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Got Questions While You’re Safer-at-Home? Me Too. (pt4)


Hi, friends!

How long have you been safer-at-home during this Covid-19 pandemic? Me? Since early-March. So about 10 weeks–I think. 😮 Wasn’t it the group Chicago who sang, “Does anybody really know what time it is?”

My routines are still going well. Sometimes too well. I might need to shake things up a bit. 😉 Do you also feel like you’re in the Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell movie “Groundhog Day“?

Mental health triggers have been minimal–partly due to distancing myself from too much news media (My apologies to fellow journalists and media industry friends.)

I’ve actually enjoyed not being as busy as I was prior to all this–and even at the beginning of staying at home, when I filled our time with activities and games.

This fourth question has been swirling in my head these last few weeks. Ready?


Here goes…


4. How am I staying connected?


  • Can I safely volunteer?
  • Can I safely help those with special needs–the elderly, immunosuppressed, etc.?
  • Can I safely attend community events?


Not so much. 🙁

All around us, the message has been social distancing, so most people have stayed home. As weeks have turned to months, the message has evolved to physical distancing–not necessarily social distancing. More and more, it’s becoming evident that connection is important to mental, emotional, cultural, spiritual–and even physical–health.

Have you ever seen that reality TV show, “Alone“? It’s on the History Channel. Ten participants are dropped off at a significant distance from each other on a remote location around the world. The purpose? To see who could last the longest. They bring only 10 items to help them survive in the wilderness. They’re provided with camera equipment and a satellite-operated communication device that they can use to “tap out” of the competition, at which time a helicopter or boat will arrive at their tracked location to take them home. My family and I love this reality show! (We’re excited about the new season in June.)

From having watched six seasons of “Alone” throughout the years, we’ve determined that more often than not, it’s not the lack of survival skills that makes someone tap out; it’s the isolation from family, friends, and loved ones–people in general. Even $500,000–the grand prize to the last contestant on the island–isn’t enough to keep contestants in the game. The desire to connect is that strong. Some have even constructed toy people or animals out of whatever they can find to have some sort of companionship. (Think Wilson in the Tom Hanks movie “Cast Away.”)

Despite the best of intentions, promoting prolonged isolation can have negative effects on our very being.

God created us to connect and to be in relationship–with Him and with each other. Even as early as the Garden of Eden, God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him” (Genesis 2:18).

Here are some other examples from the Bible about God’s design for community.


Let us think about each other and help each other to show love and do good deeds. (Hebrews 10:24)

Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. (Romans 12:15)


From Ecclesiastes
7 Again I saw something on earth that didn’t mean anything.

8 A man lived all by himself. He didn’t have any sons or brothers. His hard work never ended. But he wasn’t happy with what he had. “Who am I working so hard for?” he asked. “Why don’t I get the things I enjoy?” That doesn’t have any meaning either. In fact, it’s a very bad deal!

9 Two people are better than one. They can help each other in everything they do.

10 Suppose someone falls down. Then his friend can help him up. But suppose the man who falls down doesn’t have anyone to help him up. Then feel sorry for him!

11 Or suppose two people lie down together. Then they’ll keep warm. But how can one person keep warm alone?

12 One person could be overpowered. But two people can stand up for themselves. And a rope made out of three cords isn’t easily broken. (Ecclesiastes 4:7-12)



Pre-COVID-19, I stayed connected by:
  • Volunteering on the tech crew at my church, Lakes Church
  • Singing with the community choral group, Lakeland Choral Society
  • Visiting my elderly parents in their independent living community
  • Joining my closest girlfriends for breakfast the first Saturday of the month

I haven’t been able to do any of those things in the past ten weeks. But I have:
  • Called or texted those I haven’t talked to in a while
  • Added video to conference calls
  • Waved at our mailman from inside the house every day
  • Watched live concerts from around the world online
  • Joined my friend and fellow blogger, Kim Wilbanks, on her Facebook live tea times

Friends, connection isn’t just for the benefit of others. It’s for us too! We might think we don’t need it and that we’re doing it to help someone else. That might be true. But we’re also doing it for ourselves. And for those of us who are believers, we do it for God.



Take a few moments to listen to one of my favorites,
Superchick’s “We Live.”






Stay safe and healthy!


Big hugs,
Daphne

Come alongside… In what ways have you felt distant during this pandemic? What have you done to increase face-to-face or voice-to-voice activity? How has someone made an effort to connect with you during this time? How has staying connected helped you? Comment in the box below where it says, “Leave a Reply.” Remember, you can comment anonymously.


Questions in this Series
1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5


Relapse Ain’t Got Nothin’ on My Recovery Group

 
Hi, friends!
 
RelapsenothinrevLet’s talk recovery. More specifically, relapse.
 
We see it over and over again on the news, mainly with celebrities whose relapse into addictions and unhealthy behaviors results in death. Singer Whitney Houston comes to mind. Just this week, actor Philip Seymour Hoffman died after being clean more than two decades. He relapsed last year.
 
This isn’t just about celebrities. We see relapse more and more in the lives of those around us—family, friends, acquaintances, even people at church. We might be the ones in relapse.
 

I’ve relapsed.

 
This past year has been incredibly difficult for me: Emotional stress, financial issues, and tense relationships. Like others in recovery, I’ve had a hard time not falling back into old habits when I face triggers. I’ve had some missteps–even skidding back to square one in several areas. I’ll be honest: I wasn’t practicing what I wrote two years ago about preventing and reversing relapse:
 

  • Reflect
  • Expose your triggers and plan your escape strategies
  • Look up and re-learn scripture passages
  • Activate your accountability partners
  • Pray, pray, pray
  • Share your story
  • Evaluate regularly

 
(You can find more detailed explanations about each of these tips in part one and part two from 2012.)
 
