Was it the child that coughed her throat out for most of the plane ride that made me feel sick today? The weather change? Not stuffing myself in good restaurants? I feel exhausted with the sort of head cold that would make a good excuse to not get out there and do anything at all, because after all, not feeling well is always a good excuse for not doing stuff, right? I don’t quite agree.
I’m writing this on the tail-end of a headache. It’s still in there, lingering; lumbering its way through my body. There’s still a massive pressure behind my eyes, in my neck, and in my ability to concentrate. Normally, all processes are clear, I can focus, and do my work unimpaired. Headaches are like a sudden inebriation. My concentration and willpower are massively impaired as I’m struggling to even want to continue writing about this experience.
I’ll be in a different space when this publishes. Different job, different experiences… different lifestyle? The space I’m in as I’m writing this in late August is mostly a negative space. The veneer is nice and I’m meeting great people that are generous with sharing themselves, yet deep down, it doesn’t feel right. There are malaise and disquiet rumbling underneath my psyche. Why isn’t it good? Let’s explore, to help the “me” of October 13th.
The day before I sobered up is one I’ll always remember, not so much sequentially, but more cerebrally than that. I was working at the thrift store at the time, directionless, unmotivated, blaming others for the problems I wasn’t addressing, and just squandering my life. It was a difficult job. When I wasn’t jumping into moldy trailers or being lambasted for working “slowly,” I was trash-compacting high-quality goods. Then… maybe a glimpse into something greater…
When things get a little too weird for me, this phrase gets me in a good space: “reality is subjective.” If everyone observed the same reality equally except for me, then I’d be feeling pretty left out, you know, but it’s not! If you and I observed the same situation, we both have subjective filters. I wear glasses for vision impairment, which innocently changes my perspective of reality, but let’s dig into this deeper still.
The best and worst thing for maintaining one’s sobriety is employment. There is no better crutch to rest your mind upon than your employment, where any subconscious faults in your life can usually be reasonably blamed on some external factor like a boss, colleague, or situation. Yet that constant career pressure can break us down if we don’t moderate our workaholic tendencies. Spend an extra five minutes for polishing something? How about… five more minutes?
I can’t have the one thing that best eases my nerves. Nor can I have the second, third, or fourth-place things to acquiesce that occasional itch that burns so deep within my psyche to drag me through the inner depths of psychology that can’t be cured through a leisurely day outside, hanging out with friends. When the sun and the sky mean nothing, that’s when it’s time to shift focus to the only valuable thing:
No Smoking signs are a joke in Seattle. As I walked toward three people smoking at a No Smoking sign, I saw the one closest to the road blow smoke all over the sidewalk. Smokers like this infuriate me because they disrespectfully ruin public perception with negligent behavior, unaware of any pain they cause by forcing others from their sobrieties. Approaching fast, I kept my intense gaze burned on his eyes, walking closer, ever closer.
We are mostly imprisoned by the insecurities of our minds. For every actual obstacle we face, there are plenty more that are just because we’re too tired, we’ll procrastinate, or we just can’t imagine it’ll ever happen. When we don’t confront the realities of what we want versus what we have, we become miserable, sometimes lashing out at others, or other times abusing ourselves. There is no need to keep yourself chained to good enough.
The anxiety wouldn’t stop, no matter what I tried. Everything I could think of to fix the anxiety just didn’t work. All I had to do was ride it out until it finally subsided by an external force – the anxiety had been caused over an inability to do something important and having to defer to others, which I know is a pride thing, but the problem is that the solution is not always that predictable.