Drowning // 6/8/2021


A man living in the suburbs has a wife and two children.

One day he gets passed up for a promotion he believed he deserved at his corporate job and becomes extremely resentful.

He goes down to the 7-11 and gets three vodka shooters and a 99 cent cigar at the start of his lunch hour.

Instead of his normal routine of going to the gym during his lunch break he pours the shooters into a soda and smokes the cigar in his car.

The rest of the day goes by smoothly and he feels great.

In the coming weeks, he decides that until he gets promoted he’s only going to workout on his lunch every other day and the days in between take a break he deserves and get the shooters.

In his head he rationalizes this course of action as putting one over on the company.

The alcohol and not working out is making him lethargic after work so he starts getting an energy drink after the workday is over to be able to be himself around his family in the evening.

After a few months of this routine he’s getting double the amount of shooters on the days where he drinks during his lunch and is working out half as hard at the gym, eventually stopping his workout routine altogether.

At night his wife and kids want his attention but he’s lethargic despite the energy drinks and coffee and politely brushes them off.

Six more months pass and his wife loses her temper at him and says he’s half there all the time. Her reacting this way came to a head when he skipped a parent teacher conference because a sports playoff game he deemed more important is on TV.

He tries to rationalize it with his wife in a clumsy way by saying that they can trade off going to, “things like that” to make both their lives easier as it’ll only be half the work for both of them. She says that they’re supposed to be a team…but her argument is quickly forgotten.

Over the next few months he, “splits” the parenting duties with his wife in reality he’s doing about 20% of the work.

Around a year later he fell asleep after work instead of going to his son’s birthday party, which his wife completely planned and organized.

His wife gets upset and is emotional after the party is over but is crying not yelling and screaming. She says that he’s changed the last few years and is no longer the person she fell in love with.

He plays the victim in response to her

saying catch-all statements that are hard to argue against about how

the world is out to get him” and that

“he needs time to relax in the evening with how busy work is all the time” so

“she should stop breathing down his neck and be giving him space if she actually cares about him”.

Soon after this his wife says she’s going to take the kids and go live with her mother, (whose home is close by).

In the man’s head which is clouded from the alcohol, she isn’t leaving permanently and she needs him.

As soon as she sees what her life is like without him she’ll realize that.

Therefore, he’s somewhat happy that until she comes back he’ll have more, “time to relax” and “be able to be himself” without her constantly nagging him.

Despite his lack of mental clarity, up until this point he’d been doing a fairly good job and hiding how much he was drinking.

However, after his wife left he got comfortable not needing to hide his habits while he was at home.

A few weeks later, his wife missed him & her normal life.

She dropped by unexpectedly to the house to try to make peace with him and talk things out.

However, when she walked in she saw the reality of his addiction for the first time. She saw empty bottles and trash strewn around the house. She went from being ready to try and find common ground & make peace to confronting him about his alcohol addiction.

His responses were more than lacking and he tried to rationalize his drinking by saying that it was a natural way to cope with stress.

She said she was going to permanently move her and the kid’s to her mothers.

He thought she needed him & would be back

she did need him. but not in the state he was in.

She thought he would be snap out of it by her actually leaving

He was already in too deep and not honest enough with himself to snap out of it.

His corporate job filling in simple data to excel spreadsheets was easy once you got into the routine of but did pay well and had benefits.

When he would go to the liquor store, now getting an entire 750ml bottle daily, later a 1.75 liter, he would always be rude and impatient with the person working the counter as he considered them under him thinking to himself that they’re working a dead-end job that requires no college degree or intelligence.

One day, he arrived on time at his corporate job but was told that he was no longer needed due to, “the company reallocating funds to other departments.”

That was the reason he was told, however his supervisor had been covering for him and fixing an increasing amount of basic errors with the way he was entering data for the last half a year.

He resented his boss, viewed himself as the victim, and decided the company was out to get him.

He got a construction job that paid fairly well but wasn’t able to physically keep up due to how unhealthy he had became.

When they let him go he was resentful of the people in charge & viewed himself as the victim. during which he lost his house and began living out of his car eventually selling it to feed his addiction.

Every night he would climb a ladder and sleep on the roof of the grocery store complex in view of his old neighborhood where he had once lived with his family.

One morning when descending the ladder and jumping down he rolled his ankle badly and was no longer able to get above the grocery store complex at night causing him to begin sleeping behind some trees on the ground near the public biking trail.

At this point, he did somewhat snap back to his senses and pulled himself together enough to get a job as a dishwasher at a restaurant where he hardly had to talk to anybody and easily drink some shooters throughout a shift at work.

His life became an endless cycle of waking up at noon, going to his 1-9pm dish washing shift, getting off work, and drinking alone in his apartment in front of the TV until 3am before passing out.

His wife remarried, his kids grew up, visiting him every now and then because he was their father but never respecting him.

He resented the corporate system for firing him unjustly, resented his wife, (and all women) for being unwilling to stick with a man through the thick and thin, and would complain and be negative anytime he spent time with someone causing any friends and family who still made time for him to always keep him at a distance due to his draining personality.

He never looked in the mirror at his own actions. In his mind he was always the victim of someone else acting unjustly towards him.

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