In this interview, Per Wickstrom tells us how he handles a demanding career while also remaining sober. Keep reading to learn how to manage a high stress job without risking relapse.


As the owner of several successful businesses, Per Wickstrom knows a thing or two about handling high stress jobs. As a recovering addict, he has also been able to navigate the intense business world with sobriety.


How can a job impact sobriety?

For many recovering addicts, finding a stable job can help support their rehabilitation efforts. The pride associated with establishing a career, along with the steady income, provide a stable environment in which these individuals can thrive. As we all know, however, no job is completely stress free. As employers’ demands grow, so does employees’ stress levels. For a recovering addict, this added stress can be a potential trigger for relapse.


What helped you successfully transition to a career after rehabilitation?

Before rehabilitation, I had worked in the automotive industry my whole life. I learned the entire business from sales to maintenance and everything in between. Though I was successful, I continued to struggle with addiction and there came a point where I could no longer enjoy activities I once loved. This is when I decided to enter rehabilitation.


During my stay, my entrepreneurial spirit grew as I developed a passion for helping others. I knew I had to follow my desire, and entering such a fulfilling industry has helped me remain sober. This internal drive, along with the lessons I learned during rehabilitation, are truly what helped me succeed in this business.


What tips do you have for recovering addicts who face demanding jobs?

Rehabilitation is a great time to explore your inner self and to learn what makes you tick. Not only does this help you maintain sobriety, it also allows you to plan for the future. The first step is to find a job that makes you feel fulfilled. Often, reminding yourself of why you chose your career path is enough to help you overcome tough obstacles.


For others, additional steps are needed to help deal with the daily stressors of work. To avoid relapse, it is important to practice relaxation techniques, such as meditation or yoga. These practices can help put our minds at ease, making daily stressors seem less significant.


While relaxation techniques are important for every recovering addict, it may take more to handle a demanding job. As such, if you are experiencing difficulties, it is important to reach out. Speaking to a mentor, friend, family member, or medical professional can help put things into perspective. If there is a risk of relapse, these individuals can provide the necessary support to help you remain sober.


It can also be extremely beneficial to speak with your employer directly. If you need help with daily tasks, your boss can guide you through the process, provide key insight, or reassign work as necessary. If you need time off, whether to attend an aftercare program or just to relax, be sure to speak to your human resources department about your options. At the end of the day, you may come to realize that the industry doesn’t suit you, in which case, find a job you can remain passionate about, while also maintaining your sobriety.


Remember that your health comes first, so if you don’t focus on your wellbeing, you will continue to suffer at work. Be sure to resolve the underlying issues that are causing stress at work, and it will help you stay on track to a happy, healthy, and sober lifestyle.


If you’re interested in learning more from Per, check out his blog or connect with him on Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube.

Author's Bio: 

Jennifer Scott knows how difficult it can be to live with anxiety and depression. She has experienced both since she was in her teens. Today, she writes about the ups and downs of her mental illness on The blog serves as both a source of information for people with mental illness and a forum where those living with anxiety and depression can come together to discuss their experiences.