Midway through my second year at FinancialCompany, I’m kind of losing it.
I know from my experience with my first employer at SoftwareCompany that drinking makes life generally worse. I mean, it’s simple to prove: Just add a hangover to an already crappy day and it’s always harder to bear.
But I have a problem. The issue is that I can’t turn off the work thoughts at night. I get home at six or six thirty if I’m lucky. Eat something, take off my monkey suit. Call my SO and complain about work. Then it’s probably eight at night.
I’ve been plugged into work and thinking work thoughts all day. Work work work work. Now all of a sudden I’m supposed to be able to switch gears and magically get interested in learning a new language or beating a video game or my mother’s struggles to remove poison ivy plants from her backyard or fictional characters’ imaginary lives on a television program.
I couldn’t. My internal machinery had frozen in place and could not be adjusted. Cogs had become specialized at resolving work related problems and it wasn’t possible to repurpose their efforts.
After a while I was willing to do just about anything to break things loose in my head, to get things unstuck. So I started drinking again.
The type of drinking I did at FinancialCompany was very different from anything I’d done before. At SoftwareCompany, I drank socially. I’d go out with a few co-workers or friends and do what nearly everybody does from time to time: blow steam. Sure, some nights I might have a few too many, but for the most part, it was pretty normal binge drinking, even if it was three or four nights a week.
At FinancialCompany, on the other hand, I drank alone, and for the express purpose of getting drunk. I did it even though I knew it was bad for me. Even though I knew it was probably going to make things worse.
On some rare nights this strategy worked. My brain would get unstuck and I’d finally be able to watch movies and sitcoms and get lost in the stories. But most times it didn’t, and I’d find myself obsessing over work bullshit, hating Cthulhu — hating everything! — wondering if I should quit.
I drank in an attempt to achieve conscious oblivion. Sometimes I reached it, but most of the time it eluded me.
Either way, I always regretted it the next day.
Note: I fixed this problem for good, eventually, but not before it caused me some legitimate trouble in my personal life.