I am underwhelming

We had a friend staying for a few days. It was lovely to see him again. It was nice having him around. I’m not just saying that because he reads this *waves*. What was awkward was the realisation of just how tired and flat I am. I’m normally a chatterbox filled brim-ful of snark, and have to be smacked with a stick to make me shut up and let others have a go. This week, I was all ‘no, you talk. I’ll listen. I might nod.’

This isn’t me at all.

My friend, who a) reads this blog and b) is not a moron, spent the whole visit asking me, gently, if I was OK. ‘Yes yes yes yes,’ I’d say, ‘I’m just tired. Insomnia. And I’ve got a headache. Insomnia’s a bastard, eh?’ And he’d smile at me in a faintly worried sort of way.

Oh, bollocks, who am I trying to kid. I feel like crap.

I keep telling myself I have no reason to feel like crap. The weather’s nice (the weather’s beautiful. It’s like June), work is, well, work is no more irritating than usual (though it is being more surreal than usual, also, there’s a cow-orker I need to slap quite hard for Dereliction of Alphabetical Order), diclofenac PR works (this is wonderful), H is snoring a lot but otherwise being adorable, my friends are lovely, I’ve been to the theatre and the opera a few times recently and thoroughly enjoyed it. See?

And anyway, the Universe is all about lessons in perspective at the moment. A colleague has just been bereaved, and creeps about the office like a stricken ghost. A relative has cancer, we thought it had gone, it came back. There’s the divorce thing going on. Other friends and loved ones are unwell, or unhappy, or digging bravely through a metric ton of shit. Old age, in particular, is playing cruel jokes on one part of the family (“You know that horrible version of dementia that your father died of a few years ago? Your mother has it too! Try not to panic when you next can’t find your keys.”)

According to my mother, who was always of the ‘eat your gristle, there are starving children in Africa’ school of parenting, knowing that other people are going through more/worse/different shit than I am, should cheer me up.

Written out, that suddenly seems perfectly mental. Hmm.

Allow me to elucidate, like the Brethren of Ebon Night: I don’t think she meant I should be getting my jollies by sneering at others’ misfortune. I think she meant the fact that other people are suffering should turn my attention away from my own teeny-tiny insignificant whiney woes, which will then dissolve both from lack of attention and from the shrivelling blight of realising they are, in fact, teeny-tiny and insignificant.

Nope, that still seems mental. Because, actually, if you are struggling with Much Woe, or even Some Woe, then having other people’s Huge Woe added to the situation, just turns your Woe into Trifecta of Woe. So, I am not only sad and anxious about baby-making, craptastica of, but I am also sad and anxious about a vast assortment of uncles and cousins and in-laws and friends, and I think the entire world is made out of Shit, by Mr Shit, during the Shit period.

The only nights I’ve slept well the past few weeks are those when I’ve had a drinkie and a shag. Not a pattern I wish to firmly establish in my life – well, maybe the shagging part, that’s quite fun – as my entire gene-pool is contaminated with addictive behaviours and frankly, the only reason I now do not smoke like Jean-Paul Sartre is that I never began.

Oh, speaking of shagging, I may have ovulated last night, day 19, which would mean my cycles are getting quite quite predictable and regular. Of course, it’ll be a few more days before we can be sure, and Satsuma has been known to pretend she’s ovulating for shit and giggles, so we’re not sure, we’re just hopeful.

Anyway, as I was saying, we had a friend to stay for a few days, which was lovely even though I was a giant boiled pile of MEH (I am so sorry about that). Today we went out for the day with different friends for a very long walk in the delightful weather (carefully larded with Factor 15, naturally). Tomorrow we’ve got even more friends coming for lunch.

I think, perhaps, spending time with people I am fond of is better for me than valiant attempts at gaining ‘perspective’ by being made to feel like pond-scum because I am sad and anxious over my own losses (as if I only had so much sadness to go round, and if I selfishly keep some for myself, there’ll be less available for worthier subjects). It’s just not so much fun for the friends, poor lambs. I feel I ought, whatever else is going on, be better value as a friend. Or at least, more amusing. I clearly put an unneccessarily high value on my being amusing.

