Chapter 2 of my first book: Introducing “Old Dave”: A Typical Monday in the winter of 2010

 In Book
C

 

 

CHAPTER 2: Introducing “Old Dave”: A Typical Monday in the winter of 2010

DRAFT

Here is a picture of my favourite hidden corner
at my favourite hidden food court.
One of my favourite Hangouts.
More like Monday Morning Hideouts!
Is it already Monday again? This sucks! Big Time!
I HATE MONDAYS!  Holy S**T! How did I end up here?

“Silence, like a cancer grows”
–  Lyrics from the “The Sound of Silence” by Paul Simon

Dear Diary.
Montreal. Sometime in early 2010.  Enjoying another Depression Lunch
F**k. Not another Monday! I hate Mondays. The booze from the weekend and previous week have worn off by this time. I am starting to feel depressed again. Oh well, I should at least be thankful that I don’t get hangovers anymore.  One of the positives of drinking a combination of 4-6 bottles of wine and 12-18 bottles of beer a week. My body just seems to have gotten used to the booze.

I am starting to have doubts that I am ever going to get out of this rut.  It is hard to describe my feelings of depression. Probably, because I don’t want to feel them. I would rather just ignore them, and hope that they go away, on their own. I feel lost, and without hope. I feel so alone. I have so little energy that even standing up is a chore. I even have trouble breathing sometimes. It is like there is a pain in my gut. I can’t tell you how many times I have just crashed on the couch at home with a newspaper, trying to escape my feelings of hopelessness, by reading a bunch of news articles or staring at the wall. But today, I can’t crash on my couch because, I am at work. Thankfully, it is almost time for another depression lunch.  Time to go hide out in the corner of the food court near my office. I have a secret spot where no one can find me. They say misery likes company, well, I prefer to suffer alone.

After 13 years of steady career progression with the firm, during which I thought I was heading in the right direction, I am now just realizing that something is not right. Really not right. The new performance coach that was assigned to me at work, to help me get out of this funk that I now find myself in, keeps telling me that I have to get out of my comfort zone. Even once would be a good start, he tells me. Start networking and meeting new people, try new types of projects etc… Oh, and sales, for which I have specific annual targets, is all about relationship building and should not terrify me. Yah right. Even hearing the word “sales” makes me want to crawl under a table. I have been delivering projects for the past dozen years or so. Not selling them. I am just not cut out for the requirements of this role, yet I know of nothing else. It is like I have grown into a role that no longer suits me, but I am too scared to do anything about it. Even thinking of something else scares me.  So, I try not to think of something else. I try not to think of ANYTHING else.  And, I can’t think of a better way to not think of anything else, than to read the newspaper. Or watch movies. Lots of movies. Or drink alcohol. Lots of alcohol.

Well, as much alcohol as my body can take.  So far, my body restricts me to drinking only 5 days a week. Five days with a BUZZ ON is all my body will allow. I have tried to push it to six days but unsuccessfully, my body just can’t handle that much booze, so the newspapers and movies will have to cover off the other 2 days.  I am also not fond of drinking during office hours, or while at work, so my imbibing usually starts in the early evening. I have quite the routine going. It starts on Wednesday and lasts the rest of the week.

I get up around 5:30 am and go to work. I go home at night and grab a drink. I get a buzz on and leverage the accompanying energy boost (a.k.a. sugar rush) that will allow me to squeeze in a couple more hours of work until midnight.  Then, an hour or two of relaxing by lying on the couch, alone in my dark basement, before going to bed to try and get some sleep. And by trying to get some sleep, I mean trying. Just try sleeping after drinking a bottle and a half of wine. Not easy. Not easy waking up the next morning either.  In my case, waking up in a set of sheets that are soaking wet from what I now refer to as the night sweats. I have never had night sweats before. Sometimes I have to ring out my pillow case it is so wet. Oh well, at least my wife’s side of the bed is dry. Good thing for king sized beds.

Oh, and good thing for coffee. Getting up these days. That is where the coffee comes in. Lots of it. A couple pots will do. That usually gets enough caffeine flowing through my system to get me back home and in front of another glass of wine. It is the craziest thing. It will be nearing 8pm at night. I have just put my two young children to bed. Time for some work. I am exhausted. Even the thought of working is a turn off, but I know that the magic of the booze will kick in, and, in short order. I know that once I am a little over half way through my first glass of wine, like magic, I will be completely energized. Wow. How cool is that.

Cool most of the time, but not on Mondays. Did I mention that I HATE Mondays? I can’t drink on Mondays. My body just can’t do it. So here I am, it is Monday, a day that many traditionally find tough to get up for in the first place. Here I am, coming off of a 5-day drinking binge and guess what? No booze to help you today buddy! Oh well, I guess I should be grateful that at least my body still allows me have my caffeine fix 7 days a week. Yuk. Wednesday, where are you? I miss you! I miss my booze buzz.

What do I do? Do I look for another job? Another career? That is scary. Besides, I am part of the furniture here. My area of expertise has been developed over many years, I can’t just turn on a dime and develop another one. Our clients are from some of the most complex organizations in the world. They are facing significant challenges. How can I possibly develop the capabilities to help them? I am no longer a young consultant with lots of time to learn new things. Our people are so much more knowledgeable than me in these other areas of expertise. And the thought of selling just turns me right off. On top of that, if I do decide to leave, my wife keeps reminding me of the importance of having another job lined up before I do leave so that we don’t have a disruption to our cash flow and potential negative impact on our net worth. I don’t think that there is a role in another organization that will have a comparable pay. I am actually pretty sure that there is not.

Maybe I can ride this out? A freedom fifty-five retirement plan might do just the trick. That is only 10 more years away. We have no debt and two good incomes coming in. Totally doable. I can start crossing off the days on the calendar and before you know it, I will have more time to spend with my wife, my family and my friends. Anyways, it is now 11am and time to head off for my depression lunch. Grab something to eat and read the newspaper, hidden away in my corner of the food court.  Reading the paper takes my mind off of my misery, if only for a couple of hours. My daily non-booze induced escape. It used to be an hour but it has now morphed into 2 hours. Hopefully no one misses me at work.

Food for thought (pardon the pun), I might want to cut down on the amount of food I am eating but it is too yummy. I stepped on the scale last night and I weighed in at 240 pounds. That is 30 on the BMI scale, which means I am obese. I guess I am not surprised. All the food and booze and I just can’t get myself to exercise no matter what I try.

How am I going to get through this? I am stuck. I cannot summon the energy to move forward. I am even paying my 6-year old son 25 cents on Sundays to make sure I never have an empty beer bottle in my hand. Wow. What a role model for a Dad. I feel so isolated but I don’t want to speak to anybody about anything. Enjoying another Depression Lunch. How did I get here? Yuk! Oops, my food is getting cold, I gotta go. I gotta go eat now. I gotta go escape now. Let’s see, what is new in the world of sports?

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So, What did I learn?
How did I make change EASYer on myself 😊 (or not ☹)

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When I look back at this chapter of my life, there is one word that comes to mind and that one word is ISOLATION. I isolated myself from everyone, and I mean everyone, including myself and my feelings. The only exception was my children. The worse things got, the more isolated I became, which in turn resulted in me feeling even more helpless and depressed, which in turn made me feel even more stuck. Stuck and lost and scared. Wow. Isolating myself. Avoiding my feelings. Silencing myself. Talk about NOT making change EASYer on oneself ☹. Talk about not making just living day to day, EASYer on myself ☹.

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That was all about me. What about YOU?What are you doing to make your journey of change EASYer on YOU? 😊 (or not ☹)

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Are you feeling connected enough to others?

 

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