What I really need is some inspiration...
It's a Tuesday morning and I’m waking up in a cold sweat, two and a half hours late for work. My stomach says vomit. My face says sweat. My heart is bruised. Today is the second sick-day in a row. Also, it’s the second day in which I’ve made myself sick. I feel conflicted; panicky and worried, but relieved as well. Did I do this consciously? Was it to get out of work another day because I am hating it? A part of me is saying “yes”. This is my attempt to shine light on the root cause of these “sick days”.
The easy answer is that I am an alcoholic. Born and raised.
Alcoholism is a struggle. Alcoholism is also a mental illness (surprise, surprise). (http://www.hazeldenbettyford.org/articles/why-is-alcoholism-classified-as-a-mental-illness)
For me, the worst times are brought on by a combination of external forces and internal weaknesses. The worst times are also brought on by loneliness. The best times are when I am strong and healthy, my best self. At these times, the alcoholic is a shadow.
To get to the root cause of why I’ve been drinking myself ill, we need to go back. We could go back to the beginning, which is well before I existed. We could go back to whenever alcoholism became a dominant gene in my family. I don’t have the history or science to dive into that. Let us digress and only revisit where I began the particular depression which is causing this flare up. And I would like to note that, in a way, this depression was self-imposed. Additionally, I would like to note that this is beginning to sound like an article about alcoholism…
It is an article about alcoholism. But, the real focus for this alcoholic is work-life balance.
What in the hell does that mean? (In-the-hell.) Work… Life…. Wikipedia defines work-life balance as “..a concept including proper prioritizing between "work" (career and ambition) and "lifestyle" (health, pleasure, leisure, family and spiritual development/meditation). “
In 2009, I made a conscious decision, or self imposition; I would experiment with a corporate job for a three-year period. I would focus on career and ambition, leaving the rest as a secondary. I performed well in this light. Those who know me did not see this coming. I was a vagabond socialist hippie for years. Many hours of internal dialogue brought me to, and kept me on, this path.
As summary, I took a corporate job against my best judgment. Over time I was letting the important things (lifestyle) melt away while I explored this experiment. How many promotions did I get, in the allowed 3-year experiment? Enough to make me look for the next reward (3 promotions…). So, I gave it more time (4 years). How far did I get in those years? Enough to make another corporate leap (1 year and counting)… Lifestyle was placed on the back burner and work was fully focused on. My family was so proud. I was finally succeeding, in their eyes. I started sleeping less, working more. My artistic inclinations were dissolving to the point of non-existence.
These decisions to put my work first majorly fanned the flames of my disease. But, a recent love and dedication, which includes education, are elevating me to a new level of understanding. I'm remembering my true self and taking steps toward realigning who I am with how I am being.
Work/Life balance means more to me than I am letting on. I’m rediscovering me. I want days off. I want to travel with my love. I want ENOUGH time. I want time to sleep, and connect with friends, and cook a home-made meal. I want time to see the world, time to take the time I need to feel well.
And, as I cry in bed, as I feel ashamed, as I judge who I’ve become, I am also setting my stage. I am actively working to alter the landscape of my existence. I’ve applied for other work. I’ve applied for fewer wages. I've taken steps to make my current position more of what works for me. I’ve applied to change my life. I’m saving for a transition. If the time comes where this is too much, I can bow out. Resume old roles, like delivering pizza. I am looking forward to change. I look forward to embracing my life. has helped me quit smoking (3.5 months and counting), and to stop drinking (10 days and counting).
Ultimately, the inspiration that led me here is one of loving. (Thank you, love.) The act of loving someone else and supporting their spiritual growth, is taking place in my life. As I occupy that space, it is impossible not to also support my own spiritual growth. We often hear "how are you going to love someone else if you can't love yourself"?, and it's true.
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Thomas J. Ameloot has had many adventures travelling around the U.S., writing and performing music, planting vegetables, tasting coffee, and currently working as a Q.A. Manager. One of his greatest joys in life is to bring joy to others, usually by making delicious local meals or sharing in laughter.