– March 25, 2017
Many of the addicts and alcoholics who go unnoticed are at the top, rather than rock bottom. Though their internal lives are falling apart, their lives on the outside are what the rest of society might consider exceptional. They are CEOs, C-suite executives, business owners, managers, bosses, and entrepreneurs. Executives are under a high amount of stress, responsibility, and pressure. Often, the need to succeed, control, and manage stems from an uncontrollable childhood or mental health condition. Some studies link workaholics to high rates of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder. Frequently, the story of addiction is of one who loses everything, hits bottom with nothing, and slowly works their way back up. Recovering addicts don’t ask for much because they’re humbled, grateful, and have surrendered anything which threatens to stand in the way of their sobriety. Many people follow this story’s path. Many more have to return to a high stress work place, back into their suit and tie life, working to run a major business. It is always important to remember that addiction and mental health do not discriminate. Anyone, of any socioeconomic status and income bracket can be affected by addiction, alcoholism, a traumatic past, and co-occurring mental health disorders.
Create Time To Be With Other People
Life at the top can get lonely. Your schedule looks different than everyone else’s and you have to make time to do the everyday things you need to do in a different way than everyone else. Connection is one of the proven antidotes to addiction. The more isolated you become, the higher risk you run of relapse. Engage with people, even if you have to. Schedule lunches with recovery peers, go to group classes, and walk around your office to chat with employees.
Turn Off Your Email Notifications
France recently made it illegal, throughout the entire country, for a workplace to send emails after the end of the workday and expect their employees to answer. This is a healthy and effective boundary which much of the world could use to imitate. As the boss or an executive, your email world is a little more intense. However, you are still a human being who needs to take care of their mental health. At some point, you have to turn the notifications off and leave it for tomorrow.
Avoid Office Drama
Unfortunately as a boss or manager, you have to also play school teacher or mediator. If office drama is out of your hands, don’t put your hands in it. Let the children be children to work it out on their own. You have to focus on yourself, your work, and your recovery.
Set Realistic Goals And Expectations
Can you really pull late nights and early mornings every day for the rest of the month? It’s an entrepreneurial drive which few have. You’re willing to go to any lengths to succeed in your business. You’ve also made a commitment to yourself to go to any lengths to stay sober, which might include cutting down the time at the office so you can rest, eat, and disconnect.
Ask For Help, Take Breaks, Take Time
When your heart starts racing, the sweat starts dripping, and you feel your stress building- it’s time to stop. It’s okay to take time for yourself, take a break, and ask for help. Call your therapist, your twelve step sponsor, or a friend. While you’re a successful and driven leader, you’re also someone in recovery. Take care of yourself and you’ll be taking care of everyone else.
So many people avoid seeking treatment because of their work commitments. With the executive program at Get Real Recovery, you don’t have to. We allow supervised work hours so you can stay on top of your business while doing the clinical, healing work you need to recover. For more information, call 866-983-3651.