Work is one of the most integral parts of our lives. It’s something that bring self-worth to many individuals, a purpose for moving on, and it also supports us as we try to advance ourselves. Going back to work after recovery and rehab can be difficult, no matter the circumstances. But, difficult isn’t the same as impossible!
If you were abusing any substance, there’s a good chance that your performance at whatever job you had was lacking. Your energy levels probably reduced, making it difficult to be effective at work or to concentrate on anything except getting back home after the day. If you still have the same job you did before, it’s a good idea to put some of your focus into work and build up your performance again.
You’ll need to prove yourself again and gain a better reputation as a solid worker who gets the job done. Going back to work and trying hard to improve your performance will also give you something to help fill up your time and focus again, which is a useful step towards full recovery. Just don’t get too caught up in the work that you start to feel addicted to it! Take care of yourself at all times.
Making accomplishments at work is one way that many people build a greater sense of purpose and worth. This can be a fantastic way for you to start to rebuild your self-esteem in your new life without the substance which once controlled you. Being good at your job is something you can be proud of, and it may bring you more opportunities to advance yourself and move forward towards your life goals.
In the US, it’s easier to re-enter the job market than you might think. Some US laws protect you from ever having to reveal if you have a substance abuse issue, or if you’ve been through rehab. Even if you’re currently in rehab, you don’t usually have to reveal it to your potential employer, and you may be protected from being refused a job for this reason.
However, if you have anything on your criminal record related to your drug use, you are still required to be open about that if asked by your employer. Criminal charges are not the same as drug rehabilitation, even if you committed the crimes while under the influence of a substance of any kind. Make sure you know about the laws in your area before you fill out any job applications for a new position after recovery.
Going back to rejoin the workforce is a huge step towards living a normal life again. Don’t discount the importance of what you’re doing, even if it feels like a little thing to you. It’s important to help yourself feel like a normal, productive part of society if you want the highest chances of full recovery and a sustained clean life.