25 year old alcoholic construction worker.

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February 10, 2020

I want to get out of this life. I make $14 an hour. The work is physically demanding, which is good for my health/lifting. But it's so exhausting I come home and do nothing, but drink the physical pain away.

I have an inferiority complex about the fact I do construction work and make shit money. I'd like to go to school and eventually graduate with a degree making around 80k. This seems impossible to me as I'm well aware I'm not nearly motivated enough in my current lifestyle/state. I have $2,000 in savings and lately it's been stagnant due to an increase of drinking.

How do I break out of this cycle/has anyone been in my shoes before?

My plans are to quit drinking, save up enough to graduate community college debt free (with an associate's) and take on loans to transfer to a state school in a STEM major.

Currently in an LTR (1 year) with a graduate student who was summa cum laude, so I know I'm capable of my goals, but my inferiority complex is my biggest obstacle and I'm unsure how to overcome it.

Post Information
Title 25 year old alcoholic construction worker.
Author BigDickEnergy123
Upvotes 120
Comments 70
Date 10 February 2020 09:02 PM UTC (1 year ago)
Subreddit askTRP
Link https://theredarchive.com/post/332041
Original Link https://old.reddit.com/r/asktrp/comments/f1wusp/25_year_old_alcoholic_construction_worker/
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long term relationshiplift

[–]Fresh_Pulse172 points173 points  (9 children) | Copy

You feel worthless because you see the gap between where you want to be and where you are isn't getting any smaller. The solution is to work towards shortening the gap, even if you believe the changes to be immaterially small.

Get clean, and develop the discipline to stay clean. Do detailed research on which profession you want to aim for, then take steps towards that profession. Track your diet and get enough sleep each night.

Small actions can have bigger ripples in your life than you anticipate.

[–]BigDickEnergy123[S] 39 points40 points  (4 children) | Copy

That was really refreshing to hear, thank you. I appreciate that. Instead of focusing on the smaller goals, I've always looked at the bigger goals.

I'm assuming that's where the majority of the gap is coming from?

[–]Onein1024th26 points27 points  (0 children) | Copy

to echo Fresh_Pulse: you won't need to make consistent small actions in the right direction for a little while... You'll have to make this a way of life. You'll have shitty days where you fuck up and binge watch TV instead of getting anything done (or whatever). You'll have to follow those days up with more days of consistent small actions in the right direction.

This builds momentum. Guys at the top of the game have been making these conscious decisions for YEARS to build up baller lives

[–]Fresh_Pulse11 points12 points  (0 children) | Copy

Keep both short and long term goals in mind. If you only focus on the former you'll become a loser with an inflated ego. If you only focus on the latter your tasks will seem insurmountable and you'll give up.

Additionally, make sure that you're measuring your progress and goals against only your previous self. Comparing yourself to someone who "has everything" is a quick and easy way to make you feel like you "have nothing". No good comes of it.

[–]thrwy754792 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy

"Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years." - Bill Gates

There's an interesting article that uses the Osmos game to explain this phenomenon.

[–]mega_kook0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

Your username is a step in the right direction!

[–][deleted]  (1 child) | Copy


[–]iwviw2 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy

That’s real good

[–]life0363 points4 points  (0 children) | Copy

^ True this. Drinking really fucks up your sleep, and you NEED that shit to keep your body tip top, especially now that you're getting older. If you keep up the drinking at this pace, you're going to age fast as a motherfucker.

[–]2319Skew1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

This is the kind of shit that makes me hopeful for this forum. Thank you for giving such good advice.

[–]realdealdawg37 points38 points  (4 children) | Copy

How are you only making $14 an hour? I am a flat roofer making $26.64 as an 80% apprentice. It's probably the most physically draining trade but literally anyone can become one. Solid money per hour, good benefits, and free time when it rains. Switch trades man

[–]Adach3 points4 points  (0 children) | Copy

depends on the region too. $50 an hour for journyman is normal where I'm at.

