In sobriety money is something that sustains us all. Some people are driven by it, hoping to collect as much as they can, while others scorn it, believing money to be the root of all that is wrong with society. It is something that many of us think about on a daily basis, as we check our bank account balance 5 times throughout the day, hoping it didn’t go down, and even more so hoping that it magically went up. It is something that follows us into sleep, as we toss and turn worrying about how the bills will get paid, or how we don’t have as much as the person next to you, and for all that can be said, both good and bad about money, it is something that we need in order to live comfortably, but yet should not be something that masters us.
For the alcoholic or addict in recovery, we seek to be free from attachment to worldly things, or at least some of us do. We hope to transcend the issues of humanity through our spiritual practices and part of what that entails is not letting money rule our lives. In theory, this sounds wonderful, but in actual practice what most of us find is that when we have enough money, we are content, and when we don’t, we are preoccupied with how we can get enough money.
The reality is that there is nothing wrong with this, as it is part of being human and living in a society where money is a necessity. We innately understand that wealth or lack thereof is at least partially important in our daily lives, and because of this many of worry about job loss in sobriety.
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We may work jobs that we hate or jobs that we love, but at some point, we think about what would happen if job loss in sobriety occurred. Being alcoholic or addictively inclined, more than likely your mind goes to the worst case scenario and you think that if job loss in sobriety happened to you, you would instantly become homeless and wind up drinking or drugging yourself to death in an alleyway somewhere. As realistic as this sounds in your mind, it will more than likely not occur, as it doesn’t occur to most people, and if job loss in sobriety does occur, you hopefully will be given the opportunity to put to practice all that you have learned in recovery and overcome this challenge. You will hopefully learn how to become a better person because of it and learn how to be a better employee, or you will hopefully finally get the courage to break out and pursue your dream path, rather than settling.
How to Survive a Job Loss in Sobriety
If you are reading this then you may have just been let go from your job. The reason why you were let go is not necessarily important, but what is important is finding a way to sustain yourself monetarily and also learning the lessons that you need to learn.
It is important to understand that just about everything that occurs in our lives can be looked at as an opportunity to grow. Without sounding too Tony Robbins-ish, it is the reality of life. Sometimes terrible things occur and we can either grow from them or let them destroy us. We can become consumed with hate, guilt, shame, and anger or we can take a look inside and see what chains still need to come off.
This is not an easy task to do, but often times when the worst-case scenario in our life occurs, i.e. experiencing a job loss in sobriety, we are broken open so that we can grow as a person. If you were at a job that you hate and have wanted to get out of, then possibly the job loss was a blessing in disguise. To this same thought, if the job you just lost was one that you loved then you may have another lesson to learn. This is not to say that life is teaching you a lesson because something is innately wrong with you, but rather that life presents us with challenges, that allow us to grow, and it is up to us what we do with that.
While none of that may sound like a way to not relapse after experiencing a job loss, it is, in fact, the only way to avoid a relapse when you experience something that is against your plans in recovery. You have to maintain a perspective of perseverance and not fall into the thinking that just because you are sober everything should go your way. While it is okay to feel self-pity for a time being, if you wallow in these thoughts for too long, you can wind up becoming resentful at recovery and in turn wind up drinking.
Understand that losing your job is not the end of the world. It is not the ideal thing that could occur, but since you are in recovery you are lucky because you are engaged in a widespread social circle, with hundreds, if not thousands of people who can help you find work. Reach out to others and ask for help and more than likely work will show up.
Through all of this, it is important to continue to go to meetings, talk to your friends, and pray and believe me when I tell you, you will be able to survive a job loss in sobriety.
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