Abusing alcohol and drugs disrupts every aspect of an addict’s life. In my experience, my work life took a huge hit because of addiction. Often, I was just too sick to go into work. There was just no way I could manage my job while hungover, needing to get a fix, or unable to get out of bed. Other times, I needed to go out and look for drugs just to make it through the day and feel okay.
What is Professional Protocol?
When you're at work, it's important that you be at your best and tiptop form. It doesn't matter what kind of work you do, you should always go in, be professional and get your job done.
If you’re unable to do this because addiction has affected your performance, that is a clear indication that you need to get help before it gets out of hand.
As an addict, all responsibility goes right out the window and you only have one job to uphold—to get drugs. It's a daily job, too, because addiction causes you to need your drug of choice to get by on a daily basis.
Before you can even consider work, you're already busy trying to score.
Signs of an Addicted Employee
When I was using drugs, I can't tell you the number of times that I had to call out sick because I couldn't get myself to go in. Even after I quit drugs years later, I was still drinking heavily during stressful times. I slept late every night and would drag myself into work, feeling awful the entire day.
My performance suffered, I couldn't think clearly and could barely focus on my work. I may even have tipped people off because there were probably mornings when they could smell the alcohol on me. Brain fog and exhaustion ruled my day when I would go into work after a night of partying. I felt confused, sluggish and unable to multitask like I normally did.
Although I managed for the most part and still acted as a functioning person, there were times when I got complaints about my performance, mistakes I had made and poor judgment errors. All I could attribute them to was too much alcohol the night before.
Where I Am Following Addiction
There came a time in my life when my addictions and lifestyle felt out of control, and I knew I had to do something. I got sober for good finally, and after a long journey, I’m proud to say that I wake up every morning feeling good – no more hangovers, no more anxiety about what the day will bring, and with a clear head and a positive attitude.
This naturally translated to my workplace, where I became more organized, goal-oriented and focused, and I was able to finish college, get my Associate’s Degree and juggle a full-time job, all of which I would never have been able to do when I was drinking and drugging.
These days, I have a much better grasp on my addictions and in the mornings I no longer need to worry about what the day will hold or how I'll feel. I know I'll wake up feeling mostly the same as I did the day before, sober, energized and ready to take on whatever comes my way.
My work life at my current job is stable and predictable, something that I like in my particular field. I’m comfortable and safe knowing that I’m fully capable of giving my all to my job—as well as the people around me—and that I am now using my skills and talents as they’re needed.
For me, that makes all the difference in the world, and when it comes to the choice of whether to drink or not, there’s no question that it’s no.