Chained to the Desk (Third Edition)
A Guidebook for Workaholics, Their Partners and Children, and the Clinicians Who Treat Them
Publication Year: 2014
Published by: NYU Press
Title Page, Copyright Page
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pp. i -vi
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It’s hard to believe that this book is now in its third edition. I have many people to thank for its continued success. My deepest appreciation goes to the anonymous individuals who took the time to write about their courageous struggle with work addiction and how it damaged their lives, as well as their inspiring...
Introduction: Glorification of an Illness
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Recording artists have always known something about the work world that the American workforce still doesn’t get. Cyndi Lauper sang it: “When the working day is done, girls just wanna have fun.” Michael Jackson crooned it in Off the Wall: “So tonight gotta leave that nine-to-five upon the shelf and just enjoy...
Part I: Work Addiction: The New American Idol
1: Who, Me? A Workaholic — Seriously?
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There was a time when I needed my work — and hid it from others — the way my alcoholic father needed and hid his bourbon. And just as I once tried to control my father’s drinking by pouring out his booze and refilling the bottle with vinegar, the people who loved me sulked, pleaded, and tore their hair out...
2: How to Spot Work Addiction
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As a sixty-five-year-old physician, I was forced into retirement by multiple health and legal issues, and I surrendered my medical license in the fall of 2009. When I look back, it’s clear that the seeds of my work addiction sprouted in childhood. I mowed lawns in junior high, became a construction laborer as...
3: When Work Addiction Hits Home
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For years I lived with loneliness, disappointments, broken promises, anger and chaos, created by my husband’s addiction to work. Nobody can ever understand my pain when they see the million-dollar house I live in or my beach house, the cars, boat, clothes, travel. I have luxury that some people don’t even...
4: Inside Your Workaholic Mind
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When I’m honest, I realize there have been workaholic patterns in my life as long as I can remember. On the positive side, I had worked my way to a top senior management position in an international role by my mid-thirties. I was one of the few working females in a male-dominated industry. I had gotten...
5: Childhood and the Making of a Workaholic
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The first time I spoke with Gloria Steinem, we both said, “I feel like I know you.” Although our lives were very different on the outside, the way we experienced them was much the same on the inside. The following accounts of the childhoods of two self-professed workaholics, Gloria Steinem and me, illustrate...
6: Spouses and Partners of Workaholics
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The simple fact is that my husband’s work addiction was stronger than anything else in the family. And we’re now an unkept statistic. My children and I carry the oh-so-common legacy of pain that lies in the wake of every soul-destroying obsession. For Ron a normal workday lasted eighteen hours, six...
7: Children of Workaholics
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My father had two loves: work and bourbon. He also, of course, loved his two children but we learned at an early age that being close to our father required entering his world of ambitious interests and endless cycles of working, drinking, sleeping. Our house ran on our father’s energy. When the phone rang, as...
8: Risky Business: Work Addiction in the Company
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I got my first job at fourteen, not out of necessity but out of want. I went to school to finish my senior year in the morning and at noon to work in a grocery store, where I worked for forty hours a week. I bragged about what a great work ethic I had, but little did I know that that was just the beginning. I went...
Part II: Recovery from Work Addiction
9: Your Workaholic Brain
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Like many workaholics, my battle began in childhood. I was born in the rural South, the youngest of four children. My father, who was twenty years older than my mother, became severely handicapped from a stroke when I was five years old. My strong-willed mother had to take care of my father, her three...
10: Mindful Working
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In March of 2011, just after my forty-seventh birthday, I was driving to the office as early as I could get on the road. I’d made it my habit to get to the office before anyone else so I could “get ahead of the game” and organize my next accomplishment. During the drive there wasn’t anything specific causing...
11: Your Work Resilient Zone: Finding Your Positive, Compassionate Self
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From the time I was eighteen, I stuffed into my hip pocket each day a worn week-at-a-glance. It became my bible and scorecard, dictating every hour of devotion to my disease, ensuring I wouldn’t forget an appointment in my daily frenzied pace. Its margins were crammed with lists of tasks to accomplish...
12: Work-Life Balance and Workaholics Anonymous
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I was the only daughter born to first-generation southern European immigrants. I grew up in a family that subscribed to the American dream of hard work, toil, and sacrifice. Both my parents were workaholics. I don’t remember my family relaxing in the living room and talking among ourselves except when...
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About the Author
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Page Count: 272
Publication Year: 2014