Thursday, 6 November 2014

Day 33 - Handle with care

So today, full of those vitamins and a decent sober nights kip, I headed off into the local town to do some volunteering. I'd say I bounced but you know, I'd not want to scare you. Just think about tigger. That's me in my head and today, I was just as bouncy.

My joy and bounciness didn't last long, and I don't know why this affected me so much BUT I got the lady who runs the classes I was helping at wrong, I called her by the wrong name. 

Not once, but twice. I'm crap with faces/names, I muddle things up, I'm dyslexic, its no biggie unfortunately, its just me. Mostly I do OK, sometimes I struggle, especially in social situations. I'm one of those terminally awkward academic types, great with books and plants, crap with other humans. But, I try like I did today, I tried to be normal and seek the company of other humans.

The second time I got her name wrong, she actually shouted at me whilst I was trying to set up some IT for a presentation. Shouted, or rather bellowed at me, like I'm five or something. I just told her that shouting at me wasnt going to help me remember it any better, welled up, bit my lip and put my head down. I made excuses and went to the bathroom.

Now I'm no shrinking violet. The oldest of four and a tomboy at heart. I've worked in an exclusively male dominated environment and held my own. And I'm hiding in the bathroom crying because someone shouted at me. As it turns out the lady was very short with a few folks, I guess she was stressed and no none of us got an apology. Being British, I nearly wrote a strongly worded email, but thought better of it. She's a nervy type and clearly was feeling stressed, so probably didn't really mean to shout! However if that had been one of the guys at my work, he'd have got an earful normally and told to shove his projector where the sun doesn't shine.

I'm not sure if its the sober-ness (is this a word??)  letting out all kinds of weird energy. Or I've lost my shield of steel. Yeah, I'm angry but tearful angry, not shake a fist angry. I'm not working at the moment, I've recently moved and given up my job to move, so I guess maybe its just that. I use to work with lots of volunteers with my job. They got my name wrong, so what I'd make a joke. People volunteering do for many different reasons and lots of them are around confidence. 

As for the lady, I could see she was stressed but part of me wanted to say. You don't know me. You don't know how hard it is for me to walk in here today. I'm sober today, I'm here. This is a big deal for me. I'm trying to get better. You don't know me, you don't know my issues, how can you. I forgot your name and I'm sorry for that but please don't shout at me. Have you any idea how hard it is for me to get dressed and leave the house right now? No, how can you. I'm trying to get better. I'm trying to get to the point where I can think about recovering from this in the future. Please don't shout at me.

For now, whilst a silly incident, I think I need some tape across me which says 'Handle with Care' and maybe for folks to wear name badges. I might need to put labels and big marker pens in my sober tool box........

Mind you, crying not drinking, maybe that's a good sign? But, the crying is that normal?

PS the class was about gingers (the plant, not my hair colour) and was from a guy who'd I'd been a vague colleague of before, he remembered me and that was nice. Asked what I was working on at the moment, erm, just started a new research project, I told him, am working from home.

That's not a lie exactly. Better than saying, erm, I'm a bit broken right now but I'm researching lots of ways to get mended.

I do waffle on, so thank you for getting this far! If you've something kind or helpful to add or just want to say hello. Please drop a line below. I'd appreciate that. Thank you.


  1. I cried a LOT in the early days (& I was someone who rarely cried before). I cry more easily and more often now than I have done in my entire adult life - must be catching up or something ;) Take care of you, you are doing just great :) xx

    1. Thank you for the heads up Lucy, I've always had a shield of Steel or was that just mighty mouse? I guess without the booze to hid in/under/with maybe catching up on all that emotion is part of it. Scary though, I'm beginning to think about tissues in my pocket just in case. I guess at my age it could be a lot worse.

  2. Hello - just found this. I have just sent you some messages on Living Sober. :)You write so well! Love it.So much more meaningful to read the full story. Love, Morgan

    1. Hey Morgan, nice to see you over this side :) you're a rock you know! I've appreciated all the messages very much. Especially today! Thanks for popping over and being so kind. I really appreciate it.