In 2017, I was about two years deep into writing professionally and finally quit my 9-5, that I hated, to pursue writing in a more complete way. The stars aligned for me and I got an opportunity to work somewhere “real,” a place that would give me valuable experience (and solid money) to write about music. I took the job and hit the ground running.
Career-wise, I was finally moving, but internally, I was a dumpster fire. I was still struggling badly with anxiety issues, triggered by the many things I went through prior to 2017: being unemployed for two years, 3 break ups (with 2 totally destroying me), becoming sworn enemies with my best friend, the endless sting of loneliness and more. All of the pain I was suffering through had taken a toll on me; I was callous. All those nights reading rejection emails, being extremely broke, while trying to face how alone I really was, along with being in such a dark and lonely state that I questioned my desire to exist, for the lack of better wording, fucked me up. Even in moments of joy, I felt nearly nothing. I was emotionally spent.
My inability to “feel” things was hurting me in a multitude of ways. I didn’t really want to go out because of how depressed I was and I definitely didn’t want to talk about my life. I didn’t really have money, so the simplest of things became a struggle. Once I got hired, I struggled to fit in at work because I was the “outsider” who was only there once a week and had far less industry experience that everyone else. So my life and career are changing, but I barely have any friends I trust, in or out of music. Then, my friends I came up with, they can’t really relate to what’s happening to me, and I can’t properly articulate it to them.
I didn’t know I was doing it at the time, but I was masking my struggles by getting too deep into the mix. Once I started to get a little money, I was either drunk too many days out of the weekend, or smoking too much weed. My life was just a blur of intoxication and sex, outside of my professional life; I thought doing too much would bring my youthful exuberance back. Too many of the women in my life didn’t treat me how I wanted to be treated, in addition to some of them being situations that were alive past their expiration date. I was having sex, just so I could feel wanted, to feel like I mattered. When you’re in an emotionally desperate state and use something like sex to try to fill that void, you accept, entertain and cause too much bullshit. I was too sad and felt too worthless to even really notice new girls who liked me, so nothing was really going right.
One particular night when I was too drunk and too high. I was on the train going home and felt a wave of paranoia wash over me. I imagined my train derailing, which inched me towards having a panic attack; I was afraid I was going to have a full breakdown on the spot. Once I managed to calm myself down, I began to feel sad again. I realized I almost always felt sad once I sobered up; weed and alcohol didn’t erase that I was broke, lacking real affection in my life and concerned about how my career would play out. Poisoning my body wasn’t doing shit for me; I had to clean it all up. I spent a lot more time sober after this, once I became conscious of how self-destructive I was being. I definitely slowed down with the girls too, because I wasn’t feeling fulfilled; I felt empty after the escapades. That life just wasn’t for me, at the time.
I got let go from that job, got another one in a month, worked there for 2 months and got my current job, the place I really wanted to be. Those final 3 months of 2017 could have gone terribly for me, but from the minute I was let go, I truly believed in myself and knew that no matter what, I was going to be ok. The time had finally come that I could look back on my life and truly believe that I could get through anything, then I did it. To be fair, I’m not 100 percent as we speak, but being aware of how I stayed afloat while facing career and personal turmoil at the same time, I knew I could accomplish anything I wanted to.
Things worked out.