“The worst father in the world!”
I was on my way to a gaming place called Two Bit Circus. Google directed me towards the tents and the zombies. There was a familiar feel, like walking down Cardiff High Street at 2 am, minus the tents.
We arrived with beating hearts and found a virtual reality (VR) game called Beat Saber. It hooked me as a hooker hooked on a hunter called Herman, who hoards hundreds at his house.
A red lightsaber in one hand and a blue one in the other, you use them to slice and dice a series of red and blue cubes hurtling towards you to the beat of accompanying music. The red lightsaber destroys red cubes, and blue on blue, but you have to strike them in the emblazoned arrows' direction.
The game kidnaps you, and the returning Stockholm Syndrome victim thinks of nothing else until that passes, and you get a fresh blast of life as you saunter out into the cold night air.
You feel like a winner.
You fail to follow the arrows.
Choosing to become someone that doesn’t drink alcohol, you also have to follow the arrows. They’ve been there since the dawn of time, only the Deaf Effect hides them; and once you cast your beady eyes on them, they’re like parachutes dropping out of a WWII dogfight filled sky.
One of these arrows always faces the same way.
It’s the one that you have to hit continually, minute after minute, hour after hour, day after day, until your arm feels like it belongs to a candy crushing kid on Halloween. It’s the one the AA lot call ‘One Day at a Time,’ and there is a time you never want to hit it.
The day after drinking.
If you can summon the courage to find your mark at this time, then you are a few slashes away from something sublime.
When you drink alcohol, the Resistance invades your mind with the subtlety of an automatic air freshener plugged into the walls of a house full of smokers. It hits you. It hits you again. You feel nauseous, dizzy, and you can’t breathe.
Only another drink will provide release, and fuck-it, it’s not like you have to tell anyone - it can be our little secret.
At STRIVE, we have to tell someone.
At STRIVE, we see the arrows.
At STRIVE, we know the importance of hitting the one that doesn't want hitting.
The seduction of a mistake doesn’t make it alright. The inquiry needs to begin immediately - like my wrong turn down Skid Row - was it a failure of strategy, or execution?
There is gold to be mined in the monstrosity of our mistakes. Resistance hides the rainbow. Alone, you will never find the end. Slowly, all you ever see is the pot, and it deadens your mind, stupifies you, turning you into a puppet with Alcoholism’s grip firmly on your backbone.
STRIVE exists so we can replace the relationships that are blind to the arrows. We point them out and guide when there is no swing left; until hitting the arrows becomes the only beat.
Especially that one arrow.
The one that points in the direction we need to go.
And that’s not Skid Row, as I’m sure you know.