I once heard someone compare addicts to a bunch of bananas: on your own you get skinned alive.
Isolation, loneliness, stress and boredom can be big triggers. And coronavirus lockdown is rather conducive to those things.
Here’s a list of free online recovery resources to help you deal with them and ensure you don’t get skinned.
Online meetings obviously aren’t the same, but they do offer a diversity, flexibility, accessibility and spirit that is pretty special.
There are hundreds of online Narcotics Anonymous meetings based all over the world listed here.
24/7 NA marathon meeting here. Last time I checked the password is: recovery.
UK-based online NA meetings here.
Hundreds of online AA meetings listed here.
SMART Recovery (CBT-based self-help group) has about ten online meetings per day here.
Refuge Recovery (Buddhist-based) has up to eight online meetings per day here.
In The Rooms hosts online meetings from all sorts of recovery groups, including AA, NA, SLA (Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous), GA (Gamblers Anonymous), Recovery Dharma etc.
Meditation can help you nurture stillness and acceptance amidst all the uncertainty.
There are guided meditations from Refuge Recovery available here. These cover various subjects including forgiveness, compassion and equanimity.
Tara Brach has some good guided meditations on YouTube here.
Swami Janakananda has yoga nidra meditations here. These are good for getting into a deep state of relaxation.
Inner Space in Covent Garden is doing daily online meditation webinars.
My friend Luke Richardson is doing weekly spiritual growth webinars here. He’s a great therapist who does some interesting stuff with guided visualisations.
Insight Timer and Headspace are meditation apps with many free guided meditations.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
Stuck inside on your own with everything that’s going on in the world, it’s easy to slip into some dark ways of thinking. CBT can help you identify and challenge those negative thought patterns.
SMART Recovery has some CBT-based tools available here. My favourite is the ABC which helps you change unhelpful negative beliefs that are causing you distress. There’s a crash course here and a worksheet here.
The Centre for Clinical Interventions in Western Australia has some amazing CBT self-help resources. They have clear, easy to follow work books that focus on particular issues such as anxiety, health anxiety, self-esteem, depression etc.
The Down Dog yoga app is free until May 1st.
Business Insider has compiled an extensive list of fitness resources made available for free, many of which you would usually pay for. It includes live workouts and Arnold Schwarzenegger’s bodyweight routine.
There’s another compilation of online workouts here.
This guy, Antranik has a lot of good, easy to follow bodyweight and flexibility videos you can do at home.
My Spiritual Toolkit has AA readings, nightly inventories and spot check inventories.
The Sober Tool app counts your clean time and the money you’ve saved. It has readings to help you with various things, such as cravings etc.
DBT Coach helps you practice Dialectical Behavioural Therapy skills for distress tolerance, emotion regulation, mindfulness and interpersonal effectiveness. Many of the features are free. DBT tools are so helpful for maintaining sobriety.