When we think about the challenges we face in recovery, the most obvious one is probably staying sober and resisting the temptation to use again. There are some additional, unseen challenges that we might not be aware of if we haven’t experienced them firsthand. These difficulties can be so overwhelming and disheartening that they deplete us of our willpower and contribute to our chances of relapsing. Many of these challenges are things people don’t necessarily want to talk about publicly, because there is still stigma surrounding them. People in recovery can suffer in silence and isolate themselves rather than seek out the help they need.
One unseen challenge that affects people in recovery is unemployment. Many of us lose our jobs because of our addictions or have to take time away from work to complete treatment. Once it’s time to reenter the workforce, we can find it harder than expected to pick up where we left off. Employers can be hesitant to employ us if they know of our history with addiction. Interviewers can take our lapse in work to mean we are undependable and not a good hiring choice. Even if we are working our recovery program successfully, hiring managers can assume we will fall off the wagon and be a liability. The stress that can come from joblessness can contribute to our inability to cope with the demands of life, leading us back to our drug of choice to try to escape that stress.
A harsh reality of unemployment is homelessness. We know that many addicts find themselves homeless because of their struggles with addiction, but what we may be less aware of is that many people still grapple with homelessness even when recovering. It can be tremendously difficult to get back on our feet after addiction has taken over our lives and totally destabilized us. If we can’t find work or if no one will rent to us, we can easily find ourselves homeless. Without the stability of work and shelter, we can become depressed and susceptible to relapsing.
When we are not financially independent, many of us find ourselves forced to be dependent on other people. Unfortunately for many of us, the relationships in our lives that developed out of our addiction are abusive, and in recovery we find ourselves dependent upon abusive partners. Domestic violence is a huge problem for people struggling with addiction and those already in recovery. When we can’t find the resources we need to make a life for ourselves and be independent, we are more easily caught in cycles of dependence and abuse.
The year following treatment is a vital time in our recovery. At Enlightened Solutions, we believe in supporting you after you’ve completed treatment. We have relationships with a number of sober living houses, and we also work with you on life skills and relapse prevention. Call us today: (833) 801-LIVE.