Chasing the High of Success and the Hell it brings

Guest Author: Lee

This content contains explicit and sensitive information that may not be suitable for all ages.

Maybe it’s just me. But it seems that anyone who suffers from depression, often searches for something more to alleviate the feeling of nothingness. Some choose to abuse drugs, alcohol or sex. On the flipside, others may chase after something that seems everlasting but can escape in a fleeting moment.

I have done more than my share of partying and chasing women. All it did was add to the blandness of life. I have done more extreme things like Cage Fighting and driving at breakneck speed on an empty highway in the middle of the night just to feel some kind of excitement, however, all I found in extreme situations is pure determination and focus.

This is the hell behind it

It’s like a never ending need to conquer and expand, and I know that deep down, there will never be enough. Because of the need to always achieve and do bigger and better things, I have essentially become a workaholic.

After 17 years in heavy industrial construction, I moved into the “Big Leagues” of commercial real estate. Without care I work up to 16 hours a day and sometimes six or seven days a week. I am very results driven, and although many people and businesses say it is a fantastic trait to have alongside a work ethic to match, this is the hell behind it:

I push myself to being well past burnt out, that most days, I’m not sure what I am supposed to be doing. From starting off making up to 270 cold calls a day, I now find it hard to even pick up the phone because after a year of pushing myself and the market being in a nearly stalled out position, I have seen very little results.

On the inside I feel like I have failed miserably. Yes, the market is not the greatest, but yet I blame myself all the same. I hardly sleep, seldom leave my office to take a break and I work through lunches while I shovel food down my throat.

The thought still lingers

I start to become wary because part of me is now suspicious of being ripped off on deals that I partnered with someone on. Even though I know that is not the case, the thought still lingers.

While I constantly try to prove my worth in the world, it is always an uphill battle. I grew up with abuse, always being told I will amount to nothing or that I was utterly lazy. Getting beat up by kids for no reason, I only wanted to be friends and never hurt anyone, then I got into martial arts where I learned focus and discipline. I did quite well for myself in a very short time, that’s when I first realized I have a need to go big. I guess you can say one of my traits is the ability to become hyper focused, once again it may sound great to others, but the cost can be quite high as it often is at the expense of my mental and physical health.

And the absolute worst thing is that it impacts relationships. I constantly question if they are “the one,” while nobody is perfect and all relationships take work, I find that unless they are as determined in life as I am, I end up losing interest and become disengaged. On many occasions I have also been blind to another’s interest because they didn’t fit snugly in the fucked up ideal in my mind at the time. Which is horrible because I know they were amazing people but I was unable to put two and two together and go down that path.

Because of that I feel I will live life alone, which is horrible because I want to have a family and have a legacy to pass on.

All I can hope for is one day, all of this bullshit pays in dividends and I can turn around and help others better their lives, even if I can’t help myself.


John Arenburg

I have a very similar work ethic and wanted to give more then my all. You know, like we are conditioned to do. As my mental health declined, I started to feel like there had to be more then working my ass off, right through breaks and long hours. It was killing me. Now, I believe that connection to others, taking time to enjoy our loved ones and balance are my metric for success. A career is but one measure of success, the only one we have been taught. Want to be truly successful? Breathe in the life that you’ve been granted and embrace all those you love.

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