[–]Pete_Worst24 points25 points  (8 children) | Copy

Don't think less of yourself for being in construction. It's a damn hard job, a very masculine environment, you work with your hands and have a skill, and you develop a certain toughness from being in a demanding/alpha situation.

What kind of construction do you do that is causing that much physical pain? Are you in a union and if not, do you live in an area that has a strong one you can join (metropolitan area)? I'm a union floorlayer and make about $50/hour (not counting overtime which is about $100/hour), work 40 hours a week, hit the gym daily, and have a ton of free time at nights/weekends to do shit I like. I probably make more money than most people I know who have a college degree and I have an actual skill that's usable in the real world.

[–]second-last-mohican7 points8 points  (0 children) | Copy

Was gonna say, builders here once qualified earn the same $ as you've mentioned, most all have lots of toys (boats, jetski, motox bikes etc) always at the gym or doing some pretty fun stuff outdoors it's making me think about a career change..

[–]vullnet1231 point2 points  (6 children) | Copy

Hows flooring? Your job seems hard as fuck, my knees kill me if I'm using knee pads on concrete for a few hours even.

[–]Pete_Worst3 points4 points  (4 children) | Copy

Flooring is a pretty brutal trade in terms of prep work, layout, and handling materials, but the installation part is a pretty easygoing process. Most days I put on my earbuds and just do my thing. My knees hurt initially but I adapted and have no issues anymore. Thicker kneepads are a necessity if you're doing this regularly.

[–]vullnet1238 points9 points  (3 children) | Copy

You wear those dick sucker 3000's with the shin guards? Every flooring guy at any jobsite I've been at wear them.

[–]DatRiggz1 point2 points  (2 children) | Copy

The shinguard comment, haha. I just use regular knee pads but one of my coworkers uses those.

[–]vullnet1230 points1 point  (1 child) | Copy

I use regular knee pads to but those things must be magic.

[–]DatRiggz1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

The leather ones I have are pretty solid, knees never hurt unless a rock, nail or screw slips into them, but that's expected.

[–]thatbadrogue21 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

Klein tools makes a portable foam pad so you don’t have to use traditional knee pads FYI they’re cheap too. I sell them at the ac store I work at for union guys

[–]Throwaway3453234543329 points30 points  (1 child) | Copy

How does being in a one-year relationship with a graduate student who graduated summa cum laude make you feel like you can achieve your goals? Her graduating summa cum laude has zero impact on your life. The only person who can make you feel like you can achieve your goals is you, nothing external.

[–]Mobile_Pepper15 points16 points  (0 children) | Copy

i think he’s referring to the fact that she has excelled in academics, and that it contributes to his inferiority complex.

[–]marcus8crassus7 points8 points  (0 children) | Copy

Hey man, reading your story resonated with me.

I’ve spent literally the past decade in school working toward building the life I want for myself. I’ve passed up offers to make the kind of money you have in mind, and watched while peers take great vacations, start families, buy houses, you name it. I still have the same beaten up car, rent and many months live paycheck to paycheck.

What I’ve found is that there is beauty in the grind. I’m not starving, I have food in my fridge and I have a gym membership, and I can afford to have a bottle of wine or go out to eat with a friend when I want to. It’s not glamorous but it has been worthwhile.

You’re only 25. See that’s the thing that I’ve learned as I’m making my way toward the end of my 20s. You have so much fucking time it’s ridiculous. And you realize that this isn’t what you want for yourself. So it’s time you grow a pair and seize the life you want for yourself. No one, and I mean no one truly gives a shit about you seizing this life except for you.

I’ve had so many people laugh and give me shit. You’re still in school? Why don’t you get a real job? Aren’t you tired of being a broke ass? You didn’t have a pot to piss in 10 years ago and you still don’t.

You gotta use all that shit, self imposed or otherwise as motivation to fuel where you want to be.

I’m not suggesting but telling you that you need to read Jordan Peterson’s book 12 rules for life. You need to listen to his videos. After you feel that fire come up in your balls, you need to take a break from drinking. In my opinion, I wouldn’t say quit cold turkey because I personally use it as another case of exercising moderation.

