When I got sober in 2013 I was surprised to find out it wasn’t the drugs and alcohol that made me crazy, although they certainly exacerbated things, but underneath all the substances and men and drama, I was already crazy. This came as quite a shock to me. One that nearly undid my attempt to remain sober in those horrifying days and weeks and months that make up early sobriety. For some reason I had the mistaken impression that I’d stop drinking and drugs and smoking weed every day and my problems would be solved. All the obstacles standing in my way would magically evaporate. The sea of life would part before me once I’d freed myself from the shackles of addiction.
It turns out alcohol and drugs were merely a symptom of my crazy trying to express itself. What I’ve come to learn in the seven plus years since my last drink, is that I have a certain amount of psycho that needs to express itself every single day.
My “psycho” can take many forms but its essence is creative energy. And as I’ve said hundreds of times before, if I’m not using that creative energy judiciously, it can become self-destructive (or outwardly destructive) pretty quickly. What has been wild to observe in sobriety are the insidious ways I can still self-destruct. My addictive tendencies are like whack-a-mole. I started smoking cigarettes in year three of sobriety only to quit them in disgust six months later. Twitter is a great example of a crack-like time-suck that leaves me feeling empty. There was a period of time where I was eating sheet cake for breakfast.
My daily goal is to productively express as much psycho as I can, lest I be left with a surplus that needs expression tomorrow. A surplus of psycho is a hard thing to manage. It’s like having a light saber and having no idea how to use it.
So much of what I’m seeing in society right now, particularly with the younger generations, is a surplus of psycho. There is a lot of restless, scattered, pent-up energy coming out of the pandemic year heading into the summer and it reminds me so much of early sobriety. All the momentum that got crushed. All those dreams that were abandoned or put on hold. All the energy that we channeled into cleaning our homes, tackling projects, making TikToks, baking bread or just fighting with people online. All of it is rushing forth, demanding expression.
Your creative force has to go somewhere. It’s energy that can’t be destroyed. If you misuse that energy it can destroy you or the world around you. Instead, use that energy to dance, to sing, to workout, to write that book you’ve been wanting to write, to coach your kid’s baseball team, to volunteer and face the wreckage of our cities. Use it to create. To build. Don’t waste that surplus of psycho on drama, fueling neuroses or addictions. It’s a rocket booster that with just a little bit of focus and discipline can propel you to even greater heights—or at the very least, to getting out of your own damn way.
All of my love,