As other states start to open up while Illinois residents remain under a stay-at-home order through the end of May, I’m starting to field questions from my friends and family in less densely populated areas.
- “You’re still working from home?”
- “You’re still getting your groceries delivered?”
- “You’re still homeschooling?”
- “You don’t think you’ll want to travel this summer?”
The questions are new, but the sentiment–“Is this all really still necessary?” & “Don’t you think you’re taking things a little too far?”–is not. It’s the same tone people take when they find out that I still go to AA meetings after years of sobriety.
- “You’re still doing that AA thing?”
- “You still go to how many meetings a week?”
- “Exactly how long does it take to work the steps?”
- “You haven’t had a drink in how long?”
Though the questions are different, the answer is the same.
- Yes, I’m still sheltering-in-place/going to meetings. We’re talking about a deadly disease. As long as it’s still out there, I’m going to do what it takes to keep people safe, and I’m not just talking about myself.
Speaking of deadly diseases, some of the questions people are asking about coronavirus are the same questions I reckoned with when I first started trying to get sober:
- How bad is this really?
- How long is this going to last?
- Will things ever go back to normal?
As it turns out, the answers are the same whether we’re talking about the coronavirus or alcoholism:
- It’s bad.
- It’s going to last a long time.
- Your life will never be the same again.
It’s not all bad news, though. If tearing down and rebuilding my whole life taught me anything it’s that we’re going to come out of this better than we were before.