It's happy hour somewhere is something that I would have declared the day that I was let go from my previous role. Organizational restructures are tough for so many people, and, for some, this would have only increased the amount that one is drinking for a variety of reasons. Seriously, a million reasons are going through my head as I write this as it is beyond just job loss.
The difference today, is that I am going on four years sober and I can see and think more clearly without those never-ending drinks flowing into my body.
I am grateful that I have made these strides, as I think if I did not start this new chapter in my life I would have gone downhill faster should I still be drinking, and this would not have changed my state of mind.
Why? Because I would be commiserating with company over these drinks and drowning my sorrows with a bottle would seem like a better decision to make, and without judgment from that happy hour group.
For me, personally, my sobriety has allowed me to have more hope with the situation, more dedication with my search, networking and experiencing the ups and downs during this new chapter. I found myself more resilient and, honestly, went through the five stages of grief within a day.
The next day I hit the ground running. I found a career coach through a friend’s recommendation, created my first LinkedIn profile (yes, my first!), and made a list of the type of careers I was looking for, the culture of organization I wanted to be a part of, and if the organization's mission and values aligned with my own.
Yes, I have the ups and downs just as everyone else does with the never-ending search, but the sobriety has allowed me to see through a new lens. This new lens allowed me to overcome such a hard reality in my life and I was able to move forward with strength and a clear mind to make progress.
My career coach was an amazing source of support, guide and showed me how to brand yourself and keep a strong network around you.
My eyes were wide opened, and I was eager to begin this new chapter, as hard it was, to propel myself into the world of searching for a job.
In all honesty, had I still been drinking, I would still be still be drinking, ignoring my severance, and banking on the idea that I would start working within a month or two and as many of us know, this is not the reality of our situation. Seriously, I am going on three to four months, not a lot more like some, but you humble yourself during this process.
There are thousands just like me going through the steps each day to dedicate their search and view it as our new job. We search, apply and reach out for informational interviews and even promote ourselves on LinkedIn. Sometimes we get lucky for a phone screen, maybe an interview and, hopefully, an informational interview.
The choice to become sober has helped me more that you know. I didn't know I was this strong, I didn't know that I was capable of handling this information the why that I did, I didn’t know the was capable of hitting the ground running without blinking an eye and I didn't know if this change would impact my sobriety. But, through a massive support group, focus on this new experience I was able to keep my sobriety in check; fortunately, this didn't faze me to start drinking because that is no longer my answer to solve problems. Yes, it was in the back of my mind (as is every day, because every day you have a choice), but it honestly it was not my immediate reaction I had. I knew what the choice would do to me and the reality of that choice.
I am not here to judge others who do drink and can do so without thinking twice of consuming a few drinking, but this is to share my own journey and for those who might be experiencing this same situation.
I realized that all I needed was to recognize my resiliency that I carried through sobriety and how this same resiliency can be applied to my current situation that I currently in.
Drinking is a journey and you hit so many sober destinations along the way, some good and some not good, but this reminds you that you can overcome anything without a bottle, without a happy hour and without the negative impact on your own decision to stop drinking no matter the destination you stop at along the way.
This new reality in my life of being without a job shifted my entire mindset, but not once that threatened my sobriety, the only thing it changed is how humbling this experience is and to take this opportunity to learn as much as you can about yourself.
Continue to be resilient because it shows that we can bounce back from anything in life even after being let due to an organizational restructure and realize that we are a lot stronger than you think.