Addiction treatment and recovery is a great time to take a step back from life, to evaluate your goals, and to focus on your health and wellness. While many people also take a break from work during this time, for others, going back to work is actually part of the healing process and will occur during residential treatment or intensive outpatient treatment.
There are many benefits to returning to work during recovery. It will help establish stability in your life, get you into a routine, build your self-confidence, hold you to a higher level of responsibility, and provide you with a way to interact positively with others. The added benefits of a steady income and the ability to maintain a career also make returning to work during recovery a positive experience for many.
Returning to work during inpatient drug rehab can be difficult, but there are some things you can do to prepare for it:
First of all, talk to your therapist. If you are even considering returning to work, it should be under the advice of your treatment professional. Your therapist can give you direction about appropriate workload at your stage of recovery and give you techniques for relaxation and stress management when days get tough.
Enlist the help of others. Once it has been decided that you should return to work, it is time to decide what you want to tell your boss and co-workers about the situation. While many people’s instinct tells them to keep their rehab a secret, those who are open and honest about their recovery find that they have a wonderful support system at work. Some work environments that are critical and competitive are not be the best place to share what might be deemed a weakness by many. But those who work in an emotionally safe and understanding environment can benefit from the support of co-workers and supervisors. With the help of your therapist, decide how much to disclose to your employer and co-workers.
Finally, take care of yourself. Work can be stressful, and many people in residential treatment who go back to work try to jump in as if nothing ever happened. Understand your limitations. Give yourself extra time to unwind when things get tense at work. Remove yourself from negative influences, and above all, remain committed your treatment and recovery.