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An honest conversation about being in recovery during a pandemic

This pandemic can be especially hard for people dealing with addictions.

MIAMI — If you're an alcoholic or you know someone who is, there is nothing more you need to know than this right now:

You are not alone.

Find your tribe.

That's the advice from Jason Earle and Benjamin Goldman, two recovering alcoholics.

Earle, Goldman, and Kevin Sullivan, a sobriety coach sat down with 10 Tampa Bay reporter Liz Crawford and talked openly about the impact the coronavirus can have on someone's sobriety and recovery journey.

Battling Addiction? In Recovery? Just need some inspiration? Watch this.

An honest conversation about being in recovery during a pandemic. https://bit.ly/2Xs6wF5

Posted by Liz Crawford on Thursday, April 9, 2020

"We tend to isolate and this circumstance is a perfect recipe for isolation and so it triggers lots of these things," explained Earle, an entrepreneur and former stockbroker. 

Despite the lousy circumstances, Earle has found silver linings throughout the pandemic including seeing his son take his first steps, something he and his wife probably wouldn't have witnessed together had they not been forced to stay home.

For Goldman, giving back is key to his sobriety. As a Miami chef, he's been forced to completely close his doors but he's finding ways to keep his passion alive by serving others. 

Goldman said, "That's what helps keep me sober through all of this is doing whatever I can for other people. That's sort of where I get real fulfillment."

Both admit this pandemic has caused them to step outside their comfort zones and connect with people they'd been out of touch with.

"This is the first time in my life where I've been forced to use technology for my recovery in that way and I've met more people in recovery just by sitting on my couch than I have by going to my regular meetings," said Goldman who's attended meetings with 600 attendees from across the country.

Earle believes being forced to stay home can actually be a good thing for those in early stages of recovery.

"Leaving the house is not an exciting opportunity...that's the last thing you want to do! This actually gives people a stepping stone," said Earle.

Sullivan believes there will be some who hit rock bottom during this pandemic and he reminds family members and friends to have empathy and offer support.

"It wasn't in their calendar to land in the woods behind the Walmart. It wasn't in their calendar to leave their family and bounce child support checks," Sullivan said of people living with addiction.

The discussion's takeaway was clear- you can't do it alone.

Much like this pandemic, we need each other now more than ever.

You are not alone.

Find your tribe.


If you're reading this and you feel isolated or alone, call 1-800-662-HELP (4357) to reach the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

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