“If you don’t drink, why do you go to parties?

This is what drunk people look like to sober people. Still doesn’t remove from the fact that this was an awesome night, and the love I have for all the people in this photograph. Sober partying is all about perspective.

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“If you don’t drink, why do you go to parties? Isn’t it annoying having drunk people yelling in your face all night?” Whenever I am asked this I laugh, then I explain my appreciation for the occasional drunken yelling match. As a newly sober party attender, I have come to grasp and appreciate the inner workings of the drunken human condition.

The Pretender

The best way to not hate partying with drunk people is to pretend you’re drunk yourself. Immerse yourself in the party culture, and as Ron Burgundy once said, “When in Rome…” In what other circumstances do we greet each other with a shriek of happiness and a big bear hug? Divulge our appreciation for someone in a sentimental heart to heart? Recount tales of greatness with full gusto, and animated hand gestures? This is the stage of the evening that you connect with old friends to reminisce the good old days and make bold promises to hang out in the future.

I love this part of drinking, the passion and enthusiasm for the little things. Finally I have a group of like minded people willing to throw down on the dance floor and fill the airwaves with giggling gibberish. However, this is just a stage, because unlike genuine happiness found without alcohol, there is a always a crash, and suddenly the sober person’s role begins to change.

The Protector

Drunk people are vulnerable. All night they have been saying how they feel, and acting on impulses usually stifled in the office cubicle, and now the night is coming to an end. This is the part of the evening when the euphoria of the initial buzz wears off and the desperation to keep the feeling alive takes over. Fights break out, people hook up, and the final round of drinks are drunk. In this moment, a smart sober person knows to step to the side and let nature run it’s course.

Once the dust has settled and the arrests have been made, you can’t help but feel responsible for these now completely incapacitated, stumbling drunk, helpless people. And so, “The Protector” role develops into the, equally responsible, designated driver.

The Designated Driver

If you are really lucky you will manage to pull a few friends from the wreckage and lure them to the safety of your vehicle. This will take hours of drunken negotiations and perilous scavenger hunts for purses and missing people. Once everyone is in the car and the directions home have been surreptitiously drawn from the slobbering mouths of the semi-conscious, you are a fully legal, driving super hero. This is the grunt work, volunteer, shit shovelling part of the evening, but just like the girl at the Wendy’s pickup window, you have to suck it up and do your job. Throw on some pulsing house music and play the role of the cool limousine driver. You will be showered in compliments, thanks, and  maybe a tip if you play your cards right.

You should expect to be out later than the people whom you took home. You should expect to feel awful the next morning, but you should know that with great power, comes great responsibility. You have the power to enjoy yourself without getting drunk, and therefore it is your responsibility to ensure the safety of those who cannot.

The Observer

At the end of the night you are left to your thoughts. No drugs or fading effects of booze to lull you into a induced, dreamless sleep of respite. This is what I love about going out sober, and probably the same thing that most hate. I get to have these memories and learn from them, take in and appreciate those drunk minds speaking their sober hearts. It’s hard to imagine the positive outcome amongst the mayhem of the last few hours, but as you drive home in silence, or lay in bed before sleep, you run through the events of evening and, for once, you remember them.

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#Yolo Run

#Yolo Run

I have been immobile for the last 3 months. My physical activity comes from walking to and from work, and carrying the groceries home. The lack of physical motivation has really brought me down and now I have begun to feel self conscious about how I look physically.

Today I was having a great day, the last few leading up to it had been positive and productive and I decided that I felt well enough to push the limits a little bit and go for a SLOW jog.

The last time I did this however, I was taken to emergency in an ambulance. This time around I was able to notice the numbness in my legs and discomfort in my chest before my defibrillator engaged. I was able to walk myself out of atrial tachycardia and get home safely.

(Watch the video now) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2vmCoG9SD78&feature=youtu.be

I really thought I was going to be ok, I thought that this run was going to be the beginning of my re-introduction to exercise and physical well being. My frustration and disappointment has lead me to one of my greatest weaknesses. Patience.

I have been registered for the Healthy heart Program at my hospital. In one weeks time I will be receiving professional guidance and supervision to aid me in finding the physical limitations of my body. I am nearly there, the answer is coming and I just need to wait 7 more days until that happens. As aggravating as it is, the payoff of waiting 7 more days for the knowledge to empower me to do what I need to do is worth the wait.

And so I breath deeply, remind myself to do my daily meditation, and put it out of mind until I can exercise safely.

Thanks for listening.

I’m a baby

ImageBabies are in a constant state of survival, always in a transition phase from needing one life sustaining thing to another. One moment they need food, another they need sleep, then they go poo and then they need food again. And so the cycle continues. Now where as I have grown out of pooping and burping uncontrollably and needing to be tended to by my mother, things haven’t really changed that much in the face of medical adversity.

I was feeling truly wonderful, something I hadn’t felt in quite some time. I went about my day, chipper and in good spirits basking in the glory of a clear conscience and promising afternoon. In the ecstasy of the moment began to feel light headed mid walk. I found myself feeling as though my head were floating along above my body as I strolled. Nearly headless Nick would have been proud! However, walking across Granville street bridge at midday with traffic roaring past you every second is not where you want to feel the beheaded sensation of your childhood wizard novels.

Suddenly I was in survival mode. The walk was no longer that of pleasure or for exercise but a endurance battle to find my way back home without having to lay down and order chinese take out in a park somewhere. With deep breaths, a lot of mental focus, and one random sit down chat with a lady working at Shoppers Drug Mart, I managed to get myself home and into a chair. Redefine “a walk in the park” for me please…

I slowly prepared and ate a meal in my own home, under my own power… and I take a little pride in that. It seems that even with the food in my stomach my body was tired. With that depletion to that level I was not able to regain my strength fully… I am finding myself in need of structure for the most basic of human needs in my life. Steady meals, lot’s of sleep, communication with friends and family, burpings and regular bowel movements…

Ok so maybe I am still a baby. A baby with the body of an 80 year old man with amazing skin for his age. I may look like a fit young man with nothing but a world of possibilities, but my aspirations are humbled by my ability. Everyday I feel as though I am torn in two directions. The part of me that wants the simple, easy life medically suggested to me, and the acting life and the rumpus lifestyle of spontaneous freedom. The two cannot live together unless they are together in tandem. I must find the patience and resolve to maintain myself and my career as two separate but equally important parts of my life.

With more focus put onto the vital components of my life that literally keep me alive and functioning my body works better for the tasks that I need to do. Quality of time spent rather than quantity. Spend 3 hours having a nap, eating a good meal and talking to your parents, and spend 1 hour working. Instead of 4 hours on no sleep and an empty stomach and a clouded mind full of unexpressed thoughts. And here we are… hypocritical me. Sitting in front of my computer at 1 am writing all this stuff out when I should be in bed dreaming of the 3 egg omelette I am going to make tomorrow.

Thanks for listening.