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A modern, community-based approach to addiction treatment for Men and Women in Charleston, SC

Should You Tell Your Boss You’re Sober?

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Many thoughts and fears may pop up once you choose to get sober. These thoughts can happen before getting sober, while getting sober, and in deciding to stay sober. The iconic author and philosopher, Kahlil Gibran famously said, “Our anxiety does not come from thinking about the future, but from wanting to control it.” This is true for everyone but may be especially true if you’re sober.

You’re Sober, Now What?

Many people are surprised when their sobriety does not fix every aspect of their lives. No, getting sober is not some “silver bullet” that is going to make all of life’s problems go away. However, getting sober can certainly make these problems much more manageable.

Sobriety takes work. It is about a lot more than simply putting down the drink or the drug. Sobriety means changing the way we act and behave in our everyday lives. This includes being rigorously honest in all areas of our lives. For too long, many of us spent our time being dishonest to protect and feed our addiction. This is certainly included in our work arena.

But, you’re sober now. So what does that mean for your occupational life? It means that it is time to get honest there too. However, one should be aware that, as with other professional settings, there is nuance to how to be honest but not offensive or shocking.

Managing Sobriety in the Workplace

The first part of being sober at work is to ensure that your sobriety is safe in that setting. Many people find that their work environment is no longer conducive to their sober lifestyle, and they choose to take another path.

Other people choose to make changes to their work environment to protect their sobriety. This may include making sure that you always have non-alcoholic beverages available for events, and that the right people are aware of your choice to stay sober.

Managing a Healthy Sober Work/Life Balance

It is also important not to get too stressed out over work, or to take on too much of a workload. Work stress is one of those things that can easily lead to a relapse, and relapses are more common than people think.

According to the journal, Current Psychiatry Reports, “Recent estimates from clinical treatment studies suggest that more than two-thirds of individuals relapse within weeks to months of initiating treatment. For 1-year outcomes across alcohol, nicotine, weight, and illicit drug abuse, studies show that more than 85% of individuals relapse and return to drug use within one year of treatment.” So making sure that you have as little work stress as possible and letting HR know if you are feeling overwhelmed is crucial.

It is also important to maintain a healthy work/life balance so that work does not overshadow your sobriety. Remember, you’re sober, and you worked very hard to get there, so make sure it stays at the forefront. Part of making sure you do that is having an open and honest conversation with your boss.

Should You Tell Your Boss You’re Sober?

So, should you tell your boss you’re sober? While everyone must make this decision for themselves, the healthy answer would be yes. There are many reasons for this.

One, it is better to tell your boss, than having them find out for themselves. This can make you look as though you’re hiding something which can come across as deceptive. Two, you probably don’t want to be working for someone who is going to negatively judge you for your sobriety anyway. Three, you may be surprised at how happy your boss may be to now have a much more alert and potentially productive employee.

Now, does this honesty mean that you have to tell your boss every detail of what your active addiction looks like (many people in recovery call these the “horror stories”)? No, of course not. You can be wholly honest while also being brief and to the point. Telling your boss you’re sober can be as simple as “I had some trouble with alcohol and or substances and I have decided to make some changes and get sober.” If they ask why. A simple, “I feel better sober” can suffice.

From there, you can decline to discuss further details, as they “do not pertain to the conversation anyway.” As you can see, you can be completely honest, while also being professional, polite, and discreet.

Maintaining Sobriety With Lantana Recovery

Remember, in getting sober, you have done one of the hardest things a person may ever have to do. Now, reward yourself by keeping it the most important thing in your life.

Here at Lantana Recovery, we believe that sobriety is best enjoyed when we can be totally honest with ourselves and others. When we do this, we can be masters of our own destiny and fear no backlash from anyone, whether it be at work or any other area of life.

Navigating recovery while at work can be difficult and demanding, but it doesn’t have to be. There are many ways that one can find a healthy work/life balance while also ensuring that they are in a safe and sober workplace. This includes knowing the right people to talk to about one’s sobriety, addressing addiction stigma in the workplace, and knowing when a job or occupation may be detrimental to one’s recovery. If you feel like you or someone you love is struggling with issues of addiction, we can help get you on the right road to recovery. For more information about managing sobriety in the workplace, please reach out to Lantana Recovery today at (866) 997-2870.

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Charleston South Carolina

Charleston South Carolina

Located on the historic peninsula of Charleston, South Carolina, Lantana Recovery takes a modern approach to Substance Use Disorder treatment, offering intensive clinical care while also immersing our clients in local Charleston culture.