Earlier this evening, I logged into a now-defunct social media profile of mine that was primarily used for many years, to cross-reference a little but mostly just for fun. Scrolling the page for old photos & post content, I had two immediate thoughts:
- Booze weight.
- Existential angst.
My generation has the unique ability to catalog our transition from adolescence to adulthood via points of reference in Facebook posts, Twitter updates, and all manner of publicly-released media in between. Reading through a bit of material shared during my senior year of college, I can see plain as day how miserable I was & how much I struggled to understand what I was dealing with.
A period rife with internal emotional conflict, that was. “I’m closing in on the end of my college experience, I should be soaking up every last moment and fondly reminiscing with classmates as we prepare to move on to the next phase of life…so why do I instead despise everything and everyone, including myself?” Of course alcohol never provided the answer (hint: it was, in part, the very cause); but, it was at least comforting enough to keep drinking my way through it. If you had told me then that 4 years later I’d have been sober for 2…“Fuck off.” is probably the response you’d have heard. That’s the thing about active alcoholics — the thought of not drinking is literally incomprehensible.
There is also fear in the concept of no longer having the crutch of drinking, and being drunk, to rely on. How in the hell could I be expected to deal with the insurmountable level of bullshit day-in day-out, if I couldn’t put up a thick sheet of liquor between myself and the rest of the world?? It was like a liquid security blanket. Except as I wrapped it tighter and tighter around myself, instead of relative insulation…it provided acute suffocation. I was just too scared to take it off.
My personal recovery program is as much about overcoming chemical dependencies as it is learning practical coping methods & leaving cowardly escapism in the dust. Face the world head-on; don your battle armor layered in plates of mindfulness, zen, compassion, and integrity; wear your sobriety like a medal of honor; conquer all. Get hyped on life. Live for yourself. No one else is going to do it for you.
It’s on you / you can choose / where you want to go in life /
No one said / that the road / would be paved all smooth an’ nice