In my opinion, there are some addictions that are harder to deal with then others. Don't get me wrong, every addiction is extremely difficult to stop. But some addictions can be praised by society as a whole.
One that comes readily to mind is a workaholic. Management praises a great worker. But when that worker becomes a terror to his co-workers, or takes his work home with him - then he has an addiction. A powerful addiction that gets support from his superiors.
Some addictions can be viewed as honorable traits which makes recovery so much more difficult. An example would be the person seeking power, over their jobs or their families. We’ll call this person - Sam. Sam is respected at his place of employment, but becomes quite insecure when he isn’t the center of attention. This insecurity leads him to actions that make others avoid him. No longer can Sam be trusted because he has lost the respect of his co-workers. So to remain in power Sam becomes infatuated for information. He needs to know everything – about everybody. Even though he knows his co-workers aren’t happy with him he is still well liked by management because “he knows it all.” This adds to more frustration because Sam’s power is now like a child saying “I know something you don’t know.” Whether Sam’s co-workers want to admit it or not they need him. He has the ability to troubleshoot problems quickly and efficiently. The same co-workers who avoid Sam also realize he is a valuable asset to them and their company. Which makes the relationship even harder to live with. No matter how intelligent a co-worker is or what “they bring to the table,” Sam makes them feel inadequate. In his own eyes Sam is a god.
Sam’s job is his life. When he isn’t at work – the job is constantly on his mind. He struggles to relax and enjoy a vacation – if he even goes on one. A vacation to Sam is remodeling his house or overhauling his car. By doing this, his attitudes of work invade his home life. No longer does he have a spouse and a child – but rather servants who must live a life on a tightrope.
Sam’s power is obtained by work. To most people in our society this is an admirable trait. But with Sam it has become an obsession – an addiction. An addiction which breeds insecurity and paranoia. Sadly, Sam’s power has become his weakness. But like every addiction there is a cure – that is – if Sam wants to be cured. For the alcoholic surrender begins with the end of control. The same holds true for the person in power – give up control. This is where it gets difficult for Sam. He has spent his whole working career being in control – having power. Early recovery for the alcoholic can be easy. Stay away from bars, drinking buddies and anywhere that alcohol may be served. Again I’m speaking early recovery, learning to deal with emotions and feelings will be a process developed over a lifetime. But for the workaholic, they are constantly staring their demon in the eye.
To let go and let others – not have power – but rather do their jobs. For Sam, the feelings of insecurity will grow tenfold. He’ll do his best to suppress his emotions and subconsciously sabotage the workers around him.
It’s a long difficult road for the workaholic. But the rewards are worth it. To be able to go home and truly relax, not thinking about your job brings feelings of peace. Over time his home life will improve and his family will notice the change. Over time his co-workers will see the change and slowly begin to trust him again.
You can be a great worker without being involved with every little job. A person who has power realizes that to retain that power you must delegate authority and show trust in your help. Sit back, relax, and trust. If there is a problem, a person who uses their power wisely, trusts that their help with let him know.
It is an awesome feeling to have power at a job. But it is a power that can be abused. Having power does not mean being in control. To me, having power is letting others also have their own sense of power.
©2006 Dave Harm