Sorry!! The article you are trying to read is not available now.
Thank you very much;
you're only a step away from
downloading your reports.

Counterpoint: Confessions of a Workaholic


Dark days spent willfully chained to a desk.

Deborah, whose last name has been withheld to protect her privacy, says her workaholic behavior shielded her from an overwhelming fear of failure, and took her away from her five children. "Workaholism is a process addiction, as well as a substance addiction," she explained. "I made my own drug: adrenaline."

Now in her 50's, Deborah owned and operated two franchised retail stores, where there was always one more thing to do before knocking off for the day. Her kids would phone to ask when she'd be home, and her 20-minute estimate would turn into 90 minutes or more. Her children soon stopped believing just about anything she told them, and days off were interrupted by trips to the stores to make sure everything was just right. In all cases, her family got the short end.

Like many workaholics, she believed that if she just ran longer, harder and faster everything in her life would be OK. But it wasn't. She routinely opened a store a day, even though she'd assigned the task to employees. "Just checking," she'd say, oblivious to the slap she just delivered to the worker's confidence.

Deborah says no one met her expectations for quality or volume of work, and she didn't realize she was pounding the life out of her employees by demanding crushing hours.

A vicious circle, more work and longer hours begot even more work and even longer hours. There was always the sense that something more needed to be done, and she could never quell her fear of failure.

"I wasn't with my kids, both emotionally and physically," she recalls. "I'd drag them to the store, put them in the backroom and tell them, 'Don't bother me – I'm working.' There was none of the give-and-take that builds a good relationship.

"I'd go to school plays, participate in other activities, but I wasn't there mentally. Today, there is resentment and sadness in my children."

After eight years of endless days spent at the stores, Deborah began to understand that she was lying to her family -- and herself -- about her need to work. She eventually realized that she didn't have to be perfect, and joined Workaholics Anonymous.

She completed the 12-step program, and discovered there's life outside work. She sold the stores, and now closes home and business loans.

"Now I realize it's a good day, because I can look out the window instead of feeling I've got to have my nose to the grindstone," she says.

"Working all those hours was like being in an alcoholic blackout. I now check on myself throughout the day, and talk to others. I'm accountable, but I realize I can't beat this on my own."
< Previous
  • 1
Next >
No positions in stocks mentioned.
The information on this website solely reflects the analysis of or opinion about the performance of securities and financial markets by the writers whose articles appear on the site. The views expressed by the writers are not necessarily the views of Minyanville Media, Inc. or members of its management. Nothing contained on the website is intended to constitute a recommendation or advice addressed to an individual investor or category of investors to purchase, sell or hold any security, or to take any action with respect to the prospective movement of the securities markets or to solicit the purchase or sale of any security. Any investment decisions must be made by the reader either individually or in consultation with his or her investment professional. Minyanville writers and staff may trade or hold positions in securities that are discussed in articles appearing on the website. Writers of articles are required to disclose whether they have a position in any stock or fund discussed in an article, but are not permitted to disclose the size or direction of the position. Nothing on this website is intended to solicit business of any kind for a writer's business or fund. Minyanville management and staff as well as contributing writers will not respond to emails or other communications requesting investment advice.

Copyright 2011 Minyanville Media, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Featured Videos