"My Son’s Therapist Told Him He Shouldn’t Be Working" Seriously? Does He Need A Blanky, Too?


     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. 

     To note, I’m no example and have never claimed to be. I make mistakes constantly and have a lifetime of work to do on myself. In fact, I’ve often pleaded with readers not to follow me or take my advice, that we must all find our own answers. I’ve simply come to understand my own addiction and recovery through bitter experience and eventual success. So don’t listen to anyone. You know in your gut what feels right and what feels wrong. You know what makes sense and what smells like total bullshit. 

     Getting a job, however, is something I think we can all agree is somewhat fundamental not just to recovery, but to, um, being an adult. I know that’s tough for the youth to understand these days when they need exams cancelled due to emotional stress and free counseling sessions and cry-ins at the mere thought of a conservative speaker coming to campus, but somewhere out there, the real world exists and it’s probably more useful to enter it rather than throwing tantrums and angrily demanding to rest easy in their allocentric, ideological bubbles and safe spaces. At some point the pacifier needs to come out, don’t you think?

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