I’m Tuulia—and I’m a workaholic. Often, upon awaking, I plan to work for just one hour. I begin working and then, four hours later, I find myself still working without even having eaten breakfast.
Other times, I decide I’m taking a day off and will answer only one or two messages. Then, three hours later, I’ll catch myself in the midst of answering twenty messages while also posting and reading messages on various online groups.
Or, on a day that I had set to be a free/non-work day, I’ll receive a request from someone asking to have a face-to-face coaching session. I respond, “Yes” while telling myself that coaching one session won’t be too much work. After all, I’m helping people! Meanwhile, I conveniently overlook the time I’ll need to get to my workspace, settle in, do the session, close up and travel home. Three hours of my so-called free day gone.
During one eight-week period last year, I led seven workshops, various ongoing evening groups and some private sessions. I got excited. I’d been asked to go to new places and I’d have one free weekend. So, why not? I love what I do. By the end of that run, though, I was feeling low and awaking hours before my alarm, tired and unable to fall back asleep easily.
Some consider working a lot to be good, a virtue even. And I agree with them. I also disagree, though, when the working a lot for me becomes compulsive and I make myself tired and grumpy.
I’m the daughter of a workaholic and the sister of a workaholic and the granddaughter of an alcoholic and a daughter of a codependent. I believe we pass on our addiction behaviors from generation to generation. I want to stop that here, with me. And doing so is not something I find to be easy.
A book about this subject that I think is excellent and I highly recommend is Graig Nakken’s Addictive Personality.
Do you have an addiction? How do you recognize when you are acting compulsively? What support mechanism do you have to address your addiction?