Are you a workaholic?

Are you a workaholic?

When her father works every hour he possibly can, Maggie’s mother says he does it so he doesn’t have to be at home, interacting with the family. But Maggie thinks maybe he’s a hard-working man because that’s what it takes for him to provide for his family.

What is the difference between a workaholic and a hard worker?

According to Barbara Killinger, Ph.D., at www.psychologytoday.com, “Understanding the Dynamics of Workaholism,” a workaholic is a “work-obsessed individual who gradually becomes an emotional cripple addicted to power and control in a compulsive drive to gain approval and public recognition of success … Eventually, nothing or no one really matters.”

She defines a hard worker as “emotionally present for family, friends and coworkers and maintains a healthy balance between work and personal responsibility.”

In her article, “Seven Signs of Workaholism,” Jessica Stillman says if you can apply “always” or “often” to four or more of the following, you may have a problem and should look for balance in your life:

You may be a workaholic if …

… you try to find ways to work more.

… you work longer at something than you had intended when you started.

… you use work as an excuse not to feel guilty, anxious, helpless or depressed.

… someone has told you to stop working so much and you ignore them.

… you are prevented from working and become anxious.

… you put work before everything else in your life.

… you work so much you have developed a physical illness.

There are five basic life areas, writes Bryan E. Robinson, Ph.D. in his book, “Chained to the Desk.” The five are relationships, career, spiritual needs, self-care and play. As he works with clients in recovery from workaholism, Robinson recommends that the client create a bar graph showing how much of his time he spends with each of the five basic life areas. It is eye-opening to see the truths represented in the bar graph. Then the client creates a second bar graph of the five life areas and how he would like his time with each of them to look like. The goal is to find a healthy balance in his life.

Another component of recovery from workaholism is to understand the difference between self-care and selfishness. Robinson uses four archetypes (hero, wizard, softie and clown) to help the workaholic reconnect to his or her world. The hero is the one who “brings home the bacon, focuses on goals and exercises the virtues of strength, persistence, decisiveness, self-denial and determination.” The wizard is “the wise, creative inner elder who helps us slow down, see the magic of process, stay in the present moment, smell the flowers and enjoy each instant of life as we move toward our accomplishments.” Softie “allows compassion and love to flow, as well as passion and commitment.” Clown is “the fun-loving and playful part of the self that restores the lost joy and freedom that workaholics forfeit in order to complete tasks.”

What do your bar graphs look like?

Addiction has no address, but Family Recovery Center does. For more information about the education, prevention and treatment programs for substance abuse and related behavioral issues, contact the agency at 964 N. Market St., Lisbon; phone, 330-424-1468; or e-mail, info@familyrecovery.org. FRC is funded, in part, by the Columbiana County Mental Health and Recovery Services Board.

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