I read a great piece in today’s NYT by @FrankBruni http://nyti.ms/yt4HcJ that really got me thinking about Alcohol and substance abuse. The piece had more to do with Whitney; but I think these issues related directly to the unemployed and more so to the long term unemployed. Drinking, how easy is it to have drinks, as one of my friends used to say “drink until you forget”! I think there is serious danger for unemployed people who might lose hope as each month passes with fewer and fewer interviews, people responding to your resume to want to numb the world out, numb the pain, numb the disappointment. Alcohol is about the easiest “drug” to get a hold of, there are bars on every corner and it is very tempting to go in, or pour a drink at home and feel the pain lessen, the anxiety free up a bit. Then it can gradually creep up on you, you go from being a casual drinker to drinking daily; and then you can drink more and more to get the same buzz. Throw in drugs like Xanax that are supposed to help with anxiety and Lunesta to help you sleep and you could be mixing up a deadly cocktail. I see this as speaking directly to the longterm unemployed.
Of course many of us know if we just got off our butts went out and exercised strenuously our stress would be greatly diminished and our self esteem would be lifted. This can alleviate the need to numb ourselves, take sleeping pills, and lessen anxiety. So knowing all this and not doing it can add the negative feelings described above. Knowing you can solve a lot of your problems, having the solution (or one of them) being in your own hands and not taking advantage of it can really feel like a kick in the gut! It comes to motivation again. If anyone has some stories they’d like to share I’d love to hear them