Mental Health Check-In Twin Rivers Rehab
Addiction in isolation
I left Twin Rivers in mid-February after a 16 week stay. During my time in the safe bubble of discovery that a Rehab like Twin rivers provides I paid little attention to the outside world. Whilst news of coronavirus did filter through I expected it to be a short lived thing over and done with by the time I left. There were some signs of people taking precautions when I traveled home but it was still in its infancy.
After being home 5 weeks the pandemic was in full swing and lockdown begun. The first hurdle came with the ceasing of NA and AA meetings. These had become an important part of my recovery process and whilst online meetings started opening up I found these to be no substitute for the contact and support the face to face meetings provided.
I struggle a great deal with time alone and it’s a real trigger for me and affects not just my addiction/cravings but my mental state also. Losing daily contact with people is a real possibility and one of my biggest fears.
I have been lucky though. My work is classed as essential so for now I can continue to have contact with people there. I live alone though and now can no longer see my father or other family that live locally. My father has to isolate as he has numerous serious medical conditions. It is a daily worry that he may contract corona as the chances of him making it through are very slim. My family is also concerned that my recovery journey may falter if complete isolation is forced upon me.
I have witnessed some really close friends I’ve met along the way both in early recovery and with substantial clean time be torn apart by the abrupt isolation forced upon them and the detrimental impact to their drive and mental state is heart-breaking.
The road ahead is unsure but for the moment I remain positive. I get a fantastic amount of support and comfort from my daily communications with my Rehab family via the Twin Rivers WhatsApp group. It’s been a real lifeline for me since I left rehab but never more so than now. Communicating especially when things are most difficult is essential.
If the worst happens and I end up losing anybody I love, like my father, I can at least take some relief in knowing that he got to spend some quality time with me when I was sober and well. I have caused untold worry and distress to my family over the years of my active addiction. Now we are closer than ever before and they are all so proud of me. I would find solace that in the end they got to see me change before we parted.
David is the Clinical and Development Director of Twin Rivers Rehab in South Africa and a UK Accredited Addictions Therapist with the Federation of Drug and Alcohol Professionals UK. Articles/Blogs are written with the assistance of researchers and other specialists in the field of addiction and the recovery process