Returning to the job after treatment for addiction to drugs or alcohol can feel daunting and mentally exhausting. Even if only a select few people know about the addiction rehab and your return, it can feel like all eyes are on you now. Whatever happened when you had an addiction, you may feel you have something to prove professionally when you arrive back at work following rehab. Find some tips on how you as a professional can get past workplace stigma and create space for healing.
Going back into work that day you finally arrive is momentous (and stressful). With all the self-blame, guilt, and shame you heap on yourself, you may be worried others are waiting in line to do the same. Stigma is part of the journey of recovery from addiction because lots of people have preconceived notions of what it means to struggle with addiction. The return is complex and produces high levels of anxiety. You may end up wandering straight into the fears others have around used substances. helps to not think about how others perceive you and start to think more about how you can navigate recovery for yourself and stay clean.
Body and Mind
When you need to get your body and mind straight, you just put one foot in front of the other. It is all about going in a straight line from here on out, not wandering in and out of addiction. Even if eyes are on you, you can manage the stigma with not allowing their thoughts and feelings to cloud what you need to do. Every day, it will become easier to do a good job and accumulate goodwill. Within weeks, you may find that you are getting into a routine that works for you and people are not as opposed to your presence.
Communication is Key
When you communicate openly, you are stating to others you believe in their ability to see who you are without over-explaining yourself. There is a certain amount of anxiety around recovery but you can navigate it by letting people know they can still treat you as a human being. You have certain things to work on, and you don’t owe anybody any stories about your recovery (or addiction). However, you know what you need to do so professionally you can rise back to the place you were before addiction took hold. People will not hold negative attitudes forever if you are doing the work, proving yourself worthy, and sticking to recovery principles like one step at a time. The best way to defeat stigma is to confront it head on and keep moving forward.
Professional stigma can feel shaming and negating. Our recovery program is staffed by people who understand the power of addiction. For more information about sober living programs for men and women as well as recovery programs, call (877) 377-3702.