The “New” Path Forward

I firmly feel like I just chose the “intermediate” level trail on life. There’s more of an incline, some rock faces to scale, but it’s doable with some effort. I had been on the beginner trail for so long that this average level of effort is going to feel like a lot. The beginner trail was nice though. Good drinks, decent drugs, good sex, fun times to be had on that beginner trail. But it’s also depressing as fuck because you don’t get to experience the vast swath of life living like this. I’m beginning to see “behind-the-curtain” (to conflate analogies) and there’s a whole lot to be explored when not getting fucking hammered. The air of superiority is real when I look down at my friends that still drink every day, eat like shit, then are like, “why tummy hurt when I wake up?” Well, because you drank flavored grain alcohol then ate three pounds of deep fried bullshit right before passing out. Yeah, you’re gonna feel like shit. Change your habits if you don’t want to feel like that, you dumbshit.

It’s an easy thing to assume: don’t do the thing that makes you feel like shit. But that’s not the nature of how these things work. They’re self feeding:

  • Nicotine withdrawal in the short term makes the user want to smoke by invoking anxiety around not being able to smoke. This causes the user to smoke or occupy their entire thought process around smoking.
  • Alcohol while drinking it is a merriment maker — let’s face it, being drunk is fucking fun. The next day you feel like shit physically because you drained your body of it’s precious fluids, taking away nutrients and electrolytes along with it. Not to mention, what shit did you say to somebody? Who do you need to talk to and apologize to. It’d be good to get back to that happy time while you were drunk.
  • Eating feels great while you do it. If you’re depressed and fat like me, then you can eat a lot and get really tired. Take some Tums for the impending heartburn and go to sleep for 10+ hours. Wake up and be a little hungry again after the heartburn subsides.

The recovery from all of these things makes the activity in itself not really worth it in anything but moderation. Unfortunately, I do not think I can have any nicotine in moderation. I smoked for 25 years and I think that I probably wired a part of my brain specifically for nicotine much like opium addicts do. So nicotine free for me from now on and that feels fucking great. I noticed that my eyes are brighter somehow.

My primary partner and I were talking earlier. I was scrolling through Facebook and saw a post from 10 years ago made by my wife. We had been together for about 3 years at that point, living together 2.5 years of that time. It said something to the effect of “Hurry up… I miss you!!!” I was wrapping up a month+ long tour. I remember missing her terribly, even to the point of needing to sequester myself a couple weeks in and just cry from missing her so terribly. We were wildly in love for those first 5 years of our 10 year relationship. Seriously, not really even any arguments or disagreements about anything. I was discussing this with my primary partner and she thought it was kind of beautiful that I was mourning this. Seeing that 10 year old post really did punch me in my gut like, goddamn. We really cared for each other. And it was beautiful to mourn that as it’s not something that everybody–hell, most people–ever get to experience. I’m really fortunate to have had that love in my life. I’m not going to pine for it or hate myself for losing it. It may happen again, it may not, but I cannot do anything to change that. So thanks to my partner, I have been celebrating it and allowing myself to feel through it. That’s pretty awesome.