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Fear of Professional Failure and Addiction

A man puts his arm around his wife as they sit on a couch to comfort her.
Losing a job is stressful and emotionally draining, especially for those in recovery from addiction.

Losing your job causes both financial stress and a huge blow to your self-esteem.

That’s difficult for anyone—at any time. But it’s especially difficult for those who have recently tackled an addiction to drugs or alcohol and are in recovery.

What Not to Say

According to the business magazine Fast Company, there are certain things you should avoid saying to someone who has just lost his or her job.

At the top of the list is telling them not to worry because everything will work out in the end. Unless you really don’t need the money, losing a job is something to be concerned about.

Other bad ideas? Telling them about someone who has it worse than them (does that ever help?), chastising them for being negative and using the job loss as a segue to rant about politics.

So What is Helpful?

When someone is facing a loss, one of the most helpful things we can often do is just to be there and listen. Ask your loved one how they are feeling—and then really and truly listen, without rushing to come up with a solution.

Depending on your skills, you might also offer to help brainstorm networking ideas and share contacts who may be helpful in your loved one’s job search.

Lastly, it never hurts to simply ask how you can help.

Continue to Support Your Loved One’s Recovery

This is obviously a stressful time for your loved one. He or she has already been through so much and you’re right to be concerned about the effect this job loss will have.

At the same time, if your loved one has been to a quality treatment program, he or she is prepared for this. Life is full of hurdles and challenges, which is why learning coping skills is such a fundamental part of what happens at rehab.

So what can you do?

The same things you’ve likely already been doing. Continue to offer support by being an active listener and encouraging your loved one to attend meetings or spend time with sober friends.

Remind your loved one about the coping skills he or she has learned. Also offer a reminder that it’s not a sign of weakness to seek help from a therapist, if necessary.

Encourage healthy activities by suggesting an afternoon hike or taking a trip to a bookstore together. Don’t let the loss of a job be an excuse to put life—and personal growth—on hold.

About The Raleigh House

The Raleigh House is a treatment center located in Denver where residents are given the help they need to rebuild their lives. Our team of experts works together to tackle both the physical and mental aspects of addiction. Fill out our form or contact us today to learn more about our drug and alcohol addiction treatment programs.

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