Been wracking my brain over the last few days for what I was going to write about. Needed to write about something but couldn’t get right back into some of the things I have written previously. Not feeling drained, more like released from so much that I have consciously or subconsciously been holding on to for years.
Decided that writing about balance, and my struggle with it throughout my life would be a good place to start. I am still trying to find a sense of balance within this website, even. I have begun typing this out on May Twenty-Sixth, Twenty-Seventeen. My last post was May Seventeenth, Twenty-Seventeen. Just one day short of one month — from the day this website was started.
In that time, one month; fifty-one pieces were published.
Balanced out to just about half old, half new. I cranked away night by night. So much that I caused a little bit of a rift in my marriage for a few days. I lost a sense of balance in myself and my life. Focused solely on this website and writing — I saturated myself in them. Like the true addict I am. Found something new and interesting, took my fancy, and I dived headlong in. Had it not been for Megan I may have run myself into the ground affecting me and us in all sorts of negative ways.
Balance is something I have always struggled with. Plenty sure there is an earlier memory about it that my parents could recall, but one that sticks out to me most is when Pokémon first came out for the Game Boy. I was in the second grade. Had a friend at that time, Michael. We would hang out after school every Monday before his parents got home from work — so he would have company and could skip day-care.
After booting up Pokémon for the first time, though. Hanging out with Michael didn’t matter to me so much.
Enthralled by this new world that took the gameplay style I had learned from playing Final Fantasy titles, added cute creatures to collect and level, and was portable. I could play anywhere in the house and get away from everyone to play alone if I wanted to. It was the perfect escape. Which video games have proven time and time again — are. For me, and many others I can only assume.
The first Monday after getting Pokémon Blue (Alan got Red) as a gift I didn’t take the bus to Michael’s. He didn’t take the bus either — Michael went to day-care that day. I had told Michael some nonsense about why I couldn’t be at his place. Couldn’t tell you what. When I got home I don’t remember anyone else being present, though the tiles in the kitchen or walkway had recently been re-done. Was in possession of a key to the house but don’t think anyone was expecting me home — so they weren’t.
Awesome. One of my favorite things in the world is a silent, empty house.
There’s something about it. I feel in complete control of my surroundings and in my element. In those times really nothing should happen that I don’t want to. You know, in the realm of a normal calm sunny day, in the privacy of my home.
So I did what my eight year old self wanted to do, and had been thinking about all day. I ran upstairs, grabbed my Game Boy, and plopped down on the stairs to play. Couldn’t have been very far in at this point, but it had its hooks in me deeply. Doesn’t take much for a video game, movie, or any creative media — honestly. A half an hour or more must have gone by before my mom walked through the front door and asked me what the heck I was doing on the stairs with my Game Boy.
Knowing me, some good ol’ baloney came out. My mom had already gotten a phone call from Michael’s about the bullspit excuse I spewed. So she was legitimately just checking to see if I would tell the truth or not. Mom is good at that.
We had a good long talk after that. About balance, and what is important.
What friendships can provide that video games can’t, and how doing what I did would make Michael feel. I abandoned something that meant a lot to a person because I wanted to play in an imaginary world.
Still have a lot of difficulty with balance, and priorities, and how to get them right. Not professionally — there’s an iron fist in life about that able to keep me in tow. Free time though, how I manage it, what I do with it. Still a daily struggle for me.
I am an addict. I have written about that a few times now. I like to get addicted to things. Now, I am not a twelve-stepper, nor do I adhere to the normal living style of recovering addicts. I still drink alcohol and smoke marijuana. Those are two substances I believe I can control myself with and be a functioning adult perfectly well. I have seen alcohol kill plenty of people I am close to or affect them severely negatively. I really just like a glass of scotch or a beer after a long day to take off the edge. I enjoy the taste, and I don’t often get a buzz, but I do feel better about life.
Regardless of how this living style is perceived by other recovering addicts or people who are not addicts at all, I don’t care.
My current personal and professional life give evidence to my ability to be a responsible adult with these decisions, so that’s all I need to provide if you want to question me. Barring a little coke after the death of my cousin, Paul (which is the only drug I have said I would not say no to if it was in front of me, though would not seek out), I have not touched anything aside from pot and alcohol in nearly ten years.
Well, there was that time where I did some molly, also not long after Paul’s death. My [redacted] [redacted] put it best when he refused, though. “There’s nothing else I can learn from it any more”. Lo and behold, I didn’t. Spent more time trying to figure out what the hell it was cut with that I could see in it and feel in my system than actually enjoying it. Done with that one for a lifetime now.
With that said, the things that I was truly addicted to: cigarettes, personal relationships with people brought closer due to hallucinogenic & drug induced experiences, the rush of trying a new substance, and opiates. Those I really do my damnedest to stay away from.
Opiates are a tough one, because our society medically just doesn’t think about it all that much. How it is literally lab manufactured legal heroin. How addictive it is, and how many lives it destroys without proper monitoring, after care, or an alternative. I have had pain killers within these years, struggled with them as well. I am glad to have family support around me when prescribed painkillers. Things would get terribly ugly otherwise.
Feel like I have lost my way on a few paths here in this piece, but both have to do with balance, and my struggle with it.
I was imbalanced even in the beginning of this website. Thinking I could legitimately handle forcing myself to put out two things per day after I ran out of old things.
This piece was a long way of me talking about my issues with balance, and how I am doing this website almost entirely for me. I really, truly appreciate any and all audience, but also need to recognize balance and to keep myself grounded. I do not need to set precedent about how often posts will go live. I also do not need to feel guilty about when there is nothing new up some days. Nobody is paying me to do this, I do this because I desire it.
So, in the future, still expect my posts to come out at eight o’ clock in the morning. Just don’t expect them every day. Sometimes they will be, sometimes they won’t be. I am going to try and have a little bit more balance in my life, and keep things a little bit more realistic for my health.
As always, thank you for reading. The fact that I have an audience means the world to me and does push me to keep writing.
I was afraid that I would find it difficult to write again after over a week off — but as usual, the fear makes it a lot more difficult than it really is. Especially after getting started.
Thank you for reading and following. If you have any interest in looking for things I have written that you have not read yet. Please check the table of contents, here.
©2017 Trevor Elms
A name and relation has been removed from this piece for anonymity. It will not be added in the future.
Featured photo by Trevor Elms ©2006
3 thoughts on “Balance.”
As somebody with ADHD, I completely relate to your post. Balance, addictions, not being able to stop something once you start…something I have also struggled with my whole life. If it’s not one thing, I find another. I had to put a block on my phone so I could only access a few things during the day or I get sucked in for hours. I didn’t write for close to a decade after I had my kids. I try to write something or edit something every day, but stopping when appropriate is still a problem for me. I will look forward to your writing whenever you have the time!
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Thank you, Heidi! It’s always good to know we are not alone in these human struggles.
In return, I regularly look forward to reading what you have to write as well. Thank you so much for the kind words.