Fireworks and Coffins

I’m like a sponge. I don’t know why but I seem to be super susceptible to other people’s moods and behaviour and soak every last vibe up – I think that’s why I found that AA meetings could really bring me down sometimes. I’d walk away wanting to shake my fellow drunks and shout at them to be freaking grateful for those empty glasses. Genuinely, why aren’t AA meetings full on celebrations that we’re free of the alcohol prison? Why aren’t they gatherings where we all jump around with joy, set off fireworks and wear party hats? Instead we sit there and complain sobriety is hard when we’re all there because we could no longer live with drinking. Fuck me. No wonder they’re solemn affairs. And Sophie the super sponge can turn up in the sunniest of moods and walk away an hour later feeling uneasy, worried and a little low.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m not saying you have to be happy and cheerful all the time. My Dad is, and after a while it gets really tiring. The dude even finds a silver lining when someone bloody DIES. No, honestly – a relative of his wife’s keeled over and died on the spot from a blood clot in the brain. BOOM. My Dad’s view? He was sad of course but he also pointed out what a great way it was to go and how he’ll be very pleased if he gets to die quickly and on the spot, nothing worse than being ill and taking years to die in a hospital bed hooked up to machines to keep you alive. OK, he had a point, but even so, just fucking throw a rose on the coffin like everybody else and save that thought for a more appropriate time. The man is insane. And like father, like daughter but I don’t think I’m as unbearably happy as he is (if there is such a thing as unbearable happiness) – I have morning grumps and when I’m hormonal I can get inexplicably low and moody. I don’t seem to have been equipped with patience either and will bite your head off if you don’t immediately see what I deem to be the most efficient and practical way of doing something. So anyway, what I wanted to emphasise is I love and appreciate the full spectrum of human emotion – the whole damn register.

But there is a difference between feeling low about SOMEthing and having a negative view of EVERYthing. And I’m not talking about depression here, which condemns its sufferers to a permanently low place – that’s an illness and as it happens one that my best friend in the world suffers from and has battled for years. So I’m not referring to ILLNESS – I’m talking about ATTITUDE here. Big difference.

So there’s this colleague of mine. I’ve worked here for two and a half years. I see her every day. As you do, I ask her how she is when we say good morning. Not once has she ever turned around with a big smile and told me GREAT! Not a single time. Instead this sad little smile that tells me she feels incredibly hard done by and a hand gesture to illustrate so-so. She immediately saps me of energy and I find myself get irritated by her constant whining about how badly life has treated her. Sure, she’s told me some stuff that must have been a bit crappy but nothing worse than anyone else I know. Whiny Pants focuses on all the things that haven’t gone right and what has gone her way she dismisses as anomalies. It’s so frustrating to listen to. Butler, butler! Help! My diamond shoes are too tight! Fine – we all sometimes get in a mood, feel bristly or irritable or whatever and we have all to some extent wallowed in self pity because sometimes that feels really good, but then there are people like Whiny Pants who could win a million and then complain that she couldn’t get her Ferrari in the exact shade of pink that she wanted. Honestly, the chick does my head in and she can affect my mood within 10 seconds of conversation. When I can afford it I’m going to invest in a string quartet that’s going to follow her around and play sad melodies every time she opens her mouth.

As it happens, I haven’t seen Whiny Pants around yet this morning. I do try to bite my tongue when she rattles off all her hardships to me but earlier this week I couldn’t hold back and suggested perhaps she should look on the bright side. I doubt she liked that. People who wallow as a hobby don’t like the idea of finding the positives as it robs them of their martyrdom so perhaps she’s avoiding me. Plus, if you feel rubbish about everything the last thing you probably need is an annoying Swede talking about how fucking great everything is. BUT IT IS!!!!! I can’t help it. Perhaps I should be punished for being so blessed, I really am so utterly lucky and thoroughly spoilt by fate. Well, Mother Nature is usually quite fair and I’m just days from my period, which these days is a living hell due to something called fibrosis that means that my cramps feel like early labour and are sometimes so severe I throw up. The consultant who gave me all the good pills for it told me she’d suggest a hysterectomy if I were ten years older. “You have a young uterus,” she told me and cited it as a reason to not get rid of my bun baking equipment. Honestly, it gets so bad these days that I want to reach into my own body, yank out that youthful fucking uterus and thrown it at someone. Truly.

Oh yeah – blog about not drinking! I’m not drinking. I feel good. Done.

In other news, I got my results from the tube of spit I sent to I’m surprised they managed to do anything with it because I was drinking coffee at the time and it ended up having a dodgy brownish tint. Anyway. It was every bit as boring as I was hoping it wouldn’t be – I’d hoped I had some exotic and mysterious royal arabic or maori blood or something equally exciting, but oh no – 82% Scandinavian, 11% Finnish and a fraction British and west European. My ancestry is as dull as dishwater, it turns out. Will arrange for hubby to do one too. Already know he will have the Netherlands and Norway show up, but who knows what that sexy kiwi might have going on – I’d love to find out what that perfect DNA storm looks like.

Today I’m not going to drink. Except coffee. I’m going to drink lots of coffee.


One thought on “Fireworks and Coffins

  1. Awesome on staying sober another day!
    I’m like you – my moods tend to be affected by the moods of those around me.

    I once listened to an AA speaker that had expressed that “open discussions” were not the norm in the early days of AA, because the original founders didn’t want newcomers to think that sobriety was miserable. I understand that they wanted newcomers to be able to see how sobriety makes people “joyous, happy and free”.


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