I think, perhaps, I am rambling, because I am tired, and drinking whiskey (oops).


9 responses to “I am underwhelming

  • Amy P


    Hopefully I’ll have good news soon, which will be much more fun than all the uncertainty lately. Of course, said good news would push any nice long flights even *further* back–our husbands may still have hair by the time I would get to head that direction, but there’s no guarantee 😉

    I was raised partly under the “But for the grace of God go I” school of parenting, which means I *loathe* that phrase and quite often find myself downplaying things happening to me because I know people going through much worse. I don’t do it to others, though, so the girls should be quite normal in that respect.

    I’m tired. If anything I said made sense, it’s as much by accident as anything else!

  • wombattwo

    Perspective is all well and good, but it shouldn’t take away from the fact that the things happening to you ARE shitty, and that you experience them as such. You are perfectly entitled to feel fed up/angry/downright miserable. Comparison with people who are “worse off” than you really doesn’t help, as you cannot compare two people’s experiences, as two people, even going through the same thing will experience it differently.
    Besides, as you say, other people’s miserable events will not magically make you feel better, but will just add to the general feeling that life is shit.
    Hmmm. I don’t know if any of that helped at all. I’m trying to say that you shouldn’t feel bad for feeling fed up. Hugs.
    And the friend you had to stay? He’s a good guy. He seems to get all this stuff, more than most. I’m sure he doesn’t mind if you were tired and quiet, he just wants you to be OK. As do we all. I’m also sorry that our solicitors were misbehaving too much for me to be able to come down and buy you both wine.
    Here’s another hug.

  • katyboo1

    I second Wombatwo. It is terrible that other people are having horrible times, but it does not make it any less valid that you are still feeling horrible and sad and messed up, and thinking that it does will not help. Friends are friends because they love you through the good times AND the bad, and they would feel less appreciated if you only let them in when you were sparkly and on top form.

    I do know of what you speak. It has been happening to me for the last few months. I think I am pulling out of it now, but it has not been easy. Advice? Be kind to yourself. You’re probably doing better than you think.xx

  • a

    Wow, did my husband go to the same school as your mother? He pulls that kind of ridiculousness on me all the time. It’s surprising that I haven’t hacked him to pieces with an ax…yet. I’m probably just too lazy to dig a grave in our clay soil. Maybe I’ll get a backhoe someday…

    Anyway, when you are not feeling your best, friends are for distraction. YOU don’t have to entertain THEM. THEY get to entertain YOU. That’s what friends are for – cheering you up when you need it, or leaving you alone when you need it, or sitting in silent companionship when you need it.

  • Hairy Farmer Family

    Hmmm. Wise comments above.

    This particular Brother of the Ebon Night is thinking that a week or so’s holiday somewhere pleasant might give a small hiatus to the reign of Mr Shit and associated pond-scum sensations? We no like Mr Shit and the Sad and Anxious. Not one bit.

  • korechronicles

    Sad that you’re sad. But everyone above has said what I would like to have said. You have had a Mega-Shit time. Enough to feel the way you do and for it to continue to drag on Ad Infinitum. And the Mega Multi Ginormous Misery Shit of others in no way diminishes the validity of YOUR feelings in these circumstances.

    Treat yourself gently. Bruised and battered psyches need nurturing and love from everyone and, most especially, from your own best self. Or worst self if that’s all that’s available. Because nothing and no-one ever recovers or re-emerges from the wicked grasp misery and it’s henchpersons by being belted out of it. Literally or figuratively.

  • korechronicles

    …grasp of misery…

    Tired and rum affected in an exotic country. Excuser mes fautes grammaticales, s’il vous plaît

  • Moo's Mum

    Unfortunately there’s more than enough sad to go round. You are entitled to your sad.

    And the fact that your friends want to spend this time with you? Proof if any were needed that you are an incredibly good value friend.

    And the fact that I’m so late commenting on this? Erm. Just an indication of how everyone gets caught up in their own stuff. The fact that you won’t mind? Just how your friends feel when you’re feeling meh.

    Much love xxx

    [Erm. Bit of a name change. Long story.]

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