You sometimes might not realize how much the grime that’s accumulated in your system is affecting you until you start dislodging it. The stresses of life build up innocently. Too many days without getting enough sleep, not eating well, not drinking enough water, or not taking care of yourself can, like my rowing machine’s chain, generally lead to a build-up of gunk that probably slowed down my rowing stats for years… let’s compare next week?
Maintaining my rowing machine has become a fun hobby for me. While I’ve known about some metric and standard/American sizes for a while now, it’s a fun tidbit to know that the seat, shown in the upper part of the picture below, is in metric whereas the rest of the machine is in standard. Concept2 must have outsourced that part of the production. If only we could maintain our bodies as easily as our machines.
Five years in March since I last drank any alcohol, five years in March since I last consumed any cannabis, and I just passed two years without taking anything that could affect my mind or body, other than caffeine or naproxen. This’s the one I’ve had the most trouble talking about because… how can I put it… …this is the counter that says I need to close any cheating loopholes. I am addicted to weakness.
I was in athletic shape once. I worked hard for months, rigorously studying fitness, until stopping for years. Careers are similar. You get the degree and perhaps opportunity, until you stop trying. Maybe you don’t get fired, laid off, or underemployed. Maybe it’s just you get disenfranchised. The nice thing about being a contractor, workin’ “the gig life,” is that your career fitness is always in athletic shape. You’re always fit and ready to work.
Self-confidence might be the hardest thing to acquire. You can work at any menial job to get pocket change. Most information is now free, so you can learn practically anything, except, the most important thing of all: you aren’t worthless. Maybe you’re in a jam. Maybe you’re living well. Maybe you’re just OK. If you accept your core being, the good and bad, then any mistakes you make are permissible. We’re imperfect beings, after all!
I just snuck an extra benzodiazepine from their hidden stash, and was debating when to ease my anxiety, before fully seeing this beat-up keychain I found during a decompression walk. I put back the same medication I had been prescribed after my panic attack and continued my day. Even years later, there are days when it would be nice having that crutch to fearlessly ease into social situations. That’s when I must “stay strong” most.
There’s a point I never want to return to again. It’s a place everyone knowingly or unknowingly has: their worst negative space. Mine lingers under hundreds of layers of hard work, earned gratitude, and lavish praise. When things go bad, it’s like I instinctively dig through those layers to negativity. Since learning to handle life without inebriation, when things get anxious for me, I remember that I have many layers of positivity still shielding me.