When I think of times in my life where I have felt powerless, some were out of my control. Most were times when I gave my power over to other people instead of taking control myself. Rarely do I think of powerlessness in terms of my workaholism though. While I have never truly been aware of this as a disease, it is so obvious now. Of course I am powerless over it. It makes me miserable, and I have been unable to change it on my own.
On this topic, Anne Wilson Schaef writes:
We are powerless over our workaholism and our busyness, and our lives have become unmanageable. –Modified Step One, Alcoholics Anonymous
Me? Powerless? No, never! The very word causes me to curl my lips and to have grave suspicions of any creature who would suggest it. As a woman, I will never be powerless again. I may be expected to be, but I won’t be!
But wait a minute. This step does not say that I am powerless as a human being. It clearly states that I am powerless over my workaholism and my busyness. Now that’s a different matter. I have indeed felt a little ragged around the edges, and I am concerned that my relationships and other aspects of my personal life have been taking a beating lately.
Even when I try to stop, I find I can’t really. Maybe I need to be willing to take a look at this “powerless-over” idea. My life does need something.
The first step is admitting you have a problem, right? That is something I can willingly do today. It is hard to admit we are powerless in even just one area of our lives, because as perfectionists, we seek control over every aspect of life. What a relief it is to hand this over to a higher power though, rather than continue and fail to attempt to change it on my own. It is exhausting and painful to live as a busybody and workaholic, and it is only hurting myself and the people I love. I hold onto my workaholism thinking that it makes me a better person, a better career woman, but it does not. Plenty of people achieve success that comes not at the expense of their own well-being, but rather while maintaining healthy and balanced lives in which they feel fulfilled. I want that for myself. My life has become unmanageable, and this is the first step in managing it. It is a good way to start the new year.