How Work Can Play an Important Role in Recovery After Drug Rehab
After a person completes drug rehab one of the first things they will want to do is to re-enter the workplace. For a number of reasons finding and holding a job can be a significant test, but experts agree that engaging in meaningful work is crucial to successful recovery.
Although any purposeful occupation may generally qualify as work, for the person fresh out of addiction, holding a paying job will be one of the three legs upon which successful recovery rests. The other two legs of maintaining family support and the ongoing help found in the 12-step recovery group are also key, but it is the hard-earned paycheck which will move the person forward toward social contribution, economic stability and self-esteem.
- The regular income earned through work enables you to meet personal and family responsibilities, things you were unable to do while in drug rehab. Going to work each day will also foster independence and self-confidence.
- Work also contributes to your stability; something glaringly absent during your period of addiction. By contrast, regular work demands create an environment of stability. Work is a positive means of taking on responsibility and building toward future dreams and benefits.
- Meeting economic obligations is part of normalcy. Paying your bills on time makes you a contributing member of the larger community. Your family is a smaller community and the discipline of outside work will re-introduce you to the regular ongoing responsibilities at home as well as at work.
- Going to work is time well-spent. Without work a person becomes aimless and easily slips back into harmful patterns. Even if you take one job while you gain new training for another job, staying positively occupied is the way to get from here to there. Possibilities abound for the person who is willing to get into the habit of work.
- Working hard and working well produces an inner sense of accomplishment. It will brighten your attitude along with your sense of worth. Addiction robbed you of your ability to be a contributor. It often shreds a person’s self-image. Drug rehab helps you to identify these issues, and regular work will go a long way toward restoring a positive self-image. Pride in finishing assigned tasks and doing them well is an earned boost to your self-esteem.
- Holding a job allows you to show yourself responsible. Show up at work, turn in a day’s labor, deliver on what was asked of you and you prove yourself. You will begin to believe in you and soon, so will others.
- Work provides a community. Working together with others toward a common goal is important. Work is a place for shared experiences and camaraderie. A sense of belonging and contributing are healthy ingredients in the life of recovery.
- Work cannot fill every need you have, but part of feeling healed is feeling complete and work is an important aspect of that sense of wholeness.
The recovering life must stay connected to family and gain strength through those relationships. A life in recovery will need to be faithful to 12-step meetings to gain encouragement and renewed vision. But work is a crucial third leg through which many healings can come and upon which the recovering life will stand.