corner. Life was messy. Relationships were messy. Professional life was messy. Break-ups, firings, interventions, anything was possible.

People in recovery learn how to live without knowing what’s next

Even in recovery, we Iive in uncertainty. I have two people in my life who struggle with sobriety. When they are out using, I don’t know if they will return. That’s the risk we live with being in recovery. Not everyone stays, and not everyone lives. That can apply to me too. Not only do I worry about other people, but I also worry about my wants. Will they come to fruition? It’s impossible to know, and when I’ve made my wants my higher power in the past, I wasn’t very happy. I needed sober inspiration to stay grounded.

A happy recovery demands getting comfortable with uncertainty

Living through addiction and getting sober and living in sobriety for a while is a bit like war. Forgive the comparison for those that have served. I’m talking more about an emotional and psychological war. But, in the process of living that way, we learn how to live and tolerate uncertainty. We learn phrases like, “Turn it over,” which means take the correct action on your end and then let it go. The results are not up to us. Living with that philosophy has primed us to know how to be in action. No matter what the circumstances.

For all these reasons, the people I know in recovery are handling the current situation as well as can be expected. And, in the process, helping others. Today, I’m grateful for my blessings but also for the community that recovery has provided. My chosen recovery family is funny, interesting, supportive, helpful, and down to trudge the hard roads together. We are certainly not a glum lot. check out AA, Al-anon, NA or suicide hotlines for help if you are struggling.

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Lindsey Glass

Lindsey Glass is the co-founder of Reach Out Recovery. Her 2016 ASAM Media Award winning documentary, The Secret World Of Recovery, has helped to lift the stigma from addiction and recovery and is used in recovery programs nationwide to show what life is like on the other side of addiction. Lindsey's teen prevention documentary, The Silent Majority, was distributed to PBS stations nationwide by American Public Television in 2014-15. Lindsey has written dozens of popular articles on recovery. She is a recovery advocate and frequent keynote speaker. Lindsey is the author of 100 Tips for Growing Up, My 20 Years of Recovery, 2019. Before focusing on recovery, Lindsey was a TV and screenwriter. She has worked in publishing, web development, and marketing.

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