Professional women who are successful in their chosen careers rarely like to admit they have a problem, especially one that involves drugs or alcohol. Admitting that type of weakness often carries a stigma that denotes an inability to handle the everyday stress associated with their job. When a woman, any woman, finds the courage to admit she has a problem, the next step is to address the fears they have concerning their career as well as their future. Some women may become quite vocal about their situation and what made them follow that path. Others, however, may struggle with self-image and the fear of failure both as a professional and as a wife/mother/woman.
Feelings of Shame and Being Judged by Your Peers
Feelings of shame and the thought of being judged by their peers are often two of the most prominent reasons why professional women tend to stay as quiet as possible for so long. If you work in an environment that is dominated mostly by men, the feeling of not being able to handle the stress can be overwhelming. It's important to remember that even men fail. No one is perfect. If it makes them feel better, let them talk. Let them have their judgments. They are reflections on them, not you. The only shameful thing about addiction is if you let it win.
You have a problem. Admit it. Own it. Once you understand your addiction, the only failure is if you don't act on the opportunity to correct the situation. There is no shame in recovery. There is no shame in seeking help and overcoming one of the biggest challenges you will ever face. If they want to judge you, let them do so on the fact that you saw a problem and took the necessary steps to find an appropriate solution. Not only will they have to admit they were wrong, they will have to admit that you showed the strength and commitment that was needed to get your life back in order.
Withdrawal Symptoms: Don't Minimize Them!
Withdrawal symptoms are part of the process. If you don't experience them, you won't know the full extent of your addiction. Don't minimize your symptoms! Instead of fearing what others may think, there are many lessons you need to learn throughout this process if you plan on remaining sober for any length of time. Some of those lessons have to do with your withdrawal symptoms. Whether they are mild or severe, they are an opportunity for you to experience the true effects drugs and alcohol have on your body. Minimizing them suppresses your ability to understand your body's reaction to the drugs. Withdrawal symptoms are unpleasant and no one wants to experience them, but if you are truly ready for the recovery process, they play an important role. As a woman in recovery, it's important that you accept the role they play and learn as much as you can from the experience.
Fear of Sharing Intimate Details
Another fear that many professional women face is talking about their personal lives. Sharing intimate details with anyone, including a counselor or therapist, can be a humbling experience. No one wants to admit their shortcomings or admit they have issues, especially a woman who is at the top of her game professionally. For many it also indicates failure on one or more levels. Admitting failure is not easy but you have to remember that you only truly fail if you never make another attempt to succeed.
Sharing intimate details of your life allows your therapist or counselor to fully understand what you are going through and why you have made the decisions that took you down this path. While baring your soul isn't easy, it is necessary. If you are not brutally honest, you won't be providing the information that is needed to create a treatment plan that meets your needs. Honesty is a must even if it forces you to face demons that you thought would destroy you. Facing them makes it easier to defeat them. The fact that you now have a counselor to help walk you through the battlefield will make the task somewhat less frightening.
Embarrassment and Non-Compliance
Embarrassment often leads to non-compliance, especially in treatment programs. If you have already admitted the problem, there is no need to be embarrassed. Your addiction is part of your process. Once you have decided to overcome the addiction and embrace your recovery, your embarrassment should be replaced with hope for the future. When you enter your rehab program, leave your embarrassment at the door and follow your program. Everyone else in the facility has a story. Be proud to share yours. You may be able to share something that another person needs to hear. Compliance is not a sign of weakness, it's a sign of success!
The Need for Communication
Constant and truthful communication is a must in any recovery program. Be honest. Speak up. Tell your story and share your experiences. What you have to say may be just what another woman needs to here to find her way along her own path to recovery. The need for communication doesn't end when you leave rehab. It's just the beginning. Talk to others who are interested in learning about the process. Women in the workplace often watch how others handle their issues. Be an example and if someone asks you about your recovery, be honest. Tell the truth. It's not an easy process by any means, but it can be done and you can regain your life as well as your career.
30 Days to a New Life
The Ho Tai Way School of Recovery offers women an opportunity to find their road to recovery. The professional staff help women work through the shame and fear they sometimes feel and allow them to embrace their recovery on many different levels. The 30-day program offered by Ho Tai Way is designed to benefit women. From the housewife to the professional entrepreneur, the program offers women an opportunity to rediscover themselves and to do so with grace and dignity.