The humorous side of things


May God/Goddess/Higher Power/Great Spaghetti Monster strike you down with with impotence, baldness, bad breath and life long flatulence to bring you into hiding from the world and let the rest of us get on with our lives in peace.

I don’t care what you call your God/Goddess/Higher Power or political figure head. It is of absolutely NO importance to me what so ever whether you are white, black, red, blue or fecking pink with turquoise dots – if you’re a fanatic you are NOT welcome at my table!

I am sick and tired of being forced to live in fear, sick and tired of you feeling that it is your god given right to terrorise me and others.

Just bugger off!

My thoughts this evening is with the people of Norway. They have suffered a terrible blow and I remember vividly what it felt like living first in London – with the fear of terrorist threats there – and how it felt living through the (fortunately failed) bombing of Stockholm in the middle of the Christmas shopping last year.

Maybe I should head to town and find myself a fanatic to feed some industrial strength laxatives and watch them suffer… I’m just very, very PISSED OFF right now!

It’s been quiet from me this week since I’ve had a friend staying for five days. In some ways I’ve enjoyed the week – like when I’ve been playing the Little Tourist in my own city and actually seen and done things you never really get round to when you live somewhere – but it’s also been a stressful week I could have used for things like spending time with my poor long suffering Husband, or just going to meetings and doing some soul searching. At the end of the day, visit is over today, chappie is going home and I’m fairly grateful for it.

So, to the topic of this post; Pride and Prejudice.
I have a rather dark side to my soul, one I don’t often show to people, which I’m not proud of and I do try to work on it. It’s deeply rooted, but the willingness is there so bear with me.

I’m a snob.

There, I’ve said it. It’s probably more difficult to admit to than admitting to being an alcoholic.

The amount, and variety, of prejudice I carry around is vast. Maybe one could start a twelve step program to rid me of them? “We admitted we were powerless over our prejudice”…

Chappie and I went on a Booze Cruise over to the little island of Åland (one of the few Duty Free zones left in Europe) on Tuesday and I had a revelation. First of all that I could, in fact, enjoy just the trip without hitting the bar for a tall cold one, and secondly that drunk people really are cringe worthy.

Now, the drunk people on these ferries are kind of the worst sort. You know, just the type I carry some of my worst prejudice against. Life has worked very hard at teaching me time after time that these people can be – and often are – the salt of the earth and that I am no better than they are, but the little daemon on my shoulder is still whispering that I need to hold onto my hand bag when passing through the crowd.

There was this woman who looked 80 if she was a day, though I suspect her age may have been closer to 60. Anyway, she walked around in a skirt so short you saw frightening amounts of her stick thin legs which were carrying up a barrel like upper body – the typical body of an ageing female alcoholic. Her hair was long, with a raven black home dye, and teased into oblivion. We shan’t start to mention the state of her husband, but let’s just say he was wearing a cowboy hat in patent leather…

Then there was the family group with friends. The family was having “Gran” in tow and she was doing her very best to embarrass her son… No doubt this lady is perfectly sane and decent when sober, but drunk she was a disgrace! She was whispering things – which were clearly embarrassing – in her daughter in law’s ear and flirting shamelessly with her son’s friend. The family looked as if though they wanted to sink through the floor (sorry, decking!).

There were the people dragging home six cases of beer. We’re talking six 24 can cases here!

All this I watched with sober, and judging eyes, preferring to forget the sort of embarrassment I have caused my own family and the disgrace I have made of myself. Talk about being prejudice!

The fact is that all these people could easily have been me! But that is something I don’t even want to dwell on!

I’m proud of that I didn’t have a drink, though. Proud that I managed to take this trip and enjoy every minute of the picturesque town of Mariehamn sober. It really was lovely and I will take Husband with me there one of these weeks, just to have a splendid meal – sans the booze!

Yesterday I managed to get caught in torrential rain as I was waiting for the bus. It took me about two minutes to get soaked to the bones and for the first time since I gave up the sauce I really wanted a drink. I wanted it so badly I could have sold my left foot for one but being in Sweden – where the state operated booze monopoly closes at 19:00 sharp on weekdays – there were none to be got unless I went to a bar somewhere and there wasn’t enough cash in my purse to get me well and truly sloshed.

I spent the twenty minutes I had waiting for the bus trying to count my blessings. How lucky I was that the rain arrived just then, when I couldn’t get to a boozer, how fortunate that I got soaked and had the pleasure of experiencing the urge when it was reasonably “safe”. Did it work? Did I feel less pissed off? Not one bit! I suppose I still have to work on this “serenity to accept the things I cannot change” malarkey…

Really, that is a very good view on life, to calmly accept things that can’t be changed rather than getting all worked up about it and either having a bevy or a stroke – or both! However, I find just that very hard to cope with. Maybe it’s got to do with my need for control, which is funny since I have no control over alcohol what so ever. The last few months have showed me at least that. The struggle goes on…

35 days ago, today, I woke up with the terrifying insight that I was a complete mess and I needed to do something about my drinking. To be perfectly honest I had known that for a while, but needed that extra shove to get my arse off the settee and seek help. That I wasn’t going to be able to do this on my own was painfully clear to me, I had been breaking many a promise to myself to slow down, drink every second glass of water, not drink on week days, not drink on week-ends, not drink before dark and so on – the list is endless!

What brought on this insight was the fact that I had slept through most of a long planned, and long awaited, party in a drunken stupor. I had been pissed out of my brains already before the guests arrived and it would have been even more of a social embarrassment had it not been for the kind help of a friend who realised she had to step in to sort things out for the forty people about to arrive. Me, I was pissed on the couch.

Embarrassing? Just a bit…

It was a Monday night, when I took my first steps towards what I hope will become a more normal life. There was an Open Meeting at the one of the groups of Alcoholics Anonymous in Stockholm, Sweden. An Open Meetings means anyone is welcome to come along, alcoholics and non-alcoholics, and I found it’s usually a good place to start.

I will never forget that evening…

For, quite possibly, the first time in my life (which has after all spanned 41 years) I felt as if though I belonged. It may come as a surprise for people who know me, even those who know me very well, that I never ever feel as if I belong. I always feel like an outsider, always standing in the periphery looking in at all the fun. All my life I’ve longed for being the “cool” one, for being the one people are drawn to, but I have always fallen short of something. Maybe there is a kind of air about me telling the subconscious of others  that I’m not good for it – what do I know?

Anyway, I’m digressing. That evening when I walked through the doors to that grubby little basement room I felt for the first time ever completely and utterly welcome for no other reason than showing up. Incredibly kind people just took me in and the feeling of belonging was almost over powering. Not having to be someone, something… just being wanted and accepted for having been born. That was BIG!