This week No More Secrets (NMS) had our last movie night of 2020. Every year we have five movie nights complete with a potluck, each held on the last week of even numbered months with no movie night in December because that month we have our annual holiday party. Since April because of COVID-19 we have continued to hold the event but now online. We have been able to electronically replicate our coming together as a community minus the food and the hugs. We started Movie Night in October 2003 and since then we have come together for Eighty-six movie nights. No virus is going to stop us!

We start with a pre-movie Zoom meeting where we catch up with recovery brothers we have not seen in a while. This week we had thirty men come to the Zoom meeting and that included three first timers.  Sandwiched in between is Netflix party app so we can all see the movie at the same time. Once the movie is finished, we come back to a follow-up Zoom meeting to process what we saw and how it relates to addiction.  Even in this time of a pandemic we need community, maybe now even more than ever. Needless to say, we are making the best of a bad situation.

I recently saw Social Distance, a Netflix eight-part series that was filmed during COVID-19 and was about COVID’s impact on people, not on a global sense but on individuals. Each of the eight segments were between eighteen and twenty-three minutes in duration. They were each their own little vignette connected to this virus. For time concerns I chose five of the eight to focus on during our movie night, but all eight are compelling. 

Social Distance is an American streaming television anthology series created by Hilary Weisman Graham and Orange Is the New Black creator Jenji Kohan that premiered on October 15, 2020 on Netflix. The series was “conceived, cast and executed entirely remotely during quarantine”. The eight-part series, set during the beginning months of the COVID-19 pandemic, focuses on how families, friends, and couples were forced to cope with the effects of quarantine as well as the Black Lives Matter protests following the death of George Floyd. Each episode tells a different story and shows “the power of the human spirit in the face of uncertainty and isolation,” and how technology was used to stay connected during quarantine.

Here is a brief non spoiler peak at the 5 I chose:

A man talks to some of his friends and his AA group via Zoom about what he went through in the past and tries to stay sober.

A family grieves via Zoom after a member passes away. The family has numerous issues including arguments and unnecessary interruptions.

A bickering couple is brought to reality as they navigate the COVID-19 pandemic and other issues.

A man tries to take care of his four year old son as his wife suffers from COVID-19.

A young girl (about 17 years old) has a crush on a boy in her Esports team and is shy, so she turns to one of her friends for advice. In the end she is shocked to see some of the boy’s posts on social media.

The first piece about a recovery person of course resonated the most. Since March we have had several men really struggle with sobriety. Isolation is a BITCH! With an age range of 23 – 67 the truth is everyone related to some piece of the movie, it would be hard not to.

As we went back to our sheltering in place, wearing of masks and trying to maintain social distance it was good to leave it all behind at least for a few hours even if it was in a virtual world. But I do miss the hugs!

If this COVID-19 challenge is pushing you to a ledge you’re not happy being at and if you just want someone to talk to, feel free to contact me, and remember misery is optional.

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