Transfer of Addiction

Transfer of Addictions

Transfer of Addiction

When you’re accustomed to making money, hooked on investing and saving, a sordid addiction sets in.  I’m not talking about shaking chills, the sweats, rigors.  I’m referring to  viewing yourself in a certain way.  Viewing your relationship between yourself and money on atypical terms.

I am an earner.  I make money.  That’s how I envision myself.  I started making X when I was young.  Over the years I have churned and burned until X became 5X.  I take pride in my acumen.  I get and give advice based on my success.  It’s my thing.  Hey Doc G, how do I make 5X?

But it goes further.  Not only do I make the money, I invest it.  I buy stocks and bonds.  I scoop up real estate in foreclosure and fix it.  And rent it.  Money always comes in, it never goes out.  This is who I am.  This is who I identify myself as.  I am a doctor, I am an earner, I am a businessman.

Then I Discovered FIRE

A world opened up to me.  Suddenly I realized that I have enough.  Enough means that I don’t have to work so hard anymore.  I can stop taking phone calls in the middle of the night, stop stressing over thousands of patient’s well-being, stop the palpitation inducing existence I have lived for the last twenty years.

As the anxiety recedes, a large gaping question bubbles from my innards and becomes a never-ending siren in my ears.

But then who am I?

I say that I am a husband and son.  A father and spouse.  A taker of long walks and a writer of short paragraphs.  And although I have enough, this isn’t enough.

Because I am a doer and maker of things.  I am a builder and exploiter of revenue streams.  With every good intention of slowing down a new opportunity arises.  A new consulting gig.  A new cash cow.


Enough I scream and I start to blog.  Get on twitter, and stress  over my stat counter.  Repeatedly.  Incessantly.  Maddeningly.  My addiction transferred.  My ire rising because I am caught in the same bear trap.  I am achieving again.  Striking out.  Pushing the envelope.

I am sick.  My anemic existence seen through this myopic lens of performance.

Yet perform I must. I must.

Ok.  Ok.

I’m going to try to do it differently this time.

No stats checking for at least the next week.

Doc G

A doctor who discovered the FI community but still struggling with RE.

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4 Responses

  1. Raw! At least you’ve identified the addiction transfer. Now you need to figure out what you want. It is okay to be FI and still want to achieve a great deal. It seems the issue may be measuring from the outside (money, stats, gigs, accolades). May be time to focus on the “internal scorecard” as Buffet said.

    • Doc G says:

      Hey FI Introvert! Thanks for commenting. “Internal Scorecard”. I like it! I agree, need to do some real thinking about what makes me happy. Money solves some problems, not others.

  2. Doc G. I just stumbled onto your blog earlier this week (by way of RockStarFinance) and am enjoying your writing (the style in particular).

    As to this post, I wonder if you are being a little hard on yourself here. Why do you need to be someone who isn’t super productive? You are an American. We make things. If you are way out of control and perpetually exhausted, ok. But maybe you just enjoy being productive…. I’ve written a ton about this very topic and have even made a video about why I think early retirement is sort of a disaster, but financial independence is the bomb. I hit FI in my early 40s, but I had no intention of just chilling out. Yes, I have massive autonomy now, but I love being productive. I lived in Croatia for three years as the head of the Economic Section at the U.S. Embassy. There were tons of middle-aged dudes (often war veterans who got a pension for life right after the war–a disaster of a policy btw) who were just sipping coffee all day in the capital or on the coast. On the surface it looked like a pretty sweet life, but I submit these folks were miserable. There was a quiet desperation underneath.

    I don’t think we flourish best when we escape responsibilities and contributing where we can. If you are manic about it all, that is one thing. But I wonder if your inner compass doesn’t just know that you like to contribute at a very productive level. You can see my thoughts on this here and here

    I’m not trying to plug my site here. I really am just engaging you in conversation. I think from your other post about Money Is A Foil that you are discovering that FI is a means, not an end. If we make it the end and then achieve it, there is a huge vacuum in our lives……..

    Keep up the great writing!!!

    • Doc G says:

      Thanks Mighty Investor, I’ll check out your site. Money is definitely a means, not an end. Blogging can be an addiction, but it also can be a great relief to explore deeper thoughts and questions.

      Either way, I’ll always be creating something.

      Thanks for stopping by!

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