My work-sponsored health insurance helps make my work-sponsored anxiety affordably treatable through addictive anti-anxiety medication. It’s a vicious circle that I’ve once again been thrust into. There is no real easy life, just learning to cope with what you can, and changing what little about life is under your control. I do what I can. I wake up early to read, write, and/or publish, so when I get home, I can sleep restlessly without resting.
My story is not unique.
I’ve probably had it easier than most. I’ve never been in debt. Every job I’ve ever had has been out of some necessity, but rather than scraping by, it’s been more about maintaining my career or lifestyle. Yet that’s meant I’ve sacrificed relationships, friendships, and many leisurely experiences.
I haven’t watched a movie in over six months.
When I’m drained like this, I’ll mindlessly scroll through things looking for the slightest glimmer of entertainment to distract me for ten minutes. With my willpower zapped, I’ll decline into despair, my mind reaching for anything to return to the surface of tranquility. It’s this sort of behavior that’s lead to my addictions, and yet, there are occasions where that escapism is really necessary.
Disassociation from anxiety.
Last night, I arrived home from an overstimulated, exhausting shift. I got home in a state too tired for redemption. There would be no fun evening reading, writing, or relaxing. There would be no energy to stay awake during a show or movie. I’d already fallen asleep for two unexpected hours while seated. I awoke with cramps and pains. I wouldn’t allow that to happen again.
I slept for nine hours but it felt like half.
I can cope with this lifestyle by being Zombiepaper for the first three hours of my day. My work and the stress demons of reality can take the rest of my day, but in those few hours, I can be myself. It’s just that the ends of those days should be there to repair the psyche. If I leaned too far into my Zombiepaper self, my work self would suffer, but if my work self leans too far into my Zombiepaper self, is that just me being a good employee?
I can’t believe I became a child that has had to ask permission to use the restroom at work. There was no one around to help, it was claimed, and yet I could see through that lie in a few different ways. Once I said this and “but I’m willing to stay as long as I’m needed.” This is softball for most of you reading this and I’m sorry that my experiences aren’t yet more widely applicable. I just find such events and days to lead into my addictions. Instead, those are the days where we should escape into dreams, resting off the biggest anxieties, and brushing off the rest.
I’m still tired, but I’m not hungover or otherwise inebriated, revengeful, or mad.
|Quotes:  I was stuck on some work that already brought me 30 minutes of overtime. The pay isn’t great, so all it did was drain my willpower, rather than add to my bank account significantly.|
|Sources: My professional and personal experiences.|
|Inspirations: Thinking about the events from the days before and just letting those loose on the page.|
|Related: Other Sober Living essays.|
|Photo: A close-up photo, without any proper focus, on my new prescription-strength headache medication: ibuprofen. Only now does it remind me of the music video of Heart-Shaped Box by Nirvana.|
|Written On: September 22nd [26 minutes, 5am-5:26am, mobile]|
|Last Edited: September 27th [Just digi-typesetting. First draft; final draft for the Internet.]|