For the person who has completed an alcohol detox program, getting back to work might be the most enduring part of their recovery. Alcohol addiction takes a toll on a person’s mental energy. Between the hunt for a quick fix to the stress of hiding a drinking habit from loved ones, a dangerous level of stamina is connected to this unhealthy compulsion.
Challenges Post Alcohol Rehab
The good news for anyone who is suffering from this type of addiction is they can be relieved of this burden once they seek help. However, following an alcohol detox guide, recovering and maintaining sobriety does not keep the disease off their minds. One silver lining is giving up the addiction, the same energy used to sustain alcohol abuse can be expended elsewhere – like on the job.
Getting back to normal for days and weeks after completing a rehabilitation program, reaching a level of normalcy amid the stress may feel daunting. This can be particularly difficult once it is time to return to work. Quite often, a person’s alcohol addiction impacted his or her job performance. When this is the case, the fact that those negative behaviors almost jeopardized the person’s career can leave a lot of questions.
The person may wonder if acceptance is ever a possibility when coworkers may have witnessed some of the fallout from the addiction. The person remembers disastrous mistakes that made the rumors and coming close to losing it all. A damaged professional reputation and relationships can make returning to work less appealing. However, returning to work might be the best replacement for the alcohol addiction.
Use Your Job As A Distraction
The job becomes a distraction because work keeps the person busy. Staying busy helps to keep their former habit off of their mind. A busy schedule provides an opportunity to push negative internalizations aside. Structure in the workplace replicates rehabilitation programs similar to the structure a person became accustomed to during rehab, the workplace also provides a structured environment. During rehab, patients receive set schedules to follow.
Typically, this includes:
- Morning group sessions
- Afternoon appointments with the doctor
- Meals served at set times throughout the day
How Work Structure Helps
The purpose of this regimen is to keep patients focused on recovering. Once they leave the treatment program, finding that type of structure might be difficult. Steady employment becomes a good replacement. In addition, responsibilities of a job keep a person focused. Distractions are not the problem that they once were before rehab.
With a job, the person is expected to arrive at a specific location at a set time five days a week. They are responsible for meeting deadlines for tasks each day. Equally important is there are people depending on them getting the job done. There are also consequences for not completing tasks.
Work Becomes A Substance-Free Sanctuary
A person’s job can also provide a substance-free sanctuary. For most people who have overcome alcohol addiction, the workplace is one of the few dependable places where distractions and chances for relapse do not exist. For the person who has an alcohol-friendly occupation such as food service or hospitality, this might be the perfect time for a career change.
Work environments that capitalize in the latest trend of having a millennial-friendly atmosphere with beer fridges and company-sponsored happy hours should definitely be avoided. Otherwise, the person may struggle with the confidence of passing work hours without being tempted.
Finding The Right Support System At Work
Generally, there will always be someone at work who will keep a watchful eye on a recovering addict. While some people may want to keep their past addiction private, they should weigh anonymity against being honest. Sharing their progress with the HR representative, the boss or a trusted coworker can help them in a number of ways.
During those early months of post-alcohol addiction, it is crucial to be surrounded by supportive people who will keep an eye open for warning signs of a possible setback. These are the people who are not afraid to speak up if the person appears to fall off – or come close to falling off – the wagon. Dependable colleagues can become an extra line of defense for the person’s sobriety. They can check in with the person at the end of a stressful day; they will never extend happy hour invitations when they know the person is a recovering alcoholic.
Questions about drinking at the company Christmas party are never a concern. Furthermore, they will not use peer pressure to suggest the person should partake in libations. Having as much support as possible during recovery is beneficial to the person successfully staying sober.