…And Broken Things

Sometimes the thing you wanna write isn’t the thing you need to write.

This month was supposed to be a post about quitting your job, with funny stories from us at Crunchy Links about when we knew it was time to walk out the door of a job and never come back.

This post ain’t gonna be that. This post is gonna be raw, real, painful, embarrassing. But wholly fucking necessary.

We’ve all been going through some shit for the last year. If you follow me on Twitter, you’ve seen my journey:

  • Trying to keep my company afloat during COVID-19
  • Confronting institutional racism in our country
  • Confronting institutional racism in digital marketing
  • Trying to build a speaking accelerator for minorities in digital marketing
  • Going through a divorce

As I went through it all, I had my pal alcohol on the journey with me. Alcohol healed me, gave me something to do during the lonely hours, helped me sleep. It allowed me to ignore my crumbling mental health and zombie-march toward a made-up finish line.

Enviable life, huh? Wait, we ain’t done yet.

Once I moved out of the apartment I shared with my ex-wife, the drinking got worse. I told myself I was celebrating my freedom. I told myself I was entitled to get drunk in my new place with my new roommate because I’m a grown ass man, damnit. A grown ass man who rationalized a growing drinking problem and ignored his growing depression, loneliness, and belly.

Still, we ain’t done yet.

Friends reached out to see how I was doing, and I told them I was well. Some of them told me I should seek therapy. Well, “seek” is doing some heavy lifting, there. Let’s take a look at a Twitter DM I got from a friend:

Twitter direct message from Jamar's friend that reads "take your Black ass to therapy"

It took me breaking down crying while drunk at my computer before I realized something that most everyone around me could probably see:

I’m a raging alcoholic.

No, I don’t drink during “work hours.”

No, I don’t miss client meetings.

No, I don’t let client work get past me.

No, I don’t go to bed, or wake up every morning, puking.

And yet, I’m a fucking alcoholic. I haven’t had a sober night in so long I can’t remember. I can’t sleep through the night without being drunk, and even then I’m lucky if I get five straight hours before I’m up again, staring into the darkness, begging for a pair of comforting arms to wrap around me and ask if I’m alright.

No, I’m not alright. But, this isn’t a cry for help. I’m currently working through my (many) issues with therapy. I’m talking to my friends more about what’s going on in my life, as well.

The reason I’m sharing with the public what’s going on is because I know many of y’all are going through some similar shit. Y’all are broken things, just like me. Sometimes all it takes is honesty from someone, even a stranger, for you to train your eyes on yourself and see what’s going on. To reach out and ask for help.

Sometimes the thing you wanna write isn’t the thing you need to write. I need to be more open. I need to be more of a role model, not as someone who has it all together and is a paragon of virtue, but as the infinitely broken thing I am so others can be broken, too, and not think there’s something wrong.

I wish I’d seen more of this growing up. I wish some of my role models would have been more open about what this looks like, and how to navigate the world when all you wanna do is lay in bed until 2025. But all I can do is navigate this the best way I know how: out in the fucking open.

There’s a great story told in an episode of The West Wing that I’d like to share with you:

“This guy’s walking down the street when he falls in a hole. The walls are so steep he can’t get out. A doctor passes by and the guy shouts up, ‘Hey you. Can you help me out?’ The doctor writes a prescription, throws it down in the hole and moves on. Then a priest comes along and the guy shouts up, ‘Father, I’m down in this hole can you help me out?’ The priest writes out a prayer, throws it down in the hole and moves on. Then a friend walks by, ‘Hey, Joe, it’s me can you help me out?’ And the friend jumps in the hole. Our guy says, ‘Are you stupid? Now we’re both down here.’ The friend says, ‘Yeah, but I’ve been down here before and I know the way out.'”

Sometimes the thing you wanna write isn’t the thing you need to write.

No longer will I just use the Crunchy Links blog to just talk about digital marketing. There are plenty of people who’ll do that. Digital marketing cannot be the only thing I focus on anymore.

I’m a broken thing, but by the end, I hope to be a little less broken. I hope you’ll join me on this journey. I hope we’ll laugh together. Heal together. Grow together.

I hope we’ll all learn something from each other.