You’re sitting at your desk, looking at the clock.
You promised your partner you’d be done working three hours ago.
“I just have one more thing, and then I can be done,” you tell yourself.
Your hands fly across the keyboard. You’ve done it! You’re finally finished.
You run downstairs, excited for some quality time with your partner—but the lights are out and they’re asleep.
Another broken promise.
Another night without connecting.
And instead of taking stock of what just happened and creating a real plan to end the cycle of work-sleep-work-sleep-work, you tiptoe back upstairs, sit in front of your computer, and get back to it—because the call is just that strong.
Passionate. That’s what you are, right?
It’s passion that drives you, and there’s all of those valid reasons to keep running hard toward success.
You know what else that’s called?
When your life, health, and relationships start to suffer because you can’t stop working, you’ve entered dangerous territory.
Addictions are not just relegated to drugs, alcohol, and substances. Addictions are compulsive behaviors people struggle to control and easily justify that deteriorate their quality of life over time. If you’ve found yourself wondering if you work too much, drink too much, or do anything else “too much” this article is for you.
Expert Sober Coach, Belle Robertson, is blowing three common myths about addiction wide open that have been keeping people like you stuck for far too long. If you’ve ever done something even though you knew it wasn’t a good idea or even if you didn’t really want to do it, pay attention.
Myth #1: You Have To Hit Rock Bottom Before You Can Recover
According to Belle, there are different types of bottoms people can experience. When you look up addiction, you hear horror stories of people losing their jobs, their homes, their families, and their sanity because of their specific compulsion. Because of this, addiction has taken on a particular mask in pop culture – to the degree that it has become easy to ignore the signs of addiction before your life bottoms out. These are called low bottoms.
Belle had a different type of bottom that you may not have heard about before—it’s called a high bottom.
Seven years ago, Belle was successful, self-employed, worked really hard, and only drank 2-3 drinks a night. By no stretch of the imagination would anyone have said that she had a drinking problem. There were no emotional outbursts. She was dependable. And even her relationships were solid. So she was sure that even though she wondered if she was drinking too much, she didn’t have addiction issue.
There was just one problem.
Belle found it very difficult to quit, and it was only in the not drinking that she realized how much she relied on it.
Good day — alcohol.
Bad day — alcohol.
Funeral — alcohol.
Wedding — alcohol.
Baby shower — alcohol.
“I need to do this thing and I can do it better if I’ve had a drink or two.”
It was in finding it difficult to quit that Belle did the one thing most people struggle with that keep these cycles worsening over time (which turn into the stereotype low bottom) — she asked for help.
Myth #2: You Have To Join AA, NA, or Another In-Person Anonymous Group To Heal
You’ve undoubtedly seen the musician stereotype portrayed in Hollywood. The talented person who went a little too hard when they were young, they got sober, then they start drinking out of a paper bag again (relapse!), they got into a car accident, and they inevitably ended up in AA.
Most people think AA is the only place to go for support with addictive behaviors. But ever since the tech boom with innovation at the forefront, other options have surfaced for people who want to shift their behavior.
When Belle was searching for help seven years ago, she stumbled upon some blogs for people looking to keep their anonymity and also get support and accountability to stop drinking, stop using, stop overworking, etc., without having to step foot in AA. Because, as Belle describes it, “No one goes to AA unless they have to.” This was a way for her to share everything she was thinking, feeling, and going through, without fear because it was 100% anonymous.
Now, as a Sober Coach, Belle has a list of over 60 tools to help people overcome their addictions, and AA is only one of them. She supports others in finding the unique blend of those tools that work for them.
Myth #3: You Have To Stop Whatever Your Addictive Behavior Is Right Now, As If It’s Forever
Try to stop eating ice cream for a couple days. That might not be so bad. But if you were told you can never have ice cream again…that might make you want to cut somebody and hold up a 7-Eleven to get the latest release of banana split dippin dots.
Scarcity can initiate desire. So if you’re struggling with saying no to something in the first place, it may not be the best plan to say you’re going to cut it out forever starting — NOW!
That would be hard on anyone, let alone someone experiencing an addiction.
As Belle describes, you can start with something smaller, like a 100-day sober challenge. It’s becoming more and more socially acceptable for people to “be on a cleanse” or to outright choose not to drink. Starting with a 100-day sober challenge allows you to see how you feel, how your body reacts, and what life is like without whatever your addictive behavior was. If things are getting better, it’s easier to choose to keep going, especially when you have accountability and support behind you.
So if you’ve been struggling with behaviors like overworking, drinking too much, or finding yourself sucked into something repeatedly—even if it’s hurting other areas of your life—click here to join Belle’s email list or click here to listen to Belle’s short one-minute audio messages, so you can add some tools and insights on how to create a life grounded in choice over compulsion.