October is widely considered one of the best sports months of the year. It is the only month when professional baseball, basketball, football (and college football), and hockey are played simultaneously. There is hardly an October day when you don’t have a chance to get together with friends and root together (or against) each other’s favorite teams.
Normally, a recovery-centered blog about October sports would be about avoiding temptations to drink at parties. But in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, it could be a lonely year for sports fans. Professional sports teams are playing games without fans in the stadium, and the CDC still recommends avoiding large gatherings.
While we generally think of temptations coming from a social gathering, isolation (and disappointment) are equally triggering for a person who has stopped using drugs and drinking. As a person in recovery who spent the last years of my drinking in isolation, social gatherings like watching sports with other members of my recovery community played a big impact on my early sobriety. No matter where we are in our recovery, this month we will need to get creative in fending against temptations.
If you’re used to leaning on friends for support, including having them over to watch sports games, a ZOOM meeting could be an effective tool; that way you see your friends, and get real time reactions to the game, while maintaining social distancing.
If you normally have season tickets and are feeling depressed about not being able to use them, use the money for something self-care related. Maybe take a camping trip this month, or pay off a loan that might be causing you anxiety.
During the final quarter of the year, COVID-19 is certain to cause disruption and disappointments for many — Thanksgiving gatherings might be cancelled or significantly smaller, and the same goes for the December holidays.
Make sure you’re maintaining contact with your support system. Keep up with your meeting attendance, call your supportive friends and family, and take advantage of all the real- time technology that can connect you while watching your favorite sports. Just because large gatherings might not be a thing this sports season doesn’t mean you need to celebrate alone.
If you or a loved one is struggling with drinking or drug use, there is help. At TruHealing Centers across the country, we offer the full continuum of addiction-related care, from medical detox, to residential treatment, to outpatient aftercare. To find out which level of care is right for you, call an admissions specialist today at 410-593-0005.
Addiction is treatable and recovery is possible.