Using writing, and meditation, and ice cream, and reading, and dreams,

and a whole lot of other tools to rediscover who I am,

after six years living with a man with OCPD.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Too Perfect Tuesdays - Chap 9 - The Classic Workaholic

This post continues with The Classic Workaholic from Chapter Nine.

This series looks at a small snippet of The book on the Perfectionist Personality, aka The Obsessive Compulsive disordered Personality, aka OCPD, each week. Please follow along, leave your comments, engage more on the FaceBook website... whatever your heart calls you to do.

When Being in Control Gets Out of Control by Allan E. Mallinger, M.D. and Jeanette DeWyze was published by Random House in 1992.  If   you believe you are dealing with OCPD or someone who is "Too Perfect," whether that's you or a loved one, please buy a copy of the book and read it for additional insights that will not all be covered in these excerpts.
The Classic Workaholic
Workaholics like Natalie are notable for the sheer number of hours they devote to their careers. Sometimes they'll describe themselves as workaholics, though even the most work-addicted individuals often reject that term  because of its negative connotations. "I'm just a hard worker," they'll say, adding - sometimes - that their work happens to be the most important thin in their lives.
<snip> Even when the workaholic is not actively engaged in job-related tasks, it's common for this sort of person to be dogged by thoughts and worries about his professional responsibilities. <snip>

Some work addicts consciously yearn for time off or complain about being overworked, but find themselves resisting opportunities to take vacations or other time away from work. They may even announce plans to do so, and then find themselves slipping right back into their overloaded schedules. Georgia, a management consultant, looked forward eagerly to a three month maternity leave when she became pregnant with her first child. But just three weeks after the birth of her daughter, she felt the onset of cabin fever. <snip> within a few weeks she was working every day, holding meetings in her apartment, with her infant sleeping close by.

In his book Work Addiction Bryan E. Robinson confides that he contemptuously thought his colleagues were lazy when they looked forward to Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. Such feelings of superiority, while sometimes hidden, are common among workaholics. <snip>

Workaholics tend to postpone taking time off "until next year," or "until we get over this rough spell." They're great rationalizers, telling themselves such things as, "I'll have more money next year," or "I didn't expect this upturn [or downturn] in business," or "I'll be less pressured and will enjoy myself more if I wait a bit." They genuinely don't see that they could take the time off, if only they would consider the idea in good faith.
There is always a reason why, as far as kicking back and relaxing goes, it's "jam yesterday, jam tomorrow, but never jam today."

I was raised in a household where the family philosophy was, "Work first, play second." But there was always time for play.  Even on the weekends, it was kind of a play sandwich - sleep in, have a leisurely breakfast; next, attack any major chores or projects around the house or yard; then relax again.

My ex's busy-ness, because he didn't work, occurred during "leisure times" (more on that in a future post).

Yet he wasn't okay with me doing ANYTHING during those times. On the one hand, he wanted to be busy-busy all the time (though he didn't work). On the other hand, he was offended if I didn't want to "hang" with him for hours on end while he drank, waxed philosophical, and smoked cigarettes; I wanted to give myself a pedicure, say, or perhaps work on a craft project while we (he) talked. his bothered him. I realize now it wasn't me being a workaholic or intentionally disrespectful to him, but because verbally, he was rehashing (churning) the same tired material over and over again.

And while his adventures in the workplace in the 1980's and 90's might have been interesting at one point, he still considered them to be relevant in the aughts, while not wanting/able to listen to anything *I* (who actually had a job) had to say.

Frankly, he was boring, though occasionally he had something worthwhile to say. Still, it was possible to give him the bulk of my attention and paint my toenails at the same time.

He disagreed.

Have you or someone you loved gotten wrapped up in working
all the time? Did it make him/her more or less interesting?
Your thoughts?
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