Monday, May 26, 2014

Don't Panic If Your Employee Calls Himself an Alcoholic

You won't hear this in supervisor training courses ,but many alcoholics in an active recovery (especially 12-step programs) who are abstinent from alcohol and mood-altering substances refer to themselves as alcoholics or recovering alcoholics depending on whom they are with and the context of the social or occupational setting. The recognition that one is an alcoholic is not unlike employees who refer to themselves as diabetic even if the disease is well-managed. Many alcoholics believe their very next drink could be the one that leads to their death, because they have come so close to it in the past, tried so many times to get sober, or both. Their sobriety is therefore first and foremost. This attitude of awareness and gratitude is one of self-preservation. Practicing and feeling comfortable with describing oneself as an alcoholic is usually viewed as an important part of their awareness of who they are and the fragile nature of sobriety, and it is a reminder that they could lose it all tomorrow.