People can get addicted to many different things, including work. The organization Workers Anonymous has developed a 12-step recovery program to help people who have let their work take over their lives. "If you or someone that you love is working too much, you or your loved one may be a workaholic."
The Workaholics Anonymous approach to treatment is closely based on the 12-step approach that was originally developed by Alcoholics Anonymous. The steps start with admitting that you have a problem, and then, they take you on a spiritual and emotional journey that will help you to regain control over your life.
The 12 Steps of Workaholics Anonymous
If you or someone that you love is working too much, you or your loved one may be a workaholic. The 12 steps used by Workaholics Anonymous are:
- Admitting you have no control over your relationship with work and acknowledging that working too much is making your life unmanageable.
- Believing that God or another power higher than yourself is what you need to make your life feel manageable.
- Deciding to turn your life and your will over to God or another higher power.
- Taking an inventory of yourself and your flaws.
- Admitting your flaws or your wrongdoings to a higher power, to yourself and to another person.
- Getting ready to let your higher power remove your flaws.
- Asking God or another higher power to help you improve your life.
- Writing a list of all the people you have hurt through your addiction, and preparing to make amends with them for your actions.
- Making amends with every person on your list except in cases where making amends may hurt that person even more.
- Continuing to take inventory of yourself and your flaws and admitting when you are wrong.
- Praying or meditating to find contact with God or another higher power.
- Acknowledging that you have had an important personal awakening thanks to these steps, and then carrying this message to other people who are addicted to work.
Getting the Support You Need
"People can get addicted to many different things, including work."
The Workers Anonymous 12-step approach to treating a work addiction involves support groups. If you decide that you want to work through these 12 steps, you may want to attend group meetings. At meetings, you can receive the fellowship and support you need to gain control over your life. There are a few different types of meetings, including:
- Topic meetings
- Meetings focused on the first step
- Meditation meetings
At topic meetings, you get to focus on a topic that has been chosen prior to the meeting. The topic may be one of the 12 steps, or it may be an issue that is related to overworking. At 12-step meetings, you will focus on all of the steps that are involved in the healing process. At first-step meetings, you will get the opportunity to focus on the first step.You may say the serenity prayer, and then, you will get to share your story about how your work addiction affected your life. You will also get to listen to other members share their stories.
According to Workaholics Anonymous, meditation meetings give you the chance to reflect on a meditation that you may read from the Workaholics Anonymous Book of Meditations. Most of the meeting may be spent writing about the meditation, while a small portion of the meeting may be spent discussing your writings. If you live in an area that does not have a Workers Anonymous recovery program and support group, you may even be able to access group meetings virtually or over the phone.
Deciding if You Need Help
If you or someone you love seems to be addicted to work, you may be a workaholic. According to Workaholics Anonymous, meeting the following criteria may indicate that you need help:
- Feeling more excited about work than anything else in your life
- Taking your work to bed or on vacation
- Talking about work more than anything else
- Working more than 40 hours per week
- Turning all of your interests into money-making jobs
- Taking on extra work and refusing to delegate
- Feeling irritated when people ask you to quit working
- Thinking about work constantly
Finding Help and Taking the First Step
If you are ready to learn more about the Workaholics Anonymous 12-step recovery program, we would love to speak with you. Our experienced staff members are waiting by the phone to take your call. To get support, you only need to pick up the phone and call 1-888-319-2606.
You Only Get One Body - Get Clean & Sober
- A comprehensive approach to substance use disorder treatment
- Community and peer-based models such as 12-step mutual aid programs
- Long-term recovery training and strategic planning
- A full continuum of care from detoxification to recovery residences and after-care