Life is the most stressful thing we all do. Within it, there is beauty and brutality. What happens when we encounter overwhelming stress? Stimuli that seems unfathomable from multiple angles can seem like juggling chainsaws, and before I forced myself to remain sober, moments like these would be my weakness. I would allow the stress to consume me. Now, though stress still affects me deeply, I’m usually able to bounce back overnight with some self-care.
Knee-deep in this depressive state, I don’t feel good, as in the opposite of evil rather than well. I feel like I am not worthy of having good things. Not respectable. Bad things should happen to me and that I might not be successful in both my hobby dreams and professional ventures. I feel like I am one failure away from not being able to bounce back. I just want to sleep this badness away.
I’ve collected all these things to satisfy, distract, my inner demons. When I’m in one of these more intense battles of the mind, “a fight for my soul,” what helps me though is usually some new little distraction. My inner critic, so powerful that anything anyone says is but a whisper in comparison to its screams, enjoys these plastic distractions. Sometimes sleep helps as well. I hate not having control over my thoughts like this.
I’m frustrated over my lack of progress. In life, my writing, my moving-out process, and everything. I’ve tried decreasing my impossibly high standards for myself. Maybe that goal is exacerbated by my one goal: writing. I balance that singular goal out with procrastinative activities when I’m not feeling well. It helps. Still, I’m frustrated that I’m not further along, which is weird. I was just told, to paraphrase, that I have an incredible work ethic.
This is just going to be a formless essay. I’ve omitted the picture, and won’t go for the usual 75-word introduction, chorus-verse-chorus writing style, so much of this is just going to be raw thought, unedited, and just going at my own pace.
Facebook must be paid a lot by alcohol companies to peddle their brands to everyone. I’ve tried every possible avenue to reach out to Facebook to tell them to stop their occasional sprinkling of alcohol ads within Facebook or Instagram, but they don’t care. Even with my understanding that advertisers as a whole don’t really consider the needs of the customer beyond how much money they can swindle, on average, it’s still frustrating to encounter.
March, for me, is about new beginnings. Six years ago on St. Patrick’s Day, rather than reminiscing over memories of my childhood dog and the joy he brought, I selfishly indulged. Photos of Patrick aren’t full of regret, rather, his smiling face encourages me to smile. I lost something between then and now. I don’t what exactly, but some sort of profound hole of satisfaction. We had smiles when we were young. Let’s keep smiling.
No one talked about insobriety-related problems when I was growing up. Not just familial, but any media. While it’s a weird, controversial thought: If there’d been even one source of media, one cartoon, that accurately addressed how terrible it is to live with this aching sense of addiction aimed at children, I probably wouldn’t have started. But then, if something like this existed, would I be here? Or would someone else be writing this column?
Unearthing this object was terrifying for me. Contained on this piece of cardboard are memories that are not positive, dispersed throughout my first two years without alcohol. I was still coping with the world as it is, a merciless, unpolite place that will consume you if you’re not careful. I’ve donned a bit of a jester attitude toward life perhaps in response to that. Nothing else is as serious as your daily pursuit of meaning.
Overcoming the allure of insobrieties, in many ways, taught me the discipline I needed to start pursuing what I love doing. When you’re stuck in misery, the natural inclination is to let that beast take its way with your emotions or physicality. However, when you look at that challenge to work even though you’re exhausted the same way you look at not drinking, it’s easy to just say: Alright, let’s suck it up and go!