[Sober Living] Sobriety Through Employment

The best and worst thing for maintaining one’s sobriety is employment. There is no better crutch to rest your mind upon than your employment, where any subconscious faults in your life can usually be reasonably blamed on some external factor like a boss, colleague, or situation. Yet that constant career pressure can break us down if we don’t moderate our workaholic tendencies. Spend an extra five minutes for polishing something? How about… five more minutes?

Do we work to escape our problems?

The paychecks certainly give us the most ammunition to fight our biggest problems, but perhaps because we become too ambitious, they also become our biggest problems. After paying my bills and groceries, everything else goes into my savings, so a dollar per hour doesn’t matter much to me. It’s entitled thinking, sure, but that’s also a key factor in my detachment from the addictions of employment. Whenever I think about how I need to accomplish this task or interact with that customer, I remember to stop.

How much will this preparation grow my paycheck?

Usually not much more than the value of my free time. We already give so much of ourselves over to an employer, and we give even more of ourselves over to a goal when we enter self-employment including project work like writing for this website, so we should fully take advantage of the time to step away from work. I’ve learned to fully detach from my salaried employment over the past two years, but part of that was redirecting those workaholic tendencies toward writing. How do I disengage from overworking now?

I’m still working toward a writing-work/life balance.

When you’re doing the work you enjoy the most, where during your lunch break you fully engage with your writing and find just as much entertainment out of writing as someone reading the piece, both writer and reader wondering what happens next, only to forgo eating and later regretfully starting to feel those anxious shakes from pushing too far without remembering to disengage from work, that’s when it’s time to remember to take it easier next time. Maybe I’m subconsciously telling myself to do just that?

Let’s dig deeper into why I push so hard.

I have a clear goal to write “The Story.” Where I’m at in life is good enough. Does it matter if I write “The Story” in twelve or thirteen years? Not particularly. So why rush it, dude? Because there are these overwhelming drives and sensations within me to accomplish this goal. What happens the day after I achieve this goal? I don’t know. I do know, however, that in these past two years acting toward accomplishing that goal, first subconsciously then consciously, I’ve grown into more of a person that I can respect.

I still make mistakes.
I’m still not a great person.
I am better.

Two big changes:
I’ve learned to address the parts of myself I dislike the most.
Now, I’m practicing identifying then overcoming my worst workaholic tendencies.

Quotes: None.
Sources: My professional experiences.
Inspirations: This title was a potential topic for a few months. I’m starting to sort through my backlog in an attempt to address some of the lingering topics I’ve been wanting to address but haven’t. It’s a neverending journey. I’ll plow through five and then come up with fifteen, so it’s not a big deal.
Related: My Sober Living column.
Photo: Someone’s desk. Above are random reminders and below is a print-out from John Maxwell’s The Three Rs of Decision Making.
Written On: August 10th [1 hour]
Last Edited: August 10th [first draft only]

My big goal is writing. My most important goal is writing "The Story." All other goals should work toward that central goal. My proudest moment is the most recent time I overcame some fear, which should have been today. I'm a better zombie than I was yesterday. I'm not better than you and you're not better than me. Let's strive to be better every day.