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Lions Roar : January 2013
66 SHAMBHALA SUN JANUARY 2013 Drinking to Distraction JENNA HOLLENSTEIN YOU KNOW THAT MOMENT when you realize you are scared or anxious but don’t know why? You might check your wallet, confirm the oven is off, or scan your calendar for forgot- ten appointments. Maybe you retrace the rapid-fire sequence of your thoughts, searching for the origin of your discomfort, but can’t identify anything in particular. In Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Holly Golightly calls it the “mean reds”: suddenly you’re afraid, but you don’t know what you’re afraid of. I used to have these moments all the time. At first I thought it was just my crappy job or that I was in the wrong place at the wrong time. But even when I changed my environment, the feeling persisted. Even as a child, I had a recurring sense of impending doom. I began drinking at thirteen and excelled at it. By early adulthood, my drinking became more socially acceptable and more frequent. I could avoid the mean reds, if only temporar- ily, by picking up a bottle of wine on my way home. The Under 35 Project, spearheaded by Shambhala Publications and now a regular online Shambhala Sun feature, is where Buddhism’s next generation gathers to share their experiences. Visit ShambhalaSun.com to read more of their fascinating stories and learn how you can contribute your own. ILLUSTRATIONS BY ERIC HANSON