Pickled Emotions

“Isn’t it funny, we can make a lot of money. Buy a lot of things just to feel a lot of ugly.” – 2009 by Mac Miller

After graduating from college, I made a decent amount of money at my first job. I always knew and followed the “money can’t buy happiness” idea, but no one ever talks about how money can distract you from sadness. It can help fill an empty void with numb(ness?). 

Money has served as my jar. Picture a pickle jar. 

As my income increased (or decreased), my jar has expanded or shrank with it. 

This jar is where I put my pain. 

My sadness.

My regret. 

My self conscious and self doubting tendencies. 

This jar became the beholder of my emotions. This jar allowed me to operate on logic; make decisions free of emotions clouding judgement. 

I thought this was a good idea. It worked for a while. 

Through college, this jar became full of emotions. And then I dumped alcohol and drugs into the jar. By the end of college, the jar was at capacity. 

But then I got a signing bonus & salary. 

Disposable income increased the volume of that jar. 

I jammed more into the jar. Poured more alcohol into the jar. Added meaningless encounters to the jar. Threw some drugs in the jar and mixed it around. Threw a trip at the jar. Some music went into the jar. 

I changed my job, took a bit less pay; but the jar remained the same.. It’s  appetite for drugs and alcohol remained the same. 

You see, putting substances, purchases, experiences, etc into the jar slowly dissolved the emotions in the jar – it helped make room for more.  But overtime, the jar couldn’t keep up. And the disposable income for alcohol and drugs disappeared as the emotions poured in. 

So the jar starting to develop small cracks. Its contents began to leak out. And the resulting mixture was fucking nasty. Like acid. It burned through my ability to operate on logic. 

But it still needed to dissolve emotions. So I kept filling it. 

The cracks became worse. They started to cut me. And I dropped it. I dropped the fucking jar. 

It shattered,  covering everything in my emotions, the substances, blood and glass. 

I’ve had to get a new jar. I think everyone has a jar. At times, we all put some of our emotions into a jar. Most people empty that jar through being open, honest, and living through some of the emotions instead of shutting them in a jar. 

So now I’m standing here in the remains of a broken jar, trying to pick up the pieces; mop up the mess. Clean myself up, all while trying to learn how to empty my new jar. 

It’s not as messy cleaning up an empty broken jar.

Maybe one day I won’t need a jar. 

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