Do some research on what you want to do with your life. In the meantime, you have a good paying job, you’re not starving. You’ll find that your purpose becomes finding your purpose and you’re not so sore after work. You have it in you to do some research. Talk to some people who are in that trade or field. You don’t have to go to school to be successful. Learn to code and honestly you’ll find a job easily. Apprentice to do HVAC. Get a business degree.

Ultimately, it doesn’t matter exactly what you do. There’s a lot of things you can be great in. Spend 2020 figuring out what your path is. In the meantime, make your purpose finding your purpose.

You know what you need to do. Now go do it.

[–]mgtowthrowawayman8 points9 points  (4 children) | Copy

Jesus Christ you do construction work for minimum wage ? Why ? You’ve become to complacent with just having a job. I would rather work at McDonalds then this hard labor for the same pay . You need to firgue out is there any room for growth, pay raise and etc and if you want to do this job long term . If not just apply anywhere and quit this job . You can’t be happy . I know guys who make a lot of money with construction and still isn’t happy I couldn’t imagine 14 hr. And what does your ltr have to do with your goals ?

[–]BigDickEnergy123[S] 5 points6 points  (2 children) | Copy

No, I do it for twice the amount of minimum wage. I don't live in a high cost of living area, because there's no benefit to it. Most those places are overcrowded and superficial, anyways.

Yes, there is room for growth, pay raise and if you're including etc. I don't know, maybe the fact I'm in a trade learning a skill and can become a contractor and start my own business making six figures eventually. (Which was cool when I started and what I originally wanted to do, but now realize it's not worth the effort. Hence, me wanting to get out of it.)

And I'm pretty sure I mentioned it, but I may not have (well, I did imply it), the fact I feel as if I'm smart enough not to do this work. Plus, this sub is usually super fixated on women and I'm doing completely fine in that department.

Edit: Also, you do realize places where 14 (it's actually around 15) an hour is poverty if you make less than 80k, typically.. Why the fuck would I aspire to only make 80k if that's considered poverty in that state?

[–]realdealdawg4 points5 points  (0 children) | Copy

I live in the Midwest very low cost of living and journeyman from any trade make 30+

[–]_Ulan_0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

Most those places are overcrowded and superficial, anyways.

I understand why you say that, I've been in a similar position. But I can't stress enough how much you need to be open-minded about these sort of fake convictions if you want to succeed in improving your life.

Some of those thoughts are just here to make you feel okay about your current situation and they are a big obstacle towards getting any better.

Filtering your opinions is your own responsibility and can't be done by someone else unfortunately.

  • Statement 1 : People are not dumb. We like to take the piss at people because it makes us feel better do the reality is that everyone is trying the best he can with his small set of abilities.

  • Statement 2 : Since they are not dumb, they must have a reason to live in overcrowded areas. Maybe they benefit from it, or maybe they have less "bad consequence" from making this choice.

  • Statement 3 : I might not be able to understand why they make this choice yet, but I understand that given a similar context I would make the same choice too.

Once you are studying for your STEM degree you might come across an opportunity to start working in high cost of living area. If you immediately jump the gun and refuse to consider the offer, it will be your loss.

[–]punchturret2 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy

$14/hr is almost double minimum wage in a lot of states. McDonald’s probably pays around $9/hr in OPs state

[–]Wicked1Perceptions7 points8 points  (0 children) | Copy

Depends of what you want. I did both tech and trades. I eventually found that being my own boss in hardwood flooring was where I wanted to be. I had a high paying tech career in telecom with a degree in electronics but the corporate world under others was just toxic for my soul. I would rather bust my ass and come home beat, sore and running 7 days a week being my own man than suffer under some else.

[–][deleted] 6 points7 points  (2 children) | Copy

Not trying to be negative... but everyone wants an easy 80k a year job instead of $14 an hour construction. I’m gonna be blunt with ya, if you haven’t quit drinking yet, you don’t want it bad enough, and that’s fine. You just have to make that decision yourself.

