Mirror Image

Yesterday I drank with one purpose in mind: to get drunk.

Not the celebratory, yay, something went great kind of drunk.

But the damn it, that sucked, and there’s something vile in my soul kind of drunk.

With each cocktail, with each new glass, the demon rose until I was a walking pile of vile energy, whipping up a batch of marinara, stone-roasting green beans in a garlic reduction and pan frying cod and salmon in homemade corn chip breading.

It’s good to know should I ever own that bar or restaurant I talk about sometimes, a bad day won’t keep me from work.

* * *

It’s been a while since I’ve been in a state like that.

And I was reminded this morning, in the aftermath, how the negative, dark, angry emotions that are born from the perception of betrayal, or from being slighted, or that come from our own anger towards ourselves – or our fear that we’re slipping or failing – are very, very powerful indeed.

They linger like a shadow on the soul. They weigh us down. They feel dirty. But we can’t just wash them away.

I was reminded how anger can lead us to say and do things that we can never take back. What a strange emotion; its purpose to release tension; its consequences sometime irreversible.

* * *

I can tell you that somehow, someway, I was aware of these things. So the things I was angry about, I didn’t share them publicly. I shared them on my wife. In nasty free-flow commentary spat out when she entered the room.

I probably became increasingly incoherent, irrational, until I finally got the courage to say what I wanted, which was this: I want to be left alone. Me, the extrovert, alone to wallow in my pity party.

Table for one please, sir. And I’ll take a bottle of your finest waaaaaampagne.

* * *

Why and who and what I was mad about, in this case, is mostly irrelevant. And incredibly unimportant in the grand-scale of loss and sadness and misery that co-exists with the many wonderful things in this world.

I’m losing a trusted employee and close friend to another business.

The news was unexpected. And it was this, as it turns out, that I was most blind-sided by. I’m a long-term planner. I execute multiple potential scenarios in my mind in life and business, and develop multiple ways to handle them – contingencies for contingencies, if you will.

I run projected budgets for our household a full calendar year in advance using cost averages over the last five years for heat, electric and any other expenses we might incur. I’m often off by as little as 1 or 2 percent in a month.

So when something hits that I don’t expect, I learned last night, I’m not that good at processing it, or coping with it.

It’s funny, because it makes most of what I’ve been saying for the past six months: that in the wake of Beck’s illness, I can’t have a bad day; that I’ve learned to roll with things, blah, blah, blah, not true.

* * *

That’s not to say the act of release via fermented drink wasn’t therapeutic.

I woke up, yes, with all that emotional residue, but I also awoke cleansed, with the knowledge in place that I would put together a plan and move on. The world would turn. The walls would not come crashing down.

I saw, clearly, that my original perception that I was somehow wronged was born out of jealousy and fear.

I’m happy for my friend and co-worker – a person who is very deserving of the opportunity; one that this individual will thrive at.

And I’ll roll on and find somebody new.

That’s the way it works, in business, and in life, really.

Losing someone is never easy, I guess. Even if the loss is just Monday to Friday,8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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