Kara’s Recovery Story

We asked Kara what recovery has been like during lockdown…

“Lockdown has provided me with the most unique opportunity to stop and to breathe.  For the first time in years, I have been able to spend the time on myself that I need.

“Up until lockdown, I was going to work every day as a full-time administrator and also teaching 11 aerobics classes a week on top.  Although I was in treatment and had attended face to face groups at Nottingham Recovery Network, I never had the time to properly follow up the work done there and so I ended up just existing on that treadmill.  So, when lockdown first happened, it was unsurprisingly a bit of a shock to the system!!  If I am honest, I was actually scared of it because I thought I might just end up sitting at home drinking all day like I used to – just because I could.  However, the exact opposite happened

“I have been successfully working from home by keeping my days busy and productive.  I have enough office work to do to keep me ticking over, along with enough time in my days available to access the virtual groups.  Planning my days has been key – I have it all written in my official “to-do” spiral bound notepad!! The groups have been amazing.  This is actually the first time I have been properly able to access groups for a very long time because, before lockdown, I couldn’t get to them as I was working. And I really missed that.  So, this new opportunity to connect regularly online and get to know people like me has been fantastic.  I didn’t really know anyone in the recovery community before now, so this has been brilliant.  I no longer feel alone.  What I like about the groups is that they are welcoming, regardless of which academy you go to or your general background.  They are also light-hearted but also invoke useful discussion and are generally good for the soul.  I always come out feeling happy.

“Lockdown has also made me realise I don’t miss teaching aerobics at all – in fact I have decided to give it up completely.  A total life-change!  I am really enjoying the rest and the additional time for myself that I didn’t have before – such as reading science fiction/fantasy novels, listening to music, journaling and keeping in touch with friends. I have even picked up my guitar after many years of just looking at it hanging on my wall!

“As well as the academy groups, I am also attending external SMART online meetings, and I have found them so interesting and useful that I have even applied to be a group meeting facilitator!  One of the things I struggled with before lockdown was the lack of local face to face support groups in the evenings, other than AA.  AA really isn’t for me, so I felt bit “stuck” and out on a limb.  So, after deciding to give up the aerobics work, I thought to myself: “Why not set up my own evening face to face SMART group for after lockdown?” It will certainly be a challenge for me but I believe I can do it.  It’s definitely a step out of my comfort zone – but a sensible one.  The training is also something I can spend my time productively on during lockdown, giving me additional purpose, as well as a recognised certificate at the end.

“Win Win 🙂  Happy days 🙂 Living the dream :)”

Thank you Kara for sharing!

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