Get-Well Jobs: The Value of Low-Stress Jobs in Early Recovery

Get-Well Jobs: The Value of Low-Stress Jobs in Early Recovery

Some men come to recovery at the peak of their career. Some, just the beginning of their career. Some men are in school training for their desired career. Men can be in high pressure jobs, executive positions, and develop alcoholism. Men can be scientists, poets, athletes, dancers, explorers, and develop addiction. Some men are in jobs they’ve had for years that they’ve sustained. Other men have been unemployed as a result of their addiction for some time.

Once a man makes the decision to seek treatment for his drug and/or alcohol problem, he is committing to taking three months or more off from work. During that time he will focus exclusively on rehabilitating his mental, physical, and spiritual wellness in order to fully adopt critical life skills for sustainable recovery. Taking the time off for treatment is necessary so that as many stressors which might inspire relapse are as removed as possible. Work can cause many levels of stress which can quickly inspire relapse to a newly recovered man. Adjusting to professional pressure takes time. Many men who graduate treatment turn to “Get-well jobs” to ease the transition into employment, accountability, and responsibility outside of treatment.

A banker might get a job at a hardware store. An architectural engineer might take a position at a bike shop. A seasoned touring musician might spend some time giving private lessons. Get-well jobs do not include the rigorous schedules and high expectations that other careers might. Free-time, manageable hours, and fewer responsibilities help create a regular pattern of showing up to work, completing shifts, fulfilling requirements, and earning an honest paycheck.

Addiction is largely a reaction to stress. Mind altering substances change brain structure and the way the brain works. Drugs and alcohol structure the brain in a way that emphasizes turning to pleasure in response to any kind of stress. Pleasure, as it is chemically produced in the brain, becomes completely dependent upon the consumption of drugs and alcohol. Any kind of craving for pleasure, like the need to cope with stress, automatically signals obsessive cravings for drugs and alcohol. In the beginning stages of recovery, coping with those uncomfortable cravings is a challenge. Like learning to walk, it takes time before a man with recovery can stand firmly on both feet. Attempting to run a marathon or withstand a wind tunnel would be unwise. “Get-well” jobs offer men in recovery time to get their sea legs so that when they return to their career once more they will stand strong in their sobriety.

At Tree House Recovery, we’re helping men find freedom from addiction. Our treatment programs create sustainable change for sustainable recovery by helping men find their strength in body, mind, and spirit. For information on our Orange County programs, call us today: (855) 202-2138

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