You know what incites change? The stark realization that what you’re doing is fucking retarded.
For example, say you live in a town and all of your friends live a minimum of 15 highway driving minutes away. And none of the bars you and your friends like to hit up are within walking distance. And one night you find yourself on the cold concrete of a jail cell because after a year’s worth of drunk driving, you finally got caught.
Perhaps that’s when you look across the cell, stare into the eyes of the meth-head you hope doesn’t strike up a conversation and think to yourself, “Hey, maybe this drunk driving thing is a pretty dumb idea”.
That might incite some much needed change.
But that’s the way it goes in my life. I can go on fucking up my life until something happens that makes me realize I’ve got to change my ways. Sometimes the law gets involved. Other times it’s humiliation. Maybe it’s shame.
But it works. In any instance where I decided I needed to change, I did and never looked back.
Take last night for example. I was laying awake at 2:30 when I got a text from a friend, “After-bar. My house. Now.”
Normal people would have ignored the text. Hell, normal people wouldn’t have seen the text because normal people are asleep. But I was dressed and out the door in two minutes. Why? Who the hell knows. Maybe I wanted to drink. It could have been because I wanted to get laid. Maybe I just wanted to be around people.
But as I walked home at 4:45 am in sub-zero temperatures, two and a half hours before I should be waking up, one thought permeated my brain, “What the fuck am I doing?”
It wasn’t just the after-bar. It was the staying up incredibly late at night. It was operating on 5 hours of sleep during the week for the past 8 years. It was the night-caps I’d rationalize because, hey, the males in my family all did it when I was growing up.
So, what the hell, now’s as good a time as any for change. It’ll be my toughest test yet, but from now I’m on I’m going to make a conscious effort to get in bed before 11:30. I’m gonna try and get seven hours of sleep. I’m even gonna try and forget about using alcohol as my signal that the day is over. I’m gonna try and be normal.