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.
Louder rowers envelop you with white noise. It’s an oppressive sound that even with hearing protection still prevents anything more than even more unnatural sounds to pierce through it. This sound cacophony easily quiets external distractions but also dampens internal distractions. As you’re rowing, you first focus on your pace, then whether anything hurts, then you just forget about yourself, your rowing, and all that’s left is a solitary peace as you escape the noise.
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!
“Next week, I’ll be packing. Today was a “talk ta’ people” day.” “That makes sense.[1,2]” Other than being in a writing slump because I was hungry and arriving home tired, the day I wrote this essay was a good day. If there’s anything I’ve learned throughout these past 2+ years of writing and working toward something bigger, it’s the value of social interaction. Especially for writers – we seem especially reclusive – there’s value in talkin’ ta’ people.
Between the overactive heartbeat, anxiety, looming sense of fear over the unknown, fatigue, and all, as I write this I have been more susceptible than ever toward wanting to get numb. There’d be nothing more fantastic than just returning to some degree of normalcy, but that won’t happen for a while, so instead, I’ll ride these waves of insecurity through to safer shores. All I need to do is write something. Tomorrow will be better.