Working Isn’t Part of Recovery?


     I remember when my son’s therapist at his first rehab told me that he should not be working and he needed to focus totally on his recovery. My response was, well that would be nice, but it’s not an option, I cannot afford to support an adult child. My son even disagreed with the counselor telling him that idle time was his worst enemy. So many people I know with addicted adult children bear the financial burden of taking care of them for years…… I just don’t see how staying home, sleeping late and doing NOTHING all day helps them recover. Then there are the 90 day rehabs then onto a sober living home for a year or more. I could not do that for my son, I did not have the financial means. Maybe I am crazy but I wanted him working. When crises happen in my life and there is addict drama and I am having a meltdown it isn’t an option to leave my job to “recover”.


     Well said.

     Working is a part of recovery, and an integral part at that, especially when we have been walking backwards for so many years and owe financial amends to many. In fact, failure to make amends to our creditors, our friends and our families in this way is a direct path to relapse. The entire point of recovery is to finally stop depending on and taking from those who have had to carry our weight for so long.

     Sure at times we must go heavier in one department vs another, but our recovery is wholistic and involves working, spiritual and family. We must balance all three, but neglecting either is not an option. This is why therapists have no business working with addicts. They do not understand addiction. They have not recovered themselves, nor have they sufficiently studied the Big Book.

     And I agree with you profusely about your last point. We addicts get sick by our own selfishness, tear everything apart, break your heart and then it is we who get to go away to our cushy treatment centers to nourish our souls and work on ourselves, when the truth is that our families deserve a retreat more than we ever will, and yet, they are the ones who must remain to trod on and deal with everything.

      It’s very similar to the way the government treats the middle class. He who works the hardest and does the right and responsible thing gets screwed the most, despite the fact the taxing people is deflationary and therefore depresses economic growth.

One thought on “Working Isn’t Part of Recovery?

  1. OMG do I love this comment and your response. I so wish I could go away to a “rehab” for 90 days. Have my days structured, food prepared for me, sit in group and talk about MYSELF! Go to yoga and meditation classes, go to the movies on the weekends and bowling. All while someone else foots the bill….

    I seriously dream about that! And how many times have we paid for our addict to do that? Too many!

    He's landed himself yet again in another government assisted (so free to him) rehab and will transition to a free sober living house soon. Again at taxpayers expense. And what do you think he's gonna do at the end of that 30 days? Call us and ask to “borrow” money for his own place.

    I cannot physically, emotionally, financially do this any longer. I'm about ready to crack wide open! If he goes homeless, so be it. I can't afford a day at a spa let alone 90 days off somewhere meditating on my mistakes. By God he will go homeless this time.

    Do I sound fed up?!

    Thank you Charlie for continuing to write here and keep me on the right track. How many addicts do you think read your blog? I bet there are more parents/spouses here and that is SAD. x

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