[–]BigDickEnergy123[S] 8 points9 points  (1 child) | Copy

Thank you. I realize the job isn't easy. I want to be an accountant and I know it'll suck, but my brother went from $17 an hour to an 80k a year a job by putting himself through school and I'd like to follow his path.

I realize it'll be difficult, so I'm certainly not looking for an easy way out. Just a way to put myself through school with as little debt as possible.

But you're right, I don't want it badly enough and that's a wake up call.

[–][deleted] 2 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy

It’s totally your decision. You can’t go wrong, there are sacrifices either way.

[–]SalporinRP3 points4 points  (1 child) | Copy

Go to AA and find yourself a good sponsor.

Your first priority should be quitting alcohol.

[–]Senator_Bagholder6 points7 points  (0 children) | Copy

This. I was a homeless junkie and total pos until I was 23. Got sober through AA. Handled the legal issues, got into undergrad and finished a degree in finance. Landed a job out of school for 40k in 2014, moves to another job in 2015 for 80k. Now I’m in a tech finance role making 125k and about to go back to school to do a top 10 mba for two year. Bought a house two years ago and have about 120k saved. Sober over 8 years. None of this shot would’ve been possible without AA and a support system. It seems impossible but I see hundreds of people do the same. It’s a day at a time. I haven’t thought about drinking in at least 7 years man. Good luck

[–]Mobile_Pepper2 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy

excellent plan my man. And yes, I have. (almost exactly the same situation.) was 26, quit drinking, quit working so much, got a job part time, went back community college, transferred, graduated, now im trying to get into med school. It can be done.

one step at a time bro, (i think your first should be to quit drinking). Do detox/rehab if you can’t quit on your own.

[–]PhaedrusHunt2 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy

Dude you need a perspective shift.

I'm in the same field as you.

I'm a GC. Specifically I'm a design build contractor and I do really nice high-end work but I also project manage. I'm 41.

When I was 25 I was working in the cabinet shop making shit money but cutting my teeth and learning the trades.

I'm at the point now where I'm doing the same thing I only I'm in business and I'm managing young guys like you.

There's a high ceiling in this industry my young lad. Do not despair.

I actually just met with a buddy of mine that's also a contractor. I was picking his brains on his business practices. He's coming from the exact opposite of you. He had a master's degree in engineering in a stem field. But he was miserable at work and he quit and became a contractor about 6 years ago.

Last year he cleared well over a quarter million dollars in profit. He might do half a mill this year.

So even if you're making garbage money now if you're smart and have a vision and learn to communicate and learn the ins and outs of the trade and get disciplined about the business side of it who knows how far you can go.

[–]mrpoopistan1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

People who want to do things don't sit around convincing themselves they're going to pursue vague goals.

The problem is that your goal is vague and pointless. You want a degree and money? No one has ever considered that genius barely-a-plan before.

If you don't know why you want to be in college, my advice is don't go to college. I did college, and those people dropped like friggin flies because they didn't have real goals or interests that matched with a collegiate environment.

The best of the educated class are never the folks who want to vaguely get a degree or make a buck. Even among the most capable business school students I knew, the best of the breed were the ones who had specific goals -- even if it was just to have a hot wife, drive a sports car and get bottle service every weekend.

Until you find your specific goal, you're going to languish because an undirected life works best when you have an okay job where someone else tells you what to do.

[–]budfox261 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

Was in your situation. I switched to hospitality. I earned more money and was far less exhausting than labouring. It took me around the world too. Apply for a barback position to start.

I've recently switched to retail and now this is the easiest money ive ever made. The work you are doing is not worth the money, because it is too energy draining. Get out.

[–]KillaJewels1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

Go for Civil Engineering degree and take a Geotech/Construction job after that. You'll start calling the shots and making much more money, with the added bonus of a head-start since you have some experience in construction. Just realize you'll have to pay your dues first 3 years working in the field, but the pay will still be much better.

