'Self isolation can be a killer' for an alcoholic

A RECOVERING alcoholic has said ‘self-isolation can be a killer’ following the lockdown due to coronavirus.

Friday, 27th March 2020, 6:03 pm
Updated Wednesday, 1st April 2020, 12:40 pm

But despite admitting she ‘could be dead’ if still in the throes of her alcoholism following the government clampdown, Ellie told The News Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is now more important than ever for those needing support.

Despite hosting regular face-to-face meetings, the organisation has been forced to adapt amid the changing climate and is now delivering its sessions online successfully.

At a time when people are alone and facing difficult circumstances, Ellie said it was important for people to reach out and secure help if they need it.

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‘I would probably be dead if this happened to me six years ago when I was at the height of my drinking,’ she said.

‘Isolation can be a killer for an alcoholic. It is a very challenging time. When I was sat on the sofa earlier in the week it took me back to when I was drinking at home all the time.

‘Staying at home is likely to encourage some people to drink more and will highlight problems people may have with drinking.

‘It’s important to have that routine, whether it is getting in the shower or doing an online exercise video first thing in the morning.

‘If I don’t have that routine I can go into a low mood with negative thoughts and am more likely to have a drink.

‘In these times it is really important to stay connected for alcoholics and to speak to other alcoholics and your sponsor, especially for someone like me who lives on my own.’

But with the 24-hour helpline available and the online ‘chat now’ facility in full swing, there is no reason for people to feel alone.

In fact, the current predicament is even leading to a surge of new online skills for some members. ‘Older people are now using the online platforms while others are connecting with those they have not seen for a long time,’ Ellie said.

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‘In many ways, Alcoholics Anonymous has never been so important.’