This week, that nation lost 475 citizens to coronavirus in a single day. Despite a nationwide lockdown that’s been in place for two weeks, the number of cases in Italy is closing in on 40,000, growing at a rate of 12 percent a day.
And yet … in the middle of it all, the Italian people came together to lift one another up. From rooftops and balconies, out of open windows and doorways, Italians across the country lifted up their voices in song. They clapped in unison. Some joined in with trumpets and accordions; others banged pots and pans. Together, they sang the Italian national anthem.
“It was from our hearts, to say thanks and show that we can get past this,” Roman resident Emma Santachiara, 73, told The New York Times.
Hope in the time of coronavirus? It’s there, if you know where to look, and if you still believe in the fundamental tenets of the human heart, things like empathy, compassion, kindness and love.
Hope in the Time of Coronavirus: We Have It
At Cornerstone of Recovery, we know those things as bedrock principles of the programs that are our lifeblood. The opportunity to emerge from the shadows of addiction, from an existence without purpose or hope and into a new way of life, is something intimately familiar to a great many of us who work here. Most of our staff members are recovering addicts and alcoholics themselves, and they know full well what it’s like to feel as if life is pointless.
But if you’re a struggling addict or alcoholic who needs help, finding hope in the time of coronavirus may seem impossible. News stations are blaring klaxons of alarm; social media is a white noise machine of discord and disconnect; grocery store shelves are empty and entire cities are shut down and fear seems to have settled over everything like a blanket-thick fog bank.
You may be wondering: What’s the point of even trying to get clean and sober? You may even be pondering why you should stay clean and sober. As author Johann Hari has pointed out, “the opposite of addiction is connection,” but in a time of social distancing and self-quarantines and shelter-in-place orders, how can we make those connections? How can we find within ourselves the hope for a better tomorrow when the insanity surrounding COVID-19 makes us doubt, sometimes, that there will even be a tomorrow?
Logically, of course that sounds ridiculous, but when you’re dopesick and waiting for a hook-up and scrolling your phone and reading one gloom-and-doom post or headline after another, logic sort of goes out the window. If our rational minds asserted themselves in times of trauma, pain, crisis and despair, we wouldn’t be drinking gallons of liquor or digging around in the crooks of our arm to find one good vein, would we?
Forget logic. If you truly want to find the hope for your future — in the time of coronavirus or any other — then hang on to this particular cliché from a 12 Step recovery program we’re awful fond of: “Believe that we believe.”
That’s right. You may not believe that the future is worth living for, but we do … so believe in our belief. Because when it comes to hope in the time of coronavirus, we have it in abundance — for ourselves, for this amazing organization we consider it an honor to work for, and for you.
Why, you may be wondering? Because we were you. We once sat right where you are now, looking at the wreckage of our lives, the peril of our present and the frightening blank spaces where our future had yet to be written. We were miserable; we often prayed for death but were unable to act on it; we thought the world and everyone in it would be better off without us.
We were wrong. We know that now, thanks to addiction recovery. And we’re here to tell you: You’re wrong, too.
If You Are Considering Enrolling Yourself or A Loved One Into Treatment Right Now But Are Afraid To Due To The Coronavirus, Please Visit The Link Below.
Hope in the Time of Coronavirus: We Want You to Have It, Too
You can get better. More importantly, you deserve to get better. You’re not a “bad” person who needs to be “good” — you’re a sick person who needs to get well, and no place is better equipped to help you heal than Cornerstone of Recovery. After all, we’ve been doing it for 30 years, and in that time, we’ve successfully returned thousands of recovered addicts and sober alcoholics to their communities as responsible, productive members in good standing.
And we can do the same for you. We get it — change is difficult, because you don’t know what to expect. As miserable as you may be in addiction, it’s comfortable, because it’s familiar. You may hate it, but you know exactly what your routine will entail. If you’re like us, the idea of “recovery” — of living life on life’s terms, without the chemical anesthesia of alcohol and drugs to soften the emotional blows and dull the sharp edges of pain — seems like an impossible ask.
And doing it right now? When there’s a virus run amok across the country, making everyone sick and shutting everything down? That may seem like a bridge too far.
It’s not — we are, after all, still open for business — but we get it. And we want you to know: We’re still here for you. We’re not going anywhere, and once COVID-19 peaks and begins to decline in both infections and fatalities, we’re going to remind you that we’ll still be here, and you still deserve to get better.
In the meantime, we’re going to be checking in regularly, with blog posts and videos and all manner of “hope shots,” as we like to call them, to get you through these uncertain times. We’ll keep you abreast of addiction- and recovery-related needs and news as they pertain to COVID-19. We’ll offer tips and suggestions for how to navigate states and cities and communities where life has been drastically altered by coronavirus. If you’re a family member who’s desperate for a loved one to receive treatment but are more fearful of this pandemic right now, we’ll be providing you with some reading material as well.
Our mission doesn’t stop at our property line. We’ve always considered it an honor and a privilege to support the recovery community here in East Tennessee and beyond, and we feel a certain sense of obligation to continue to do so right now, more than ever. We’ll continue to treat the patients who come to us for addiction and alcoholism treatment, including you or your loved ones — but we’re going to be here for you in the digital space until this worldwide crisis comes to an end.
Hope in the time of coronavirus? We’ve got it in abundance, and we want to share it with you. We’re singing into cyberspace just like our Italian brothers and sisters, friends, because as one Milan resident told the Times, doing that shows “that in this hard time we can stick together. We (are) a community, not just a bunch of individuals.”