Quarantine is not normal for anyone. It’s not how we’re wired; we’re pack animals, it’s now how we’re programmed; we crave connection, or how we’re going to live our best life; by having the greatest impact.
But it’s what we all deserve, and need right now.
I’ve actually already been in quarantine six times in my life. It wasn’t because I had coronavirus or any virus, for that matter.
It was because I was an alcoholic.
I went to rehab 6 different times during the last five years of my active addiction, I spent a total of 360 days in some form of a treatment center; for all intents and purposes, in quarantine.
Here’s how the pattern went: leading up to a stay in rehab, I was overconsuming drugs, abusing relationships, exhibiting all the toxic behaviors from self-sabotage to just being a toxic human being.
I would go to rehab to try to figure it all out. I never saw rehab or sobriety as something that I really needed. So even though I learned a lot about myself, until the very last time nothing changed.
I never changed, I never used my time in rehab to really, better myself and make the changes I needed to make. I never cared to change anything after rehab. I always just wanted to go back to my old life.
The truth was- there was no going back, there is never going back.
We will never go back to the way things were before coronavirus.
If we don’t learn from this and make changes, we will end up right back here again; just like I used to end up back in rehab. I would go to rehab, or “quarantine”, for 2, 3, or 4 months and always end up at a place where I needed to be quarantined again.
I’m going to shoot straight here- we were all behaving like addicts before COVID-19 hit.
We were overconsuming, acting out, easily irritable, abusing mother nature, and treating others like sh*t. We were all buzzing around at 1,313 mile per hour without a sniff of awareness. To say we were behaving recklessly doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface. If you need evidence of this look at how quickly the air pollution over China cleared up and how the canals in Venice, Italy are crystal clear now.
I know this is a very broad statement, but when you look at the greater impact that we were having as a species, it’s undeniable that we were the toxic part of the equation.
So what did Mother Nature and the Universe do?
They put us all in rehab. Everyone needed a break and we needed to change some things. We needed to be shown the wreckage.
So here we are in quarantine… I mean rehab.
Please tell me if I’m wrong, but I’m going to go out on a limb and say there’s some “things” coming up for you.
It could be long suppressed feelings. It might be some memory that you have swept under the rug and walked over everyday without acknowledging.
The silence, the space, and the pause we are experiencing is our teacher.
This is our time to look inward and see where we can get better, so that when we step into our new post-coronavirus world we’re ready to be better.
We will never be able to “just go back to life” the way it was; just like I couldn’t go back to my old life prior to rehab. I tried 5 times and each time was a brutal gut punch.
If you’re not using this time to see where you were missing something or who you can get better, you’re wasting this time.
Out of those 360 days I was in rehab, 90 of them were purposeful. To say the other 270 were wasted (see what I did there?), would be wrong. I needed to learn the lesson that I could never go back and I needed to learn how to use my time in quarantine the right way.
Let my learning experience be your lesson and use this time to get better.
Get better as a father, a husband, a mother, a sister, a brother, and as a human being.