[Sober Living] Out of Work III

My annual review comes up in March. Five years with “the company.” Five years of arriving ready to work, punching in the proverbial clock of redemption, every single day, regardless of how much I feel like calling in sick to escape into a daytrip of entertainment and debauchery. Part of what I’ve learned over these past few years is that if I find myself out of work, I must immediately get another gig lined up.

Some people can successfully lead inebriated lives.

I can’t. At best, when I have arrived to work hungover, drunk, stoned, or in other ways smashed, it was like dodging bullets. It wasn’t just once, accidentally, either. I had done that a handful of times with a handful of gigs, all the way up to March 2013. Why the hell did I do that?! Why also would I keep doing that?

I’ve been trying to figure that out for the last five years.

The last time that happened was the day after St. Patrick’s Day 2013. I got really stoned. When you can’t stop with just a casual experience, it doesn’t just turn off, so you can’t just innocently go back into work. Relearning how to do my work was part of my big wake up call. Same story, different variables, with my alcohol sobriety.

There’s no illusion of “hire to retire” with sobriety.

So you sign up with the sobriety gig, start getting your paychecks in the form of “not feeling like shit” and “kinda feeling somewhat good,” and starting hanging out with your other “co-workers.” They remind you that there’s no job security. They tell you about people that were fired, quit, or in other ways couldn’t keep working.

The good people don’t tell you that to fuck with you.

They’re not trying to dissuade you into a life of inebriation. The message is that it’s almost certain that you will quit your first sobriety gig, and that’s OK, just so long as you make the steps toward picking yourself back up in order to show up to work the next available day. Your sponsor will drag you into work if they must.

That’s where I’m always pensive thinking about this.

I got in early with the company, after fully realizing that I had multiple problems, and there weren’t many my age with my same voluntary mentality. A vast majority of the time, I’d do “the work” for free. It’s just in those vulnerable moments of emotional instability where certain temptations almost seem too good to be true.

Addictive behavior is easy to spot.

Last night and this morning, I ate some sugary snack bars. I wasn’t hungry. I had just eaten, was hydrated, and ready for bed. It was just one of those compulsive things we do, to satiate that little scratch that just won’t go away. Indulging in sugar is better than cannabis or alcohol. It’s also a temptation red flag.

Hopefully in five more years, I’ll still be happily employed with my sobrieties.

Sources: AA and NA meetings.

Quotes: None

Inspirations: Out of Work series.


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.