[Sober Living] Spiders In Bathtubs

We’re all just trying to crawl out of life’s biggest struggles, like spiders stuck in bathtubs, or like our minimal wage jobs, sacrificing our health for the corporate good, and scant hours weekly of uninterrupted leisure; if we’re not too exhausted to enjoy them. There are really only four routes. Crawl down the drain to certain death. Stay still. Keep crawling and failing to scale the bathtub’s sides. Or hope someone compassionate will rescue us.

That fourth one seems religious.

It’s closer to the idea of someone powerful finding our mixtape or essay compelling enough to thrust us into fame and wealth. Athletes and doctors work hard and sacrifice for their chance, the former seemingly more of a lottery, and the latter a lifestyle where you’ll probably work on Thanksgiving away from your family; as I did, helping a doctor with his computer for too long before telling him I was going to see my family.

That’s the third option: continual failure.

There is no other way, in my opinion, nobler. When we are plucked up like the aforementioned example, we may not be fully ready for the consequences. I’m sure the years of doctoral studies align closer here. It’s just a matter of how much will you sacrifice to get there? Family can understand. Friends come and go. If the work is important enough for you, or humanity, then every fall is another chance for success.

The second option is the most common.

After a time of struggle, maybe having one too many managers bother you about why you couldn’t achieve the impossible, you might acquiesce to a fate of moderate struggle with some room for relaxation. You might start to tolerate the headaches, the carpal tunnel, hypertension, and feel that it’s alright because at least you can occasionally enjoy the things you own.

That first option is the most regrettable.

It’s the option of giving up. When it all seems worthless. Even when you hear praise, your mind doesn’t register it as true. You begin to hate the struggle. You’ve tried and failed so many times that crawling down seems like an easy option. It’s less resistant. You can almost feel the sense of ease as you give in and let life’s waters rush over you.

I watched a spider in my bathtub for a while this morning.

It kept struggling to get out. That filled me with the willpower I needed to power through this headache and nausea that never goes away but only recedes, like the waves of addiction that could go full tide instantly. I could see it struggling and at one point it had flipped itself prone on its back.

I blew a gust of mouth air at it.

It double-stepped up and away but even after nearly one hour of struggle, it couldn’t break free. I closed the bathtub stopper. It would either crawl out or be there later today. If it’s still there, I will reward its tenacity.


It crawled out itself.

Quotes: None.
Sources: My personal and professional experiences.
Inspirations: Thinking about this spider in the bathroom, on my drive into work, and while writing this essay…
Related: Other Sober Living essays.
Photo: Above was a penny for scale. Below, as Collector said: confirmed small boi
Written On: September 23rd [26 minutes, from 4:58am to 5:24am, mobile]
Last Edited: September 23rd [Added the outro at around 3:38pm and did some minor edits. Otherwise, second 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.