[Sober Living] Your Dying Hill

What hill are you willing to die on? What is the one goal you hold in such high regard that you will do whatever it takes, for however long it may take, to achieve? My truth is, even after fully envisioning the achievement resulting from surviving that hill, any vulnerable moment contains elements trying to drag me down. Why can’t we ignore these distractions and continue our climb? Why do we fight in meaningless battles?

We are seduced by many “hills.”

If you can imagine any hill, in this context, as a concept that you want to achieve, such as writing for me, then why would I waste my time on other things unless they help augment my ability to write – getting paid so I can survive – or help me relax when I don’t feel like writing? That might enable a more well-rounded life experience and sometimes you’ve just gotta do the shit work to get money. If we know this, why do we enable ourselves to sacrifice our personalities for a work ego?

It’s hard trying to conquer a hill.

It’s easier to let our companies and bosses gamble on their future. We’ll just be content living a meager life without worrying about aspirations of grandeur in our field. After all, what if we only want to conquer a tiny, insignificant hill? Well, the thing is, that figurative hill isn’t something you win once and forget about. We’re unable to modestly attain the good life just by living a life where we encounter myriad frictions daily. That’s why for me, my goal is a little different.

I want to achieve the better life.

I’m good where I am, but I want more. I don’t mean more abundance of tangentially interesting resources. I want a life of nearly complete autonomy. My writing reflects that. I write about what I want… when I want. I am only restricted by my writing skill. My competition isn’t some successful novelist, fellow WordPress blogger, or Internet-famous writer. Everything I write is in direct battle with my inner voice screaming at me at the top of its lungs when something doesn’t seem right.

When I write well, that stress demon is quiet.

The more I write, over 250,000 words published on Better Zombie and counting, the more I see the nature of work, aspirations, and addiction all colliding like some dangerous tragedy. I write because I must. This form of self-expression is therapeutic for me. Without the constant ability to dig into the depths of my fears and dreams, I would not be able to come to terms with the idea that despite my best efforts, my numerous addictions will always be trying to break and enter.

Addictions will always try tearing down my flag.

If, instead, I continually write to improve myself in terms of how I treat myself or treat others, my skills in the craft of writing or even just daily skills, my perception of reality and how I can work toward bending the points of reality that I dislike, and the mental endurance to write either into the empty void or to critics just shy of harsher than me, then I can climb up this hill I’ve chosen and then place the flag representing my life’s effort at a point that cannot be torn down.

That is when I will attain the better life- perhaps free of addiction?

Because that’s the thing about addiction. I didn’t ask for this. I didn’t sign the volunteer roster for having the inability to “shut it off” after having one glass of beer. If it feels good, I have to have another, and then another, and even these essays all represent that. Each one made me feel good enough to want to complete and publish them. All my drafts and scrapped essays didn’t give me enough pleasure to want to complete them to the degree that they needed to be.

When I write, I forget about all that.

Being in the writing zone is a better high than anything else for me. When I am at one with my writing, like I was with “Cleared Side Job,” I was originally just going to write my usual 500-word limit. It kept going. When I hit 1000 words, it still felt good but it wasn’t there, and by 1500 words, everything was moving at full-speed. It didn’t feel right until I approached 2000 words. It doesn’t matter I can’t sell that short story by itself or that no one will probably read it.

For me, writing is more addictive than any substance.

Yet, the kicker is that even after writing so much, it’s still difficult to get into that good thought pattern to write. Hours ago today, I felt like shit, and just wanted to binge eat, and did, uncontrollably. That’s a symptom that my life is out of order. If I don’t enable myself to do things like that, I’ll become more self-destructive in more regretful ways. It’s terrible, I know, but I’m being honest with myself and to you for a reason. This is a confessional with an external purpose.

Let’s attain some greater understanding surrounding addiction.

What is the specific element or psychological deviation inside myself that is so fundamentally broken that I would rather self-destruct to some harmfully addictive substance than retreat into serenity? What pushes me past the realm of the normal person with their naturally-occurring shut-off valve? Is that the fuel that encourages me to climb up this hill upon which I am willing to die upon if I must to achieve what I need to in this lifetime?

You only get one hill. Better make it count.

It would be a waste to squander over some stupid argument that leads to bloodshed, right? That is dramatic to be sure, but what that represents is our willingness to fight battles for things we don’t care about over pride or a sense of entitlement.

What’s the hill that drives you, like a mad person, to climb?

Quotes: None
Sources: My personal experiences.
Inspirations: A conversation where I brought up this concept.
Related: None
Drawing: Some cute hills.
Written On: June 3rd
Last Edited: June 3rd
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.