Social distancing may be particularly difficult for those going through addiction recovery or have other strong needs for connection. Women In Optometry encourages you to reach out to those who might be struggling in this challenging time—or to ask for support from friends in this time.
Melanie Weiss, OD, who shared her story about opioid addiction and how it nearly destroyed her personal and professional life in a two-part WO Voices podcast, says that in this time, “Sticking with a sleep routine is very important. Even though I am only seeing one or two emergency patients a day, I need to get up at my normal time. I need to stay busy—even if it is just going through my drawers and cabinets at work to throw out expired and unused items or organize and label everything,” she says.
She practices “mindfulness” at every opportunity, she says. “I go outside for a walk when I am feeling overwhelmed. I look around and take in what is beautiful—things I can see, things I can hear and things I can smell. I have found new enjoyable activities such as board games with my husband and daughters, making fun videos with my kids and truly having meaningful conversations with my husband. I continue to remind myself that going back to using drugs would not solve or make any of this go away…it would only make it worse.”
Hazelden Betty Ford, which Dr. Weiss entered for treatment, provides a variety of tools on tips for staying connected, recovery resources, online meditations, podcasts, online meetings, education and more.
Listen to Dr. Weiss’ story now.