Quarantined with an Alcoholic Spouse As the coronavirus sweeps across our nation and we must adapt to stay-at-home orders and social distancing guidelines, that wreaks havoc on the lives of many. Not only are we trying to figure out new work and school routines, but we also must learn new ways to shop for essentials or find necessary services. If you are quarantined with an alcoholic spouse, you may have already noticed that these changes are having an impact. Know, that even in these hard times alcohol substance abuse treatment programs are still available. Call to speak with a professional about telehealth addiction treatment services available at this time. Use Online Meetings Your spouse might already be participating in 12 step therapy programs or a virtual support group meeting available through Alcoholics Anonymous. However, did you know that there are meetings for those who are quarantined with an alcoholic spouse? You can find support by participating in the following groups: \tSMART Recovery for friends and loved ones \tOnline or phone meetings through Families Anonymous \tElectronic meetings through Al-Anon \tTelehealth services that offer support and guidance Help Fill Their Free Time While there are many options for chat, email, forum participation, and live stream video conferencing, those sessions are not going to fill your spouse's day. That is where you step in and help them fill their time. When you are quarantined with an alcoholic spouse, help them maintain sobriety by encouraging them to: \tExpand upon their interests by focusing on a hobby or picking up a new one \tGo on walks throughout your community, explore hiking trails, or go on bike rides \tLearn new ways to cook healthy and nutritious foods \tTake free classes to help them enhance or learn new skills When you help your spouse fill up their time, you are encouraging them to take proactive steps toward preventing relapse. The busier your spouse is, the less likely they are to feel bored or be tempted to relapse. Understanding Relapse Triggers Being quarantined with an alcoholic spouse also means understanding what could potentially trigger a relapse. Even though they are continually seeking support and looking for positive distractions, triggers could still present themselves. Here are some examples of different triggers you can look out for: \tJob stress: If your spouse is an essential worker with a job outside of the home, that could pose a significant stressor. They might also feel stress if they are new to working from home and are facing challenges with telecommuting. \tFinancial stress: If your spouse's job closed down due to the coronavirus update, that could also lead to a significant amount of stress. Until they find a solution, that stress could trigger a relapse. \tBoredom: Unless their time is filled with positive activities, your spouse could experience boredom to the point of relapsing. \tNegative influences: If your spouse is around someone else who is using, or they use while they are on a video chat with them, that could pose as a temptation. Have Open and Honest Discussions with Your Spouse Being quarantined with an alcoholic spouse does not mean ignoring the problem or pretending it is not there. That kind of avoidance spells disaster regarding their recovery journey. Instead, talk to them about how they are handling their recovery amid the pandemic. Do they feel like they need additional support? Do they have concerns they believe you could help support them during their recovery? Are they worried that their recovery journey is going to harm your relationship while in quarantine? You can address each of these concerns with your spouse together, or by seeking online support from a therapist. Final Thoughts If you are quarantined with an alcoholic spouse, that does not mean services and support are not available. No one should have to go through these challenges without having the best support and services. Contact us today by calling to learn about how we can help your spouse while simultaneously being of service to you, too.