In light of the recent global pandemic, things are more strange and seemingly difficult than they have been in quite some time. We can no longer leave the house without wearing a mask, the majority of us have lost our jobs or been temporarily laid-off, and we have nothing on our hands but time, Tiger King, and Tik Tok. With the mass lay-offs comes a sudden lack of income, and with that comes immense amounts of financial insecurity. Those who are in recovery for alcoholism or drug addiction are no strangers to the concept of financial insecurity. Active addiction strips us of our ability to properly manage our finances; our entire world revolves around obtaining and using our substance of choice. Addiction is not a cheap disease – and the cost far exceeds financial strain alone. Addiction costs us nearly every aspect of our lives until we commit to a long-term program of recovery. As we do recover, slowly but surely, the “promises” begin to come true. As outlined in the 12 step program of Alcoholics Anonymous, these promises detail all of the incredible things that will happen once we work through each of the 12 steps. One of the promises (the 10th out of 12) reads, “Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us.” So what exactly does this mean? Does this mean that once we get sober we’ll never have to worry about money again, even in times of financial crisis such as these?
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What is Financial Insecurity?
Financial insecurity doesn’t allude to the amount of money we have in the bank or the amount of debt we’ve accrued on our credit cards. The truth is that money ebbs and flows like many other things in life… like romantic relationships, like our weight… if we put too much emphasis on these things, we will never be able to achieve true happiness. We might feel elated when we start bringing in the big bucks at work, only to feel devastated when we have to pay an excessive and unexpected medical bill. The truth is that financial insecurity is directly tied to your concept of self-worth. It has nothing to do with your literal finances. In unpredictable times like these, those that invest too much emotional energy in money will find themselves stressed out and miserable. Maybe your unemployment hasn’t hit yet and your landlord isn’t being as flexible or compassionate as you had hoped. Maybe you lost your health insurance when you were furloughed, and you need to see a doctor. No matter what the case may be you have little control over your current financial circumstances, and things might seem pretty grim. The trick is recognizing that the concept of financial security comes from an ability to be okay right where you are, in the present moment.
Sobriety and Financial Security
In short – no, getting sober won’t magically replenish your bank account. You won’t wake up to an extra few thousand dollars on your fifth day of addiction recovery. Of course, when you enter into recovery you will actually be able to take control of your finances once again. Over time you will begin working a job, you’ll start saving money… you’ll become financially independent. The fact that you won’t be spending hundreds of dollars on drugs and/or alcohol will also help a lot, you will undeniably find. But the true meaning of financial security is knowing that no matter how dismal your current circumstances may seem on paper, you have faith that things will be alright in the end. Maybe you only have $20 to your name. If you are in a bad place in your recovery, the prospect of having so little financial cushion might send you into a tailspin. If you’re in a good place in your recovery, you will be more likely to focus on the good before the bad. Do you have a warm, dry place to sleep at night? Have you had enough to eat today, and will you have enough to eat tomorrow? Are you safe? Are you sober? Gratitude and security – security of all kinds – go hand in hand.
Staying Calm Amidst the Crisis
While gratitude and security go hand in hand, fear and insecurity are also bedfellows. Insecurities are rooted in us feeling like we are not good enough. Maybe we don’t “measure up” to our peers in certain regards, or we feel as if we’re lacking something that others seem to have. Insecurity is based in the fear of being judged, or not being accepted, respected or appreciated. It is perfectly normal for people to feel insecure about certain things on occasion. Maybe we drive an old, beat up car, and we feel a bit insecure about not being able to afford a new one. Maybe we failed our foreign language class and have to retake it, or we can’t memorize people’s orders at our serving job without writing them down… whatever the case may be, it is normal to draw comparisons and unfairly condemn ourselves for falling short from time to time.
According to an article published by Psychology Today, there are three main sources of insecurity: insecurity based on rejection or a recent failure, insecurity based on a lack of self-confidence, and insecurity based on a sense of perfectionism. Financial security can stem from all three sources. We might consider ourselves financial failures when we first get clean and sober. Maybe we had done a great job of saving money, then spent it all in a matter of months as we spiraled further and further down in our addiction. Maybe we lack self-confidence, wondering how we’ll ever manage to get back on our feet with no job, no personal possessions and no money in the bank. Many recovering addicts and alcoholics also struggle with perfectionism. We expect ourselves to meet all of our personal goals in a timely manner, and we expect to meet them all without any set-backs or hang-ups.
The trick is learning to let go of expectation and understand that things rarely work out the way that we plan them. In addition to this, we have to have faith in the universe – we have to trust that things will work out so long as we keep putting our best foot forward.
Recovery and Intrepid Detox Residential
Our main priority at Intrepid Detox Residential is to get you started on your own personal journey of addiction recovery, so that you can begin rebuilding your life as soon as possible. We offer medical detox services as well as inpatient rehabilitation services, all geared towards mental, emotional and physical healing and preparing you for success in long-term recovery. If you are currently in a financial situation that seems insurmountable, you are not alone. Active addiction leads to immense insecurities in many aspects of life. You will be surprised at how quickly you can regain your life and your security once you commit to a comprehensive recovery program. We offer a host of services and provide resources that will help you become financially independent and secure once again, and we will offer you all of the guidance and support you need along the way. For more information on our program of recovery, give Intrepid Detox Residential a call today. We believe that no matter how far down the scale you have gone, you are capable of completely changing your life around for the better – with a little assistance. We look forward to speaking with you soon and answering any questions you may have.