Jesse Eric Schmidt Testimony

Leah Casciano

I misused alcohol as a vehicle for disappearing into the unknown, & avoiding painful aspects of my experience. It was also a way to quiet my relentless self-criticism. The anxiety & depression, were paused very briefly with this toxic escape mechanism, but they would return with even more debilitating strength every time. I tried desperately to monitor dosage amounts & session frequencies, to remain outwardly functional & seemingly healthy, but it was a pointless game of trying to control a medium that only gives illusions, & takes away everything that is real. It is impossible for me to have a positive & balanced relationship with alcohol.
This decision enabled me to commit energetic passion to family, art, & CrossFit. The ending of my fight with alcohol removed obstacles that were blocking attempts towards intimacy. The recovery process is giving me confidence to move forward with long term personal relationships, that offer dynamic worth to everyone involved on the team. I’ve been able to increase production on my artistic body of work that is driven by questioning boundaries, honoring absurdity, & asserting the need for glitches & resistance for evolution. I am able to participate in CrossFit & it’s community of athletes more fully now. This gives me a sense of belongingness, & feeds my desire to experiment with processes that generate next levels of fitness.
I am still working through many difficult mental & emotional challenges that triggered my reaching for sedation through alcohol. I encounter moments of peace, & temporary relief from these issues during intense workouts & within my daily meditation practice. I meet with a counselor to help guide me through procedures of deepening self-awareness, & I’m welcoming vulnerability & discomfort as opportunities for growth. I’m continuing recovery with genuine hospitality & tolerance to myself & others, while thoroughly giving attention to underlying feelings, in dedication to advancing the shape of well-being & love.

“One always finds one's burden again. But Sisyphus teaches the higher fidelity that negates the gods and raises rocks. He too concludes that all is well. This universe henceforth without a master seems to him neither sterile nor futile. Each atom of that stone, each mineral flake of that night-filled mountain, in itself, forms a world. The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man's heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy.” - Albert Camus, The Myth of Sisyphus (1942)