In my estimation, the WYSB “story,” in and of itself, indicates how most stories seem to unravel. Maybe we start at a particularly low place in life, whether it be emotionally, physically, or spiritually, and we climb out from that shallow place into a better place. We reach a sort of crescendo, but from there, the only way to go is back down. Perhaps we begin from a place of privilege, or we start at a crescendo, but as the saying goes, what goes up… No matter the case, it appears that most stories involve individuals having to pick themselves up from off the floor so they can rise again. The story of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ encompasses life itself. You could say that we undertake a death and resurrection every single day we go to sleep and wake up. After all, we are not the same person we were yesterday or even the same person we were ten minutes ago. Eventually (hopefully), “WYSB” will be released as a book (because books are better than blogs), and I believe what you will find is a story representative of most stories. Unfortunately, unless you crank one off after reading, a happy ending will not be involved in the first edition of the WYSB book. A dark hole had been crawled out of, a peak had been reached, and the book will end with the inevitable fall. Womp, womp, womp. My hope is that the sequel traverses a different path. One that tells a story where we climb out from the trenches yet again and become renewed. It has happened before; it can happen again.
So, what has happened? Let’s pretend for a second that I am something like the general manager of a sports team. Actually, that is precisely the problem – I think I am the general manager of my life. Over the past two and a half years, I had acquired something valuable: Two and a half years free from booze. Along with that “abstinence,” let’s say (because the latter half of that sober run was merely abstinence), came other things such as peace, serenity, joy, and most importantly, a connection with the divine. Well, one day, I received a phone call from one of the best GM’s in the entire league. Lucifer is his name. He had a trade proposal for me. Here’s the transcript:
GM Lucifer: “Hello, Josh. I’m inquiring about your sobriety. I’d love to have it.”
GM Josh: “Not for sale, bud. Call somebody else. Bye.”
GM Lucifer: “Wait. You haven’t even heard what I have to offer.”
GM Josh: “Hurry the fuck up. The last leg of my parlay is on TV.”
GM Lucifer: “Hahahahaha, that’s going to get way wors- Never mind. I’ll trade you four days of drinking, chaos, and text messages to your ex.”
GM Josh: “Sold! Fax over the paperwork, and let’s get this done. Pleasure doing business with you.”
Official trade: 2.5 years without drinking for 3 to 4 days of drinking and future miserable considerations.
If I was an actual general manager, I should have been fired on the spot. Of course, this news didn’t make my Instagram because that isn’t the social media world we live in, but the 3-month, 6-month, 9-month, year, and two-year milestones? Yeah, those made it, and I gladly accepted the likes, love, and support. I am not going to intentionally let the internet know how shitty of a job I’ve done with life and that it is completely my fault – unless I want attention for that, too, which in that case, I may share that information with the internet. “Depression” gets over huge with the kids these days; it’s the new cool. You aren’t dope if you aren’t on Zoloft, Prozac, or some other anti-depressant. If you really want to get a “Legon of Doom pop” from your friends in 2022, you can take your game to the next level by guzzling a bunch of Xanax and starting your rap career. You’ll die, but at least you got over before your senior year. Anyway, I suppose what I am saying is that I feel it would be disingenuous of me only to post victories and deliberately not mention the defeats. That’s pussy-shit. Excuse me for the hockey-player language; it’s the best way I know how to articulate that. I wish I could inform you all that I enjoyed a single second of boozing; however, I am something of a ridiculous man. The half an hour it takes for alcohol to take its effect is just entirely too long. No, I need the buzz *now*, and if that means multiple pulls of the bottle within forty-five seconds of each other, then that’s what I’ll do!
There are a multitude of reasons why I accepted that ever-so-appealing trade offer from the devil himself – some of them even plausible. The primary factor was a refusal to accept and attack another addiction. Underneath that, I’m away from my family, people or companies weren’t believing in the book as I did, I was being rejected by everything and everybody, and I was making $10 per hour at a job that I am quite certain I was losing money driving to every day. With all the debt I had accumulated, parlayed (pun intended) with all of these other reasons birthed from victimhood, I thought to myself, “Wait, why the hell am I not drinking again?” It was a sort of middle finger, not only to society but to God Himself. Right, because that always works out well in the end. I described to the people I had to tell about this that it was as if I was looking toward the sky, saying, “If this is your plan, I don’t want any part of it. Your plan sucks.” Of course, I wasn’t operating in His will or in accord with His plan; I was operating on sheer self-will. My train of thought was along the lines of what I could take from the stream of life, not what I could add to it.
For the longest time, I thought the aphorism “making a deal with the devil” required no literal interpretation. I’m not so sure that’s the case today. I believe it to be a real thing, even if that means the “trade” happens on a subconscious level. The reason why countries are never supposed to negotiate with terrorists is straightforward. If you manage to get a hostage back, let’s say, but at the cost of a reward for the terrorist, there is a further incentive for the terrorists to take more hostages. More hostages now mean more rewards. This, we all know. It is my belief that trade talks with Lucifer are opened with a betrayal of our conscience. Some people call their consciences the voice of God. You could say that a betrayal of that “voice” and the subsequent action against that voice is the bargain with the divine evil. The deal may seem insignificant, but there is no small victory the devil won’t take. You know that voice that says, “do not eat that seventh donut,” but you do it anyway? You have just traded a seventh-round pick to the devil, fat boy.
That “God-consciousness” is so tough to listen to sometimes, though, isn’t it? I don’t want to take the long way around. The righteous path to accomplish whatever it is that I want to accomplish is so much more grueling and painstaking than cheating or getting lucky, although it is absolutely worth it in the end. We know it’s worth it because we have seen people do it, and we have done it! At some point, anyway, no matter how insignificant we thought it was! Personally, I think part of the problem is that I see these dickhead YouTuber’s get rich and famous doing fuck-all, and I fall into a trap thinking that it really can be that easy. There’s a possibility I actually do something productive, too! So why the fuck isn’t what I want #manifesting? Apparently, some of us have to work really hard for any type of manifestation. An unfortunate and embarrassing lesson to have to learn later in life as opposed to sooner, but I will never move from the idea that the hard work we are engaged in is supposed to be joyful. Not for a second do I believe that the Supreme Creator of the Universe wants any of us to be hard-working and joyless. There’s the question, huh? What is that thing – what is something that I know will be hard work but that I also love to do? May your hard work be joyful work, and trust in God.
Do Not Trade Draft Picks to the Devils.
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