An Invisible Enemy Is Nothing New To Us
Updated: Mar 31, 2020
Author: Racquel Garcia
Life... Man, it ain't easy. What I know for sure is that life is much easier without a drink!
So, I just realized that my original blog post for the Hornbuckle Foundation is on an external hard drive that I lost last month. I had to go to France for the death of my grandfather and somehow I lost it on my way back home or perhaps I left it there. Who knows? My mother looked all over for it at my grandfather’s house but it was nowhere to be found. There was so much on that drive and I'm sick over its loss. In this very moment, what is hitting me is the reality that the book I have been writing for 2 years is on that hard drive. That drive has my life on it. Damn, I should have transferred those files to a cloud. So much energy and love was poured onto those pages and I wanted to share them with the world someday. It is so hard for me to get my thoughts on paper. Writing and speaking are where I am the most critical of myself. Both places are where I feel the most exposed. I have done so much work in both places the past two years it is insane. I'm so disappointed because now I have to start this whole thing over and what I had written was good. I am heartbroken. The tears are so thick at this point and I'm not sure I am making much sense. Wheeeeeeeeew...Exhale!
I just had to get that out. Talk about a life ain’t easy moment.
Wooooosah sister, woooosah!
In the old days I would have had a drink and a couple shots or ten over this loss. I might have stopped there or the drinking could have continued for days. It was always a crapshoot with me. Let's keep it real, if I was drinking I would have never gotten a publishing offer to write a book in the first place. I mean nobody wanted to hear what drunk Racquel had to say. Thanks to my higher power and a spiritual tool kit I do not have to live like that anymore. Today I don't drink, no matter what.
Today I say the serenity prayer...
God grant me the serenity, to accept the things I cannot change.
Courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.
Today I can vent my frustrations to you or anyone who will listen, then hand them over to God and keep on typing much like I am right now.
I can't change the lost hard drive; but I can cry and then choose to write another blog post and re-write my book.
Today, I choose to have you meet me where I am at; and, today it's not grief.
Today, I am quarantined in my home like the rest of the world due to COVID-19.
Today I am juggling running my business, raising 5 kids, praying, physical distancing, "wifeying", having Zoom sponsor calls, enjoying the pause, refereeing children, joining online meetings, doing housework, home schooling, battling crappy satellite internet, snack monitoring, coming up with dinner ideas, fighting boredom, entertaining kids, going for walks, trying to ignore narcissistic politicians, practicing gratitude, enjoying self-care, and minimizing financial worry.
Sound familiar? The truth is, we are ALL collectively juggling life like we have never had to before and our plates all look different, that's it. None of us are getting out of this without at least a bump or a bruise, if we're lucky.
Today I have faith and no fear. The serenity prayer keeps me tethered there.
It's one of those spiritual tools I spoke about.
I think of it as a filter to sort all the chaos that I just rattled off above.
I read it somewhere that those of us in recovery are equipped to handle this pandemic chaos and I totally agree.
We in the world of recovery are well aware of what it is like to have an invisible enemy after you. Our disease takes out more than the coronavirus by far. In September 2019, it was reported by the CDC that 69,029 deaths were caused by overdose in the United States. Now, I realize they are not the same thing. I realize that addiction is not contagious and we don't have to be quarantined to stay healthy.
I mean if it was, that would be hell on earth my friends. THAT'S your zombie apocalypse people. However, it IS hereditary and the collateral damage is huge.
Just ask the people who love us!
Some of YOU are falling and you know it. Some of YOU have already relapsed and several of you are just starting.
However, MANY of us are sober doing what we do.
What we can't control is the Coronavirus...What we can do is to serve our fellow humans in the best way we know how.
The best thing I know how to do is 12 steps in ALL of my affairs.
I am really proud to be a part of the Recovery community. I am a GRATEFUL sober alcoholic.
What I have seen behind the scenes in the recovery community during this pandemic is nothing short of amazing. I have seen online recovery meetings popping up all over the place. My friend, Charlie, still attends them in person, being safe of course because we in recovery know it takes a community to survive an invisible enemy and there are several after us.
I love that my cell phone buzzes with text messages of us checking in on each other. Keep them coming! The depth and variety of these texts runs elation to despair and I feel each and respond to all of them.
From my sponsee celebrating 11 months – whoot, whoot!
To the desperate cries of:
“I wanna drink so bad. The isolation is haunting”
“I lost my job and I feel like getting high.”
To the follow-up messages of:
"I MADE IT. I DIDN'T F***** USE!!!"
And "I f***** up. I drank, I gotta get some help."
To which I respond, "I got you."
Damn, here go those tears again.
It has become apparent to me that we are going to need more recovery gladiators on the front lines of the post pandemic/addiction/isolation fallout that is coming. So, today I am doing what I can and reaching out to my fellow addicts/alcoholic through coaching, counseling and chairing online meetings. I also connect with my sponsee’s. I have even restructured half of my business to support recovery coaching solely and can now accept insurance to help offset costs.
Don't worry, I am also taking care of me. I have an online sponsor meeting next week and we are working on step #3.
My motto right now...Keep it simple stupid, find a meeting, let go of control, reach out for support, stay connected, serve others and do the next right thing.
We in recovery were made for this.
Are you ready? Ask yourself this simple question.
Day one or one day?
In 2013, she graduated from ICDC college with a degree in addiction counseling. She was awarded outstanding graduate of the year by the ACCSC, presented to me by Mike Rowe.She created and directed Helping Everyone Recover, a recovery non-profit. In July 2019, she graduated from YCI (Youth Coaching Institute). There she obtained her coaching and mentor certification for youth with an emphasis on those individuals who are considered high-risk and have suffered trauma. I am also certified in Youth Mental Health First-Aid. She has been coached as well as studied coaching, counseling, and humanity for over 10 years.