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OP here; just an update. I feel a little better, because I haven't drank any alcohol or smoked in roughly two weeks. I haven't gone without alcohol for that long in about three years, so this is a good thing. I honestly feel like getting drunk every night is what put myself in such a rut, which I sort of knew even back then, but at the same time I didn't really have any opportunities, so I don't know what I would have done differently. Whenever I'm in some sort of emotional crisis, I feel the urge to get high or drunk; I still get that way, despite being dry for a while. But on the whole, I haven't felt this good in a while, which is great because I was starting to think that it was all downhill from here.
Yeah, it made me think, too. We are so motivated to be successful, but there are only so many ways to do that, and only so many openings. There is a place in the middle, but most just feel like they get the shaft in life, even some of the ones on top. Oddly, some homeless people (the least successful of them all) love life, so in a way they can see right through all of the bullshit that we've bought into. I guess that I'm in the middle ground; I know that what is considered success is not something that I really want for myself, but at the same time, I don't feel like I'm really where I should be in life. I'm no longer so down on myself about it, since now I'm starting to resolve it, but still...I'm not sure. Much self-doubt left in me, still.
I do have to reach out, but I've just been alone all my life. I live in a university town, and I get negative vibes from people. I would leave, but I still have a friend or two here, and I don't want to abandon them. Plus, leaving takes money to do; time isn't a problem, since that is a luxury that I always have, for some reason (the best luxury you can have, really). I do have interests, but my personality doesn't gel well with most people. Plus, my interests are esoteric (fringe philosophy, herbalism, fringe spirituality, psychology) and I just don't have much energy to do a lot with myself, although that part is getting better due to no longer being a drunk.