Archive for July 12th, 2018

July 12, 2018

Volunteer, or, Victim?

by Rod Smith

The Mercury / Wednesday / Volunteer or Victim?

I am all for loyalty, commitment, and seeing things through. But, some loyalty can be horribly misguided. This is especially evident in churches, schools; organizations where there’s a high need for volunteers. It can also happen in a job, especially when someone has been employed to “help out” and where there’s no specific job description.

Here are symptoms that you may be too loyal, too committed. It might be time to jump ship or throw in the towel if only to preserve your sanity:

• You are discovering that your level of commitment seems to exceed what you see others offering. You are taken by surprise at the discovery. You thought people were equally invested.

• You seem to get landed with the tasks and responsibilities it appears no one else wants to take on. You thought everyone was willing to make sacrifices for the good of the organization.

• Your areas of responsibility seem to be growing, and growing, and growing. You can’t find it in you to say no. Even thinking about it evokes guilt. Others seem to be able to say no quite easily and apparently experience no guilt.

Is even one out of three true for you?

It may be time re-evaluate, time to speak up, or ship out. Your loyalty may be transforming you into a victim.

July 12, 2018


by Rod Smith

Why is it so hard to get obvious alcoholics to see or to admit they are addicts?

Here are the three indications (only one is needed) of an addiction whether the addict is willing to recognize them or not:

  • Physical craving
  • Loss of job or status
  • Loss or threat of loss of a significant relationship

For the typical alcoholic the label “alcoholic” often suggests someone who is more desperate, more out of control, than he or she perceives him or herself to be.

Many alcoholics are well-controlled men and women who have perfected the art of charade. They hold important roles in our communities and appear successful.

To admit there is a problem with alcohol (or drugs, sex, or gambling) is costly. Denial is at least perceived as the better option than exposure, than seeking help. The closet is safe, it’s routine, and there are usually family members well trained in the art of enabling.

“Rock bottom” is a frequently used term suggesting that an addict will usually resist the label or resist getting help until he or she reaches rock bottom. It’s a sad place to reach for the addict and for all who love the addict and for all who are caught up in the addict’s web of denial and survival.