Checks and Balances

Edited by Paul Alexander

Last updated May 23, 2014

My wife said to me, “you’re working way too much.” She was right – I always had calls coming in, was always texting this person or that person about work, etc. She always has (and continues to) support me and my work, and I am so grateful for it. But there was no getting around it – I was lacking that happy balance between work and home, she called me on it, and she was right!

I am so dedicated to what I do that I can get completely caught up in it. When my wife reeled me in and got me to listen, I knew I needed to start focusing on leaving work at work. But I am a self-proclaimed “yes” man, and that’s something I have always struggled with.

So, I took my concerns and challenges with this particular issue to one of my AA meetings. I opened up about how easy it is for me to always look to people please, and how uncomfortable it can be to say “no,” even if it’s what’s best for me. This isn’t a brand new issue for me either – I definitely work on keeping a healthy balance, but some weeks can just get so out of hand that I lose myself in my work and that balance is lost.

At my meeting, I expected to just vent a little about what my wife had said to me, and talk about how I am working on putting myself first instead of always being so willing to take a back seat for someone else. What I did not expect was to get a few calls throughout that week from other AA members who were checking up on me.

It was a welcomed surprise. I was happy to know that I had support from other people who were going through similar things as I was. They would call me to do a checks and balances exercise on me. What they were really doing, however, was keeping me accountable for my actions. I am so grateful for that support, because it has helped me stay on top of things in the sense that my life at home isn’t getting accidentally threatened because I get so involved with work.

I am no stranger to reaching out to members in AA, because I call two alcoholics a day and just check in with them. It’s something I really like doing, and I think it’s such a great part of the program. So, to have others call me and reach out like that was very humbling and I am thankful for it. I always say, there are many great benefits to surrounding yourself with like-minded people!

Article Reviewed by Paul Alexander

Paul AlexanderPaul Alexander is the founder and CEO of Northbound Treatment. He received his Certified Addiction Treatment Specialist training at Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, CA, and was awarded Outstanding Alumni Service Award in 2002. Paul holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminology, Law and Society, Summa Cum Laude, from University of California, Irvine, and a Juris Doctorate degree from Loyola Law School of Los Angeles. He believes wholeheartedly in transformational leadership, organizational health and effective, fully integrated substance use disorder treatment.