Work & Success-you are my beloved friends!
According to Joshua Becker, author of 12 ways Friends Improve Our Lives, authentic friends: encourage us, challenge us, motivate us, celebrate us, keep us honest, add joy to our lives, improve our health, provide opportunity for influence, and provide opportunity for sacrifice (http://www.becomingminimalist.com/12-ways-friends-make-life-better/)!
When I think about how hard I work and how successful I have become in just 25 years, I can see how the two have become a beloved friends to me and ultimately an addiction. I have been encouraged by “them” to do better, I have been challenged by “them” to become smarter, I have motivated by “them” to keep going, I have been celebrated by “them” through accolades from co-workers, professors, and family. I have been provided with a lot of opportunities and I have been challenged! I feel like they have added joy to my life because they give me a sense of meaning. Which leads me to believe that “my beloved friends” have improved my health, but they have not! But Why not stop this addiction?
Work and Success-Appealing to the senses?
I cant stop! I cant stop! This addiction appeals to my senses! It’s pretty sad when you get an instant euphoria from smelling new books or stationary! That means that you should be addicted to work and success…right?! Right! At least for me! I love to see my accomplishments. So much so that I have a picture of all my “Thank you cards” in my office and a folder bulging over of accolades! I even have samples of work that I have done in the past so that at a moment’s notice I can provide evidence of my hard work! I love to hear my name being acknowledged for something innovative or scholarly I have done! I mean after all…I have been told since I was younger..how smart I am! Maybe this is where this addiction all started! Or is it? Maybe I use it to cover up other things going on with me.
Work and Success-It heals me! It soothes me!
As I sit here and write, I think about how much I was acknowledged as a young girl for being so bright and so smart-mainly from my father! I mean I actually only did a month in fourth grade and then was skipped to the fifth grade. I think that some of the accolades and reinforcements that I received as a young girl lead to my perfectionist tendencies which gave way to my addiction to success and work. However, I also believe that being successful and my addiction to it has been to get the approval of my father who was absent from my life for so long. I was his first child to graduate from college with honors! I felt like being smart and being successful was something that made him proud. And I always sought to do that and I still seek to do that! Even on the day that he passed away and even now that he is not here with me physically, I still seek his approval through my work and my success. I wonder if this balm is working though!
Work and success-What has it cost me?
This addiction has cost me to abandon friends and loved ones. When I begin to work and feel success, my days fly by so fast that I forget to make phone calls and check up on loved ones. Sometimes it gets to the point that friends don’t even call me like they used to! And I also miss out on milestones for individuals like my god son! My relationship with my significant other lacks because I am always doing school work, work, or sleep because of the mental exhaustion that this addiction causes me! Being addicted to work and success causes me to be lonely and it cost me having someone to speak to about it because no one really wants to hear about work and school all the time! It’s sad because when I am asked what I have been up to…all I can say is “work and school”. Maybe this addiction is also costing me an adventurous time in my twenties because I should be exploring the world and living care free…..right? Maybe I need more help than I think I do!
Work and Success-Where is the help?
According to Capuzzi & Stauffer (2012), work addiction is still being researched in the scope of diagnosing and treatment. However, after doing some individual research, I found workaholics anonymous (http://www.workaholics-anonymous.org/page.php?page=home) which offers support groups, books, and other resources for individuals that are in my shoes!
The first step to recovering is admitting you have a problem. Right? Until next time!