SoberBuddy helps keeps recovery going during pandemic


SoberBuddy offers free email tips and suggestions

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Paul Brethren has more than 20 years of helping people through addiction. During trying times — such as stay-at-home orders” and group gatherings being banned — he wants to continue supporting people with addiction using technology.

“The worst thing to do is to isolate yourself,” said Brethren, the co-founder of SoberBuddy. “Part of the recovery is learning how to adapt to trouble and adapt to problems.”

SoberBuddy is a free email subscription to help people from relapsing. He sends new treatment suggestions amid the pandemic.

“What they are,” he said, “are daily challenges to encourage people in their recovery.”

Paul Brethren, the co-founder of SoberBuddy (Courtesy photo)

They are “really specific challenges to help get through this time: how to hook up in social media, how to do your own virtual groups, dealing with stress and anxiety, realtionships. If you’re in the house a lot of the time, it can create conflicts, so how do you work through those conflicts?”

Experts agree community is important in recovery. Steve Harris with Serenity Lane, who helps people with alcoholism and drug addiction, said that even though support groups can’t meet in person, they’re finding solutions.

Complete coverage: Coronavirus pandemic

“Twelve step meetings are beginning to meet virtually right now,” Harris told KOIN 6 News. “Our groups will be there to connect. I was on a meeting the other day and there was people from Southern California and others that were able to join. So there’s some good things coming from this, too. If you want, you can meet with someone in Florida, so there’s some positives.”

Harris suggests regularly finding time to breathe, meditate or take a walk to ease your mind.

“One of the things that’s most important is routine, defined as something simple. It may be a daily reading, something as simple as making your bed, doing it as a routine.”

These simple steps in recovery will help make you feel in control even though the world around us may not be.

Coping skills and suggestions from Steve Harris:

  • Have a daily routine- That could include a 24 hour a day book with short daily readings.​
  • ​Don’t forget to breathe​
  • ​Call others, let them know you are making a practice call. This is common in recovery and those receiving the call appreciate it.​
  • ​Meditate. You don’t have to be a monk, try it for a minute. There is lots of online sources. A calm walk is a form of meditation.​
  • ​Exercise- take a walk, a bike ride, find yoga or a work out online so you are not doing it by yourself. Best news is they can’t see you.​
  • ​Take a nap. I’ve heard Mr. Fred Meyer would sit in a chair holding a small sauce pan in his hand. When the pan slipped out of his hand it and hit the floor it was time to wake up. ​
  • ​Put something like a coin or a stone in your pocket. When you feel stressed rub and say “Guide me” to what ever gives you strength. Don’t forget to say “Thank you”​
  • ​Get out the colored markers or crayons.​
  • ​Read a book, go ahead get lost in it. It will give your mind a break. ​
  • ​Make a gratitude list. Write at least 5 items daily. It might be, “I’m grateful I have toilet paper.”

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