[–]3chazthundergut1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

  1. There is no shame in blue collar work. Keep your wits about you, keep learning, and keep your eyes open for opportunities. You'd be amazed at how much cash you can bring in. My buddy got a union job in vents/ ducts and made more money than I did with my first Masters, except without the 60k in student debt. I've got anothe buddy who started his own plumbing business and his phone just doesnt stop ringing and he makes stupid money. My point is, take a page out of Mike Rowe's book. And have some pride for being a productive member of the labor force, the backbone of our country's industry. And dont let it hinder you from making gobs of money- plumbing, welding, electrician work, phone line repair, starting your own business, etc etc. Theres gold on the streets if you're willing to get down in the dirt and pick it up.

  2. It's a crime against yourself to destroy your body and your life with alcohol. Life is already difficult enough and filled with suffering and hardship without you destroying yourself with liquor. What a shame.

[–]Nergaal1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

alcohol is a destructive coping mechanism.

[–]thatbadrogue21 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

in all honestly, at 14$ an hour you can quit your job, and go deliver pizza for more money. You don't need a degree to rake in 80k, you need to start a trade and become accomplished.

[–]GratificationDelayed1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

If you want a degree and offixe job. Honestly just pick one that pays well that you can tolerate, look up BLS gov stats on income and dont be afraid of student loans becuase paying for college on 14 an hr ain't gonna happen outside of junior college. Also junior college is where it's at. Or become a union electrician and make more money paying for college

[–]life0361 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

You have a background in construction, which may help here. You may want to think about getting a degree in engineering. You can end up being a foreman or a superintendent.

I'm a computer dork, but about 5 years ago I discovered the construction industry and was hired by a general contractor to maintain their computer systems. Holy fuck my pay doubled when I came aboard. There is so much money in construction. I'm an older cat, and when I started I was making 90K a year, 5 years later I'm making over 110K. And these little twats coming straight out of college with an engineering degree are making 90K a year right off the bat. They have NO IDEA how good they have it compared to the rest of the folks their age. You should dip into that pot.

I can't offer any advice on alcoholism, though. I'm a problem drinker, get fucked up once or twice a week on a big bender. All I can say is find a way to keep it under control. Find good sober activities and try to keep the drinking to once or twice a week.

[–]DiskKiller21 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

Either you want the change or you don’t. But when you do, start with the small shit - your daily routines are the key to success. You won’t become successful overnight but with small steps that accumulate.

Read “Atomic Habits” by James Clear and “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie. Start with a growth mindset: become obsessed with improving yourself every day.

There are some low hanging fruits, too. Replace drinking with something productive like reading books and sleeping better. This is an investment that yields big returns in the long run.

You’re very young still. In just a few years you could and will, if you want it, be in an entirely different place.

[–]FimTown1 point2 points  (1 child) | Copy

You don't need a four year degree for stem. You need Google and something to apply it to. Grab your associates and think of something you want in an application be it mobile or on a PC while getting that associates. Then start coding it. It doesn't have to be original because you aren't going to sell it much less get rich from it. It likely won't ever exist anywhere but in your life.

Super hard at first, which is why you need to actually have an app that you want because psuedo code won't be enticing enough to get you through those brutal first steps.

Ask me how I know.

Example - how I learned C#: I knew VB.net (thanks Google) and had several little apps I wrote in it to make my job easier (I did field service for a medical device company). I wanted to learn C# but every time I needed an app I did it in VB because it was faster.

I played a PC game called FTL at the time and it was old school die and you're done type of game. I located where the game stored its current save states and started writing an app that effectively saved multiple versions of those states so I could cheat. I forced myself to do it in C#. It was brutal but I wanted my final product bad enough that I stuck through it.

Now I code in C# for any Windows project I make.

