[Sober Living] Fill In Potholes

Our lives are often filled with minor annoyances. Whether it’s a pothole that causes a jostle along our commute, rough interactions, or a glaring sense of ennui that life isn’t as going as well as it could, we’re constantly down on ourselves. It’s like that survival instinct gets turned off sometimes. It’s in those darker moments where you’ve just gotta find some pothole to fill in; something that can ideally help others along with yourself.

This pothole had bothered me for nearly six months.

If I swerved to its right, I’d hit it with my right tire, which was more desirable than if I swerved to its left and hit it with my left tire. I forgot about it. There were more important things to deal with in my life. Over the past week, I’d finally began to have enough, so I found myself being reminded in inopportune moments to do something about it. Would I need to fill it in myself? I searched online for “[city] pothole” and found a result that wouldn’t do for my area. I refined my search: “[town] pothole.” The town’s government site had a phone number, email, and form. I filled out the form as precisely as I could, neurotically giving directions to maybe someone about precisely where they could find the obstruction in the road, and left it to chance.

“Received your request and we will look into this for you.[1]”

I received this response less than one hour after I sent the form! You’d think I’d feel elated. I was helping myself, friends that might stop by the apartment-mansion, and my community. As we all do, I allowed my day to be diluted by negative forces that stressed me into an anxiety-induced nap, and I let that negativity consume me until I decided to fight against the negativity with a direct email and then allowed that stress to wash over me as I soaked in the sunshine. As I read, a thought lingered in my mind.

I had to see it.

Not for any sense of ego. As nice it will be to drive over that patch of road and think about how I was the instigator for action, no, the sensation to go out and see it was to fight back against this sense of cowardice I’ve adopted on certain days I have off. I’ll shelter myself at home and refuse to talk to anyone. In small bouts, this can be healthy to recharge from days or weeks of pretending to be something you’re not quite. Anything more than that affects your mind. Your mind, even as your strongest ally, will twist and contort facts. Whenever possible, it’s good to see the positivity you bring into the world for yourself.

There are many potholes in life.

I would encourage you to find some pothole in your area and find a solution for it today, whether it’s a physical one, or the more insidious potholes of your mind that discourage your contentment.

Quotes: [1] Thanks, Mike.
Sources: My personal experiences.
Inspirations: I was reading The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A F-Grawlix-CK and this thought kept creeping in to see the pothole. As I continued reading, I decided to do so, and when I did, flashes from The Sunken Cruise Ship inspired me to get outside my comfort zone and see it. I didn’t really feel any sense of pride, but I was happy to go, and really, I think we should look at situations like these as trophies of us being good people when we screw up, because more often than not, we’ll forget that we did well.
Related: Other Sober Living essays.
Photo: I walked across the street to catch two shots. This one had better framing. I could have been more creative with my photography. I use photography for my writing so I don’t consider myself a photographer.
Written On: September 4th [Less than 26 minutes, since between 5:24pm and 5:50pm I replied to the email I implied about before with that negativity, WordPress]
Last Edited: September 4th [First draft; final draft for the Internet.]
My big goal is writing. My most important goal is writing "The Story." All other goals should work toward that central goal. My proudest moment is the most recent time I overcame some fear, which should have been today. I'm a better zombie than I was yesterday. I'm not better than you and you're not better than me. Let's strive to be better every day.