The Right Way to Return to Your Job After Rehab
Returning to work after a long weekend can feel daunting, so for people who have spent a significant amount of time in rehab, the idea of heading back to a job, even one that’s part-time, may seem overwhelming. While your health and recovery are of the utmost importance, there’s going to be a time when you’ll have to head back to the working world.
You’ll almost certainly have some questions and details to iron out before returning to work. At Prosperity Haven, we take the time to practice life skills with you during rehab and prepare you for real-life situations, and that includes getting you back into the workplace.
Returning to Working After Rehab
You may be in a position where your job will be waiting for you upon your return from rehab, in which case, people are likely going to ask questions about your absence. During rehab, it’s a good idea to formulate how you’ll respond, whether that’s asking for privacy, telling some partial truths, or determining who you’ll trust with what information.
There’s also the matter of your capacity to perform at work. If you were in a high-stress position before, you may need to dial things back for a while. Going too hard too fast might jeopardize your mental health and newfound sobriety.
However, you may not have the same job waiting for you after completing rehab, or perhaps you might not want to due to various concerns you might have about its stress levels, your coworkers, or other things.
Finding a Job or Changing Careers in Rehab
Some employers like to ask about “gaps in employment,” and unfortunately, 90 days of rehab (give or take) can qualify as a gap. While it’s in your best interest to be honest, that doesn’t mean you have to get into detail if you fear it will hurt your chances at employment.
Though employers are bound by law not to take your substance abuse history into account, they might do so anyway. What you can do is position it as “a healthcare issue” you needed to take time off for, or perhaps as “a family matter.” Those are both true statements that still offer you some cover or privacy, and you can assure your employer that you’ve worked through it.
If the nature of your previous career, not just one single workplace, was strongly contributing to your need to go to rehab, then it might be time to consider a new career, or at least a new job within that field. For example, the stresses of a high-stakes job such as a firefighter or healthcare worker might have been a factor in developing a drinking problem, and it might not be healthy to return to that.
Seek Help from Your Support Network
Many people feel ashamed or guilty after suffering a relapse, but it doesn’t have to send you all the way to the beginning of your journey in recovery. There is still an opportunity for you to get back on track and continue to live a sober lifestyle. The best way to do this is to seek guidance from your peers in a 12-Step Group, or the people you went through rehab or sober living with — be honest and accountable about what happened and lean on them for support through this difficult time.
There are, however, larger relapses that will require professional help. “Go back to rehab” feels like obvious advice, but it’s worth including here. If you went to the emergency room for a broken arm, and then the arm broke again, you wouldn’t just leave it be. You’d go back for professional help. It’s the same with any addiction or chronic substance abuse issue. Nobody deserves to have to go through this alone. In fact, professional help is the best way to get back on track in recovery.
Getting Back to Work with Prosperity Haven
Rehab is not just a time to get clean — it’s a time to evaluate a number of aspects of your life. At Prosperity Haven, we help you look at all the factors that brought you to this point in your life, and then work with you on deciding what things are worth keeping around — and can best help you in your sobriety journey.
We’re an all-male rehab facility that uses a combination of evidence-based and holistic therapies to understand our clients’ individual needs and set them up for success in recovery. By giving clients a full continuum of care, we create a strong foundation for a happy, healthy, sober lifestyle.
If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, contact Prosperity Haven to learn how we can help.
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