[–]TheAssholeReborn0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

Roses are red

pseudo is how that's said

You should be ashamed

Now my language is maimed

You incestuous mess

[–]PrettyBarbiePerson1 point2 points  (1 child) | Copy

Dude you can make bank as a construction worker if you have any real skill

Home a certain skill, join a union, that’s at least like 60k+ a year right there

[–]DatRiggz0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

Yup! Kill it during the week and body a side job or two a month. $$

[–]Schroder88232 points3 points  (2 children) | Copy

I can't say too much about your specific scenario but I was in your situation previously and this is how I got out:

I quit my construction job and started making money by dancing for men in a gay bar. Since this was a part time weekend job that paid better than my full time job, I had the time and money to go to college during the week. Once I had my degree and my career was solid, I quit dancing and now I'm in a really good place.

In your case, and I can't stress this enough, DITCH THE BOOZE. Find a better way to cope with your pain. Lift weights, smash plates, and consider downsizing your life so that you can live and go to school. I'd suggest bar tending to get out of your rut. The pay is really high and you will get more women than you know what to do with.

[–]TheBadGoy0 points1 point  (1 child) | Copy

What degree did you pursue?

[–]Schroder88230 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

Computer network technology, but to be fair the certifications I got in IT made the degree look useless in comparison.

[–]EvelynnSpoiler2 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy

Mate get yourself some magic mushrooms. I believe they have a ridiculously high success rate of like 74% or something like that for treating alcoholism.

They'll help you clear out that trauma that's fucking you up. Shrooms are a hard-reset button for social conditioning and addiction.

[–]krimpenrik1 point2 points  (1 child) | Copy

Start watching some clips of Jordan Peterson and clean up your room.

[–]Cryptomineand69-1 points0 points  (0 children) | Copy

Don’t forget to wash your penis!

[–]vullnet1230 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

What city you in? You can make bank if you go union in a big city.

[–]VisiblePlan0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

I grew up in a bad neighborhood, I was on the sauce at age 15 and didn't quit until I was 21. The key to all of life is discipline. If you have that, you will have a marginally better and more fulfilling life than those who do not. Start waking up at a set time, start developing skills. I hate capitalism, but it is the system we live in so we need to game it. Become a valuable employee and get a job much better than the one you have.

[–]wowkwo0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

You'll feel better once you set your sight on a big goal and are making daily progress toward it.

My career has stagnated a bit too and it's been very difficult to cope, but don't distract yourself with boos, focus on figuring out your life.

[–]keirtrades0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

Take up a combat sport...

[–]shark30k0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

You sir, just made me feel grateful about having a degree. I used to take it for granted. Hope you get everything you need.

[–]VigilantSmartbomb0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

WGU- get an IT degree construction of the science world.

WGU accredited and cheap- skills based so you work at your own pace. 3k per 6 months, can finish in 6 or 36 months up to you

Starting pay is $65k average mid career 105k

Honestly unless you have a huge passion for something extremely specific just get an IT degree

And it’s online

[–]Captain_of_Skene0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

Stop drinking. Seek medical help if necessary. That's the first thing you have to do.

Everything else will fall into place later, the immediate priority is to get off the drink

The longer you go without alcohol the less you miss it - the withdrawal at the start is hard but then it gets easier

I was 25 when I quit drinking

It gets better

[–]Cientocincuenta0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

Mine is a family of alcoholics. No matter if they have a PhD or are day labourers, or if they are alpha womanizers or beta virgins, being alcoholics is by far their defining characteristic. Please stop drinking. Family life will become hell, sooner or later. Job security goes to shit. Your health will decline.

[–]liondrius0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

Don't underestimate Alcoholics Anonymous, that shit really works.

Leaving a vice is difficult and there is no need to do it alone.

[–]DatRiggz0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

Get in a union if you can or get your license. Union mason here and make 40/hr. Nothing wrong with doing construction but it does get hard on the body. Ive been a cement mason for 7 years and my right elbow constantly flares up with some hate tendinitis. If the trades aren't for you then go into something else, drinking is a pretty common thing I've noticed, specially among concrete guys. Best of luck.

[–]opper-hombre10 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

14$ for physically demanding labor? find a new job bruh

You can kill a man, but you can't kill an idea.

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