Your rock bottom does not have to come after you have lost everything. You don’t have to be homeless and without a job before you realize you need help. Maybe your relationships are falling apart and your job performance begins to deteriorate. Work stress and deadline pressures have you running to happy hour. Or you are popping pills just to get through the day.
You know you are struggling with drugs or alcohol and your life has become unmanageable.
Admitting you have a problem really is the first step in getting well.
So, you reach out to the human resources department at work and are honest. You ask for help and begin treatment at an inpatient facility that can help you find some freedom. You get through the detox, the therapy, the meetings, and complete the program.
Now, it’s time to re enter life and get back to work. Returning to your job may seem stressful, daunting, and overwhelming. Having a plan before jumping back into the grind is essential for your recovery.
Speak With Your Therapist About Returning to Work
Before leaving treatment, make sure that you and your therapist have discussed your concerns about returning to work. They will be able to give you advice on dealing with situations that may make it difficult to stay clean and sober. Put together a game plan for support and after-care resources. Be honest about your concerns. If you do not feel ready to return back to work full-time, discuss your options with your employer.
Be prepared to face questions, your coworkers will naturally be concerned about your leave of absence. Those you have a close relationship may be aware of your struggles. It’s important to have a plan in place so that you won’t feel put on the spot when you’re asked about your absence.
You might be worried about what people may say if they know the truth. While there is still a stigma associated with addiction, substance abuse is very common in the workplace. According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD), more than 70 percent of those abusing illicit drugs in America are employed, as are most binge drinkers.
How to Respond to Clients
Before speaking with clients, talk to your boss to learn the best way to respond to your clients’ questions regarding your leave of absence. In most cases, informing clients that you took a leave of absence due to a personal issue or a medical issue is acceptable. Most clients are likely to remain understanding and will simply be glad to have you back in their lives.
Build a sober network
If you choose to be open with select colleagues, you may be surprised to find others that have battled addiction. You may even help somebody that is currently struggling. Outside of work, attend 12 step meetings and surround yourself with those on the same mission as you – to stay clean and sober. Spend time with close family members and friends to rebuild your strength, self-confidence, and self-esteem.
Overcoming addictive behavior requires working through a myriad of challenges and obstacles each day. Work is stressful. Life can be tough for anybody. Learning how to live life on life’s terms is an important part of the recovery process. Getting back to work is an opportunity to prove to yourself how far you’ve come.