Finding Your “Why”: How Careers Give Purpose to Addicts

To truly find sobriety and maintain a level of ever-lasting abstinence from drugs and alcohol, one must find purpose.  One must find a true calling of sorts in life, and for many recovering addicts, this true calling that can help them achieve permanent sobriety is in finding a new career for them.

Drug and alcohol addiction and substance abuse, in general, is an all-consuming, all-involving activity.  It is an actual passion that people become totally reliant and dependent upon.  It takes a person over, and only a lot of work and a strong degree of effort can help such a person beat the habit for good.  Substance abuse is a life-threatening condition, yet it is a consistently daily activity for those who engage in it.  To escape addiction, one must be able to find their way out of the morass that is addiction.  This starts with rehabilitation of an inpatient nature, and for many, it ends with them finding a career that is so important to them that it can help keep them on the straight and narrow.

Finding Your Why

There are a couple ways that recovering addicts find their purpose, find their “Why”, and essentially gain the resolve and the intention to accomplish greatness in a new career, or in a continuation of a career that they already had before they became addicted to drugs and alcohol.

Here are four great ways to find your Why, and to figure out exactly what you need to be doing to stay sober and free from substance abuse:

  1. Find what truly makes you feel alive.  What have you always enjoyed doing?  What, when you do it, makes you the happiest?  What activities in your life do you enjoy the most?  What types of jobs have you had that you really liked?  Prior to becoming addicted to drugs and alcohol, what course of action were you pursuing?
  2. What are your innate strengths?  What exactly are you good at?  Focus on your strong areas and try to discern what you should be doing, based off of those strengths.  Take into account your weaknesses too.  While you should be sure to monitor your weaknesses and work on them, don’t focus on them too much.
  3. What types of work do you enjoy the most?  You might have things that you are good at, perhaps a job you had prior to becoming addicted or prior to going to treatment. However, if you really didn’t like it, then pursuing that job probably would not be the best idea.  Take into account the things that you don’t like to do, and avoid those as career options.
  4. How do you assess your life?  Now that you are recovered and sober from drug and alcohol addiction, it is time to start thinking about how you are going to live your life.  Career’s aside, what do you want your life to look like?  How much work do you want to do?  Where do you plan to live?  Who do you want to surround yourself with?  Asking yourself these questions and getting answers is a great way to find out exactly what you should be doing now, and the steps that you should be taking in present time to set yourself up for the future.

The Life of a Recovered Addict

A lot of people say that it is not the addicts themselves that have a hard time, but the recovered addicts that have it the worst.  Especially for the first few years after beating addiction, life for a recovered addict is not easy by any means at all.  In fact, it is quite difficult.  There is a lot of pressure on recovered addicts to do well and to succeed in life.  There is a lot of pressure on them to be successful and to take life in their hands and just go with it.  However, the threat of relapse is always there, looming just out of sight.  Find a career path and get involved with it, and you’ve effectively taken the first step towards keeping a potential relapse away for good.

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