Work-life Balance

Ninety percent of the time, those who are working to be successful and be affluent in life while also working through recovery from previous addiction are the ones who have the highest likelihood of staying clean and sober indefinitely.

For these reasons and then some, I always encourage those who do make it through rehab and come out the other end clean and sober to really put their maximum effort in and pursue their dreams and their goals as professional individuals. Even if they are met with resistance on pursuing their goals from their family members or loved ones I still recommend that they pursue their highest goals. Time and time again, I’ve seen recovering addicts go from struggling to completely successful and totally stable in mere weeks.

However, when one’s career becomes something that might bring about a relapse, that’s when I recommend that the individual take a step back and wind down for a minute. Realistically, though, how does one know when one is teetering on the edge of a dangerous situation with one’s sobriety and one’s career? There are a few common signs:

  1. You’re stressed out more often than not. A career is stressful from time to time. Sometimes career stresses become something so common that it feels that you are stressed more often than not. As a recovering addict, it is your responsibility to stay clean and sober for the rest of your life, but if you start getting overly stressed out, that could increase the risk of relapse.
  2. You start thinking about the, “Good old times.” This is one big danger sign right here. When you start thinking about your days as a drug or alcohol addict that’s when you really need to take a step back and re-evaluate. This is when your life has taken on a level of stress and difficulty where your substance abuse seems more appealing than your chosen career.
  3. Drug addiction is something that comes about because someone has decided that life is too stressful or upsetting to manage without something that can make all of that go away. If your career, job, or chosen passion is becoming stressful or difficult enough that you feel as though you might relapse because of it, then you need to slow down and take it back a notch. In this situation you need to take a look at the key aspects of life that are causing your career to be so stressful. Find these, handle them, and get back to work!
  4. You’re starting to talk to or hang out with your, “Old crew.” Nothing good can come from being connected to people who are still abusing drugs and alcohol, even if they are your very own family members or loved ones. For your own safety and sobriety, you must never socialize or communicate with those who may be a negative influence on you and those who might inspire you to go back to abusing drugs and alcohol.

These are the signs and symptoms of stress in a career that might lead to relapse. There are certainly more, but these are the most common ones that I have seen. Keep an eye out for them and be sure to avoid them at all costs. If you have to take your passion and level of activity down a notch to protect yourself from a potential relapse, then it will be worth it in the long run.

Your sobriety and your everlasting recovery are far more than your important job. Don’t completely drop your career and give up on it, but if you feel yourself edging on the potentiality of a relapse then it might be best to slow down for a minute and reassess the key aspects of your life that are causing you so much stress.

One More Thing…

If you are ever feeling stuck, take some time to stop and re-evaluate. I recommend the book Designing Your Life, in part it is a workbook that will help you decide if you need to modify your current job responsibilities or start searching for a new job all together. Thanks to that book, I got my butt off the floor and decided that I wanted to become a personal trainer and a writer.