The coronavirus lockdown has been especially tough for people in recovery

The coronavirus has affected my life quite heavily because now the meetings are not in person.

In the 12-step programme you're encouraged to look for a higher power. Being an atheist, God doesn't really wash with me, so I look for a higher power in human connectivity - the spiritual human connection we get by sharing our stories with each other in person. The hugs, the eye contact, the smiles.

We do the meetings on Zoom, but it's not the same. Everyone's mic has to be muted, you can't hug each other, you can't see everyone at once.

There's also a big thing in the 12-step programme called service.

I have two service posts a week where I make the tea and greet people, which forces me to be there early. Service is a huge part of early recovery because it forces you into a meeting because everyone is relying on you.

With the lack of meetings, I don't do any service, which is an incentive to potentially miss meetings.

A few years ago, I decided I didn't want to do drugs any more and I knew in the back of my mind that the booze was also a problem. I always thought if I could quit the drugs I could just have a few pints. But that was never, ever the case.

I struggled on for another three years of doing the odd month sober. That, again, would convince me I was fine because, in my mind, if I could stop for a month then I couldn't be addicted.

That would legitimise the other 11 months of chaos.

Eventually it all got too much and it came to a head when I got kicked out of my house and my girlfriend left me, both on my birthday. Then I decided that I needed to go sober.

I didn't think I needed rehab and thought I could do it on my own. That didn't work. I was lying a lot. I'd go up north for a gig, end up getting on it and then tell everyone back home I was sober.

Read Article here