Losing a job is something that happens to millions of people throughout their lives and is especially relevant now due to COVID-19. Because of the pandemic’s impact on the U.S. economy, more than 4 million Americans have been laid off from their jobs and many have been forced to change careers due to mass hiring freezes.
Regardless of whether you deserved it or not, being unemployed can be incredibly stressful. The financial instability is enough to cause mental instability, too, and we may immediately resort to our preferred coping mechanism. For many people, including those with past addictions, it can be tempting to drink alcohol or use drugs. How can we work through this tough time without turning to dangerous old habits and becoming addicted again?
Below are some tips to help you stay sober after you’ve been fired or laid off from your job:
- Continue going to therapy: Feeling tempted to drink or use drugs again isn’t anything to be ashamed of. It’s important to honor your feelings during this time and talking about what you’re going through with your therapist can help. Therapy can also help you understand your motivations and remind you that healing takes time and effort.
- Lean on your support system: If you’ve to reach out for treatment for your addiction before, you know that asking for help can be hard. You may feel especially ashamed to ask your friends or family for support because you lost your job, but it’s important to tell yourself that this is a life experience that countless people go through. Your loved ones may be able to give you advice and spend time with you so you don’t have to be alone.
- Take one day at a time: When life gets tough and you feel the need to drink or use drugs, it can feel like a lot of work to just get yourself out of bed in the morning. However, focusing on taking things one step at a time can help you avoid feeling overwhelmed. Simply getting up, taking a shower, and feeding yourself can feel like achievements, and that’s not a bad thing.
- Utilize your sobriety toolbox: You may have learned a lot of tools during addiction treatment to help you stay sober during weak moments. Whether it’s taking deep breaths, doing yoga, or jotting down your thoughts in a journal, take the time to utilize the mechanisms you’ve been taught.
Sobriety can be hard when you’re dealing with a major life transition and struggling to keep yourself afloat, but sticking to your commitment to living an alcohol or drug-free life can be the one thing that gives you strength. At the end of the day, it’s important to remind yourself that even in your darkest moments, you are never alone. There is always someone nearby who cares about you and understands what you may be going through.
Working Towards Your Future
At The Carter Treatment Center, we know sobriety isn’t something that is achieved overnight, especially when our patients have been struggling with long-term addiction. Even when you complete detox and outpatient treatment, the road to recovery is still long, and there are plenty of obstacles that lie ahead.
All of this is why our team takes a holistic approach to substance abuse treatment. We don’t just focus on treating addiction, but on skill-building as well. Our patients leave our center with everything they need to stay sober, and we also offer aftercare services like sober coaches and ongoing therapy. Struggling after treatment is natural – we’re here to offer support to get you back on track.