When A High Functioning Alcoholic Is The Best You Can Aim For In Life..
I was a high functioning alcoholic until I stopped functioning one day. I wore “high functioning alcoholic” as a badge of honour up until then. The unspoken way of being a British/Irish male is to be hard living grunt. There’s an honour to getting fucked up and being able to handle it.
I built the whole Angry Jogger thing around that too. My aim was to become a hard drinking, hard running, ultra Brit. A man who didn’t give a fuck and could drink all the pints in the world and still fucking function.
Part of me lived like that as I needed an excuse for being completely mediocre in every aspect of my life and that has always been my fear. At least when I was poisoning myself nightly I had a handicap. A reason as to why I was substandard.
Yes sir, the reason I suck is that I’m hungover as fuck!
I was mediocre in school. I’ve no real flair or talents. In the foreign language classes I never took the work seriously as I honestly never thought I’d go to Germany or Spain. We rarely went on holidays except to Portrush in Northern Ireland when I was young. Being raised working class outside Belfast easily leads to a lot of shortsightedness and a malaise towards the outside world.
It all added to an insularity that I’m still trying to break through. Running ultramarathons helps a little. At least I’m getting outside of myself.
When you’re living as a high functioning alcoholic you live in fear of a rock bottom. The event where you lose all your shit and your life effectively ends is just around the corner.
Rock bottom is bullshit. You’ll always find new ways to sink into depravity. Rather than focusing on how far you might sink, why not focus your energies on actually moving on up?
No one notices when you live inauthentically in an inauthentic society until you vomit all over it’s balls and/or call its ma a slag.
No one really cares.
I committed career suicide by writing my book. Who honestly wants to employ a flaky impulsive wanker with a shitty attitude towards work? I’ve had to address my many faults whilst sober and have redoubled my efforts to improve in the areas I need to improve in. I now only work on projects and with clients where the end goal is agreed upon and I know I can succeed. I’ve been low and down to the point of despair. I’ve regrouped from that and I’m driven to succeed with an unholy hate of the situation I found myself in (largely my fault). That’s why I don’t fucking drink.
That’s why I can easily run 29 half marathons in 29 days.
I’ve no fear anymore as I’ve already lost a lot and I can only go up.
What matters to me is staying off the drink today, running, raising awareness for charity, expressing myself through this shitty blog and doing good work for my clients.
I’m creating the life I want to live sober. It’s taking some time but I’m getting there.