Job loss is a big deal, even for those not in recovery. Life happens, however, and sometimes the loss of a job is out of your control. Whether it’s the economy or simply not being the right fit, losing your job can hurt your self-esteem. It’s one of the most stressful things a person can go through, but you must believe you can make it through to the other side and grow from the experience.
If you lost a job during your addiction, it might be hard to separate the feelings you have about your current situation from emotions about your past. Today, however, is a new day. You’re not the same person in sobriety that you were when you were using. As a sober person, you have a lot of great tools to help you cope with your current situation. Now is the time to use those tools.
Acknowledging the Feelings
It’s normal to feel sad or grieve job loss. After all, you probably made a few friends at your workplace. Maybe you really liked the work and the people you worked with there. A good job can also add self-confidence and a sense of worth to your life. When you lose a job, these feelings may suffer.
Acknowledge these feelings, and remember that this too shall pass. You may grieve for the job and the things it represented. Or maybe you are upset about the loss of financial security and the ability to provide for yourself or your family. Being sad is okay – but don’t wallow. Take some time to journal, beat up a pillow, or go for a run every day. These small acts of self-care can help you cope with your feelings.
Job loss can put a person through a lot of emotions. You may even have a desire to drink or use drugs. The great thing about being in recovery is that you don’t have to act on these feelings. Instead, allow yourself to have feelings. Share them with your sponsor and your support network. And don’t stop sharing them whenever you feel down – you’re not alone, and you’re certainly not the first person in recovery to lose a job.
After Job Loss Comes Job Seeking
You probably will want to try to find a new job immediately. Providing for yourself or your family is a real-world need. Make sure you get your resume together as well as a list of references. (Ask for help if you need it!)
Before you do anything else, find out about what unemployment benefits are available to you so that you can have some income right away. As a person in recovery, you’re going to need to look for solutions, even if it is humbling. Your state probably offers unemployment benefits, and depending on your needs, you may want to apply for EBT/food stamps as well. Taking care of these needs is essential so that you can focus on job seeking and your recovery.
Your state unemployment office will probably have a job database that you can look through every few days. Commit to apply for a certain number of jobs every week. Ask people in recovery for any work leads as well. There’s nothing shameful about needing a new job and getting help with your search.
Losing a job can be humbling, but it’s a part of life for most people. Doing the work and taking care of yourself can help you with the search for a new job. Just remember – without your sobriety, you can’t improve your life.
You CAN get through this by leaning on others and putting in the footwork. Don’t pick up a drink or drug, no matter what! If you want to use or drink, get yourself to a meeting and raise your hand. You deserve to stay sober and find a great new workplace.
Considering Sober Living?
A sober living home is a great jumping-off point for many people coming home from treatment. In a safe, friendly environment, you can learn to live life on its own terms, without the use of alcohol or drugs. Get help finding a place to live! You can call us at 760-216-2077. We can answer any questions you have.