The following post was authored by Laurie J. Besden, Esq., Executive Director of Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers of Pennsylvania, Inc. You can find out more about Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers of Pennsylvania at http://www.lclpa.org. We thank Laurie for her submission.
We, who are active in recovery, ARE the lucky ones. In many ways, we are best prepared to successfully cope with a pandemic like COVID-19. The myriad of fellowships of recovery has provided us with a platform of preparation, essentially our toolboxes for surviving what may seem to be an overwhelming situation.
One of my board members recently shared with me these wise words by an unknown author:
We have experience with an invisible illness trying to kill us; we live through that every day. We are accustomed to staying in the moment, not projecting and taking things as they come. We are people who have the diseases of isolation as we have survived loneliness without even knowing we were lonely. We are very familiar with quarantine; jails, institutions, detoxes, treatment centers and more. We have grown to rely on a higher power for faith and hope; constantly. We practice “letting go” and “turning over” things we cannot control. It is our code to share with others our experience, strength, and hope to help the next struggling individual and by doing so, we keep hope alive. We all have a disease that we were told the recovery rates were in the single digits at best; yet, here we are beating the odds, ONE DAY AT A TIME. The truth is that we have the best skill set in the world to band together in fellowship, love, service, and kindness and walk each other through this.
When I think of sobriety and my own experience with it, here are some of the first things that come to my mind:
- Replacing the fear of the unknown with faith in my Higher Power;
- Paying it forward and sharing our experience, strength, and hope;
- Taking it one day at a time and staying in the present;
- Maintaining healthy boundaries and relationships;
- Looking for opportunities to be of service to others and doing God’s will;
- Focusing on and doing “the next right thing;”
- Making time each day for prayer and meditation;
- Remembering our code: love, patience, and tolerance of all people and with all things;
- Focusing on my blessings, using a gratitude journal to list the gifts in my life.
I’ll close in the same manner in which many of us close our recovery meetings, with the words of the serenity prayer:
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.
Together, we can always do what we cannot do alone.