The goal of residential or inpatient treatment is always to get you on a healthy recovery plan and then reintegrate you back into society. For some, this can be a simple task, and for others, it causes a lot of anxiety. When returning from treatment, one of the first things that come to mind is how to return to work. Additionally, you may also wonder how to handle the discussions of where you have been. When returning to life after treatment, it can be hard to avoid these conversations and questions people may have for you.
Prepare a Reintegration Plan
Creating a reintegration plan can be a significant first step in preparing to return to work and home life. A reintegration plan is a set plan of goals, tasks, and potential obstacles you will have to face when you leave treatment.
Goals are critical when it comes to preparing for reintegration. You’ll find that now that you aren’t using substances, you have a clear mind. Having goals gives you something to work toward. This relates to the working environment in the sense that you can begin to aim for that promotion or better performance that was lacking before you entered treatment and recovery.
Create Healthy Habits
Part of your reintegration plan should be creating healthy habits for yourself. These should include things like consistent sleep, having a healthy work-life balance, and eating healthy. Without these things, you’ll find that your mental health will begin to decline, which is not conducive to performing well at work, school, or in daily life.
Choose Your Support System
Another thing to consider is building a solid support system. This list isn’t exclusive to friends and family; it can include coworkers as well. Reliable coworkers can hold you accountable in your recovery and can also help you deal with problematic issues like triggers and cravings. Your support system at work should be as strong as the one you have at home.
Create a Crisis Plan
When you exit recovery, consider creating crisis plans. When drafting your crisis plan, feel free to include strategies for work. You can do this by informing your work support system of your crisis plan. Tell close coworkers about it so they can pay attention to signs and if they notice any troubling behavior that may require action.
Handling the Hard Questions
This may be the most dreadful part about returning to work after treatment. You are likely worried about what people will think and what they’ll say. This is a very real fear, but there is no need to be worried about it.
Be prepared that you may be asked questions about your treatment. You can handle these situations by setting firm boundaries with people. Feel free to answer any question that you are comfortable with, but if the conversation heads in a direction that you are no longer comfortable with, you can simply say that it’s a private matter you don’t want to talk about. You’ll find that being honest about what is and isn’t comfortable for you is enough to deter people from asking questions you don’t feel like answering.
How You Can Continue Treatment at Home
Remember that having a healthy life is based on other factors that happen outside of work too. If your home life is good, that will bleed into your work life, so it is vital to keep up on the things that strengthen your recovery.
One core activity that strengthens recovery is attending meetings. You can find a 12-Step meeting just about anywhere at any time of the day. They not only help you stay sober, but they also help you develop effective communication skills with others in similar circumstances.
These communication skills will also carry over into the workplace. You’ll find that because of meetings, you have a much easier time dealing with difficult coworkers and hectic situations.
It Can Be Done
It may seem daunting trying to reintegrate into daily life once you have exited treatment. There are a lot of unknown factors to deal with, some of which you will need to face head-on, but it can be done. If you make an effective plan to protect yourself and your recovery, then you can surely succeed.
If you are having a difficult time reacclimating, utilize your support system. Reach out to friends, family, or places designed for healing, like Healing Pines Recovery. It is easy to overthink going back to work, but when you reach out for help, we can guide you through it.
When returning to work after treatment, there is always the fear that people are going to ask you where you have been. For some, it can be easy to answer questions and simply tell the truth; however, for others, there might still be some shame surrounding their substance use.
At Healing Pines Recovery, we offer the option to work through treatment while focusing on healing. We will also teach you the skills needed to prepare you for returning to the workforce, along with building up your self-confidence. This way, you don’t cling to feelings of shame, hold the confidence to explain yourself to others, or have the discipline to decline questions you don’t want to answer.
If you identify as male and are seeking treatment for addiction and substance use disorder, don’t hesitate to reach out to Healing Pines Recovery today at (720) 575-2621.