March 16, 2020

Dear Hope Nation,

As we await the unfolding of the coronavirus here in the United States, I want to remind you of something you know but may be in danger of forgetting: You don’t have to use.

If your work is canceled and you’ve got time on your hands, you don’t have to use.

If you’re working 16 hours a day at your job, you don’t have to use.

If you’re tested for coronavirus and the results are negative, you don’t have to use.

If you’re tested and the results are positive, you don’t have to use.

As a man in long-term recovery from opiates, alcohol and any other damn substance I could use to escape myself, I know the temptation to pick up. I, like you, know how to feel significantly better for a short time—using a needle, a bottle, a straw or other instrument—but I also know I don’t have to use.

And neither do you.

Please, please, please don’t pick up anything but a telephone, and use it to call for help and support. Call a friend in recovery. Call your sister. If you don’t have anyone else to call, call me (603)361-6266.

Just don’t call your dealer or the liquor store.

We’ll get through this. Really we will. We just need to stick together emotionally and spiritually, even while we remain physically apart.

You matter. I matter. We Matter.

Best,

Keith