One thing has been important for me to step back onto–and stay on–my recovery path:
 
 

I started attending weekly recovery group meetings again.

 
 
Recovery groups aren’t just for people who struggle with drugs or alcohol. Recovery groups are for people who struggle with anger, codependency, food addictions, workaholism, pornography addictions, fear and worry, trust, and so much more. People like me and possibly you.
 
I made a lot of progress when I was attending group, so I didn’t see the need to keep going once I was “better.” Now I remember why it’s important to attend my recovery group regularly. I have people who hold me accountable. They don’t judge me, criticize me, or look at me any differently when I make a bad choice. They listen, understand, and love me no matter what. My recovery group keeps me from relapsing. They are my family.
 
 
Attending weekly also helps me to live consistently, my word for this year.
 
 
I don’t know why I ever stopped attending. 😉
 
 
LastRecoveryGrouprev
 
 
Today, I encourage you: If you’re struggling to stay on your recovery path–or if you’re already on an unhealthy and destructive path, find a recovery group in your area. Celebrate Recovery is a great place to get connected. You’ll meet with others who will walk with you, encourage you, and love you.
 
 

Two people are better than one. They can help each other in everything they do. Suppose someone falls down. Then his friend can help him up. But suppose the man who falls down doesn’t have anyone to help him up. Then feel sorry for him! Or suppose two people lie down together. Then they’ll keep warm. But how can one person keep warm alone? One person could be overpowered. But two people can stand up for themselves. And a rope made out of three cords isn’t easily broken. (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12)
 

 
 
Don’t go it alone. Relapse ain’t got nothin’ on recovery groups!*
 
 
Come alongside… Are you staying on track in your recovery? Have you taken steps back? What can you do to get back on the right path? Share with us in the comments below. Remember, you can comment anonymously.
 
 
 
*Note: I don’t mean to minimize addiction by saying it’s easy to recover by solely attending recovery groups. Other resources and treatments might be necessary to address recovery. Recovery groups are just one component to address recovery, relapse, and addictive behaviors.


Related Products

 
 

 
 

My Drastic Estate

 

I love estate sales! I’ve been to two in the past month.

 

Intrigue and wonder fill me as I walk through rooms piecing together people’s lives from what they owned.

 

  • Clothes.
  • Cookware.
  • Tools.
  • Home Décor.
  • Movies and books.

 

Yes, movies and books.

 

You can tell a lot about someone by what they read, watch, and listen to. Even more, you can tell what will eventually be in someone’s heart by the movies, books, and music they own.

 

Become ITWhen I was younger, I read ultra-feminist-type books and magazines for teenage girls, listened to all sorts of music, and watched what could be considered “disturbing” movies. I was fascinated by it all—until I started seeing some of those same thoughts, tendencies, attitudes, and actions in myself. I didn’t know it at the time, but eventually I transformed into a woman who would not let any man tell her what to do, who had a filthy mouth, who couldn’t stop lyrics from playing in her mind—even in her sleep. As I woke up one morning, the first thing that came out of my mouth was “Danger! Get on the floor!”—lyrics from gangsta rap artist Mystikal.

 

 

Seriously—can you see me listening to gangsta rap?

 

 

Anyway… My movies, books, and music even went so far to include pornography.

 

I had years of deep-seated issues. When I finally set out to identify how I came to be that woman, I realized my movies, books, and music choices were a primary contributor to the person I had become. I had to make some serious changes to try to undo all those years of unhealthy programming in my mind and in my heart.

 

My choices were drastic to some, but I had to do it for myself. For years, I listened only to instrumental music—no lyrics, watched movies that had no objectionable material—and if they did, I would turn them off. I threw out books and magazines with immoral and suggestive content. I set similar limits on my online surfing.

 

Today, I listen to music with lyrics again, but I’m still very careful with its content. I’m still very strict with my books, magazines, and computer content. And movies—it’s strange to me that movies I enjoyed years ago—and knew inside out—now don’t pass my test.

 

Listen to what the Bible says:

 

Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. (Philippians 4:8)

 

 

I try to ask myself:

 

  • Is my music gracious and beautiful?
  • Are my movies pure, honorable, and respectable?
  • Are my books and magazines praiseworthy?
  • Is my favorite Internet content moral?

 

Even more, do I see glimpses of myself in any of my books, movies, music, and Internet content?

 

The Bible says:

 

Don’t live any longer the way this world lives. Let your way of thinking be completely changed. Then you will be able to test what God wants for you. And you will agree that what he wants is right. His plan is good and pleasing and perfect. (Romans 12:2)

 

Put another way:

 

Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will know what God wants you to do, and you will know how good and pleasing and perfect his will really is. (Romans 12:2)

 

 

His ways are good and pleasing and perfect, dear one. He grants us peace when we allow Him to renew our minds and restore our hearts.

 

You will keep in perfect peace all … whose thoughts are fixed on you! (Isaiah 26:3)

 

He can change the way we think. He can undo our drastic estate.

 

The first step is up to us.

 

 

Come alongside… What kinds of movies, books, magazines, music, and Internet content are you welcoming into your mind and heart? Who are you becoming? Will you allow God to transform and renew your mind? He can!

 

Affiliate Disclosure

Daphne Tarango is a participant in affiliate programs with Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, DaySpring, Church Source, Hazelden, Christian Strong (via Conversant and ShareASale). These advertising services are designed to provide a means for sites like DaphneWrites.com to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to said merchants. Some images and articles may contain links to products on merchant sites. Should you choose to make purchases through those links, please understand that I will receive a small commission. Please do not feel like you need to use these links to make any purchases. The links are only for your convenience. Thank you.

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