Work is dire at the moment. I work in a job which is way below my ability level, mostly because my career got torpedoed when I had children, and the pay-off that keeps me there is that it’s low stress and with flexible hours. Except that right now, for very boring reasons I won’t even try and explain, it’s both busy and hostile. Today I gave a presentation in front of a group of people whose entire purpose for attending was to voice their displeasure at my company’s actions, and to catch me out in an inconsistency.
Naturally, knowing that I had this on today, I went to some lengths to make sure I had a calm evening last night. I made lentil soup for the week’s lunches, hung up an outfit for the morning (very smug: see me and my sober thinking? Preparing nutritious lunches, organising an outfit, I might even push the boat out and take my make up off!) and went to bed early. Whereupon I discovered that Little Girl had removed her nappy before falling asleep. You can’t leave a thing like that, so of course I re-did it, which she was most displeased about and let me know same, going on to inexplicably wake up about five times during the night.
Come dawn, then, I was too exhausted to think straight. My alarm clock elected to turn its volume control up to maximum, so I was awoken by deafening music. Too tired to find the volume control (I’m pretty much blind without my glasses), I unplugged it at the wall and closed my eyes again.
So of course then I fell asleep again and was running late. What makes running late even more super fun is when you discover that your cat, still traumatised from last week’s move, has decided to skip her litter tray in favour of evacuating the contents of her bowels halfway up the stairs. The only, only remote tiny glimmer of cheer I could raise while scrubbing it out was that it’d have been far worse with a hangover.
Anyway. Went downstairs. Realised no time for coffee. Told cat it was about time she was introduced to the great outdoors. Went to pack lunch, realised that all tupperware is still packed. Had a search for tupperware, because it’s really good lentil soup; failed. Realised that now I had no time for make up. Gave it all up as a bad bet and went to work. Inhaled enormous white chocolate muffin.
Work was predictably awful all morning, culminating in the above meeting. It maybe doesn’t sound that bad, but there were definitely moments where I could hear my voice shaking, so, you know.
So I thought to myself, I shall practice my Sober Self-care Skills! Which I like to capitalise, because they’re as new as they are alliterative. I took a lunch break, I bought a staggeringly expensive scented candle ($50! For something I’m literally going to set fire to!), I thought about warm lentil soup for dinner and a hot bath with the heater in the corner and my candle flickering.
And then I remembered that tonight is my book group. I haven’t been to one since I got sober. It’s full of very nice, but mildly intimating women, all of whom are slightly more well heeled than me, they all send their children to the local private school and arrange horse riding lessons, they all vote Right where I vote Left, and I always feel a little tiny bit out of place.
I haven’t yet turned down one social event because of being sober, and I wanted to keep that record. And I really like the book we’re discussing, which is – rather delightfully – a Jilly Cooper novel. And while it’s very much a nice wine and cheese sort of civilised affair, we did actually discuss a sober book earlier in the year (Jill Stark, High Sobriety. Underwhelming, in mine) so it’s not going to involve pressure to drink – one of the other women actually gave up for 100 days herself after reading that book. But, still. Tonight I kind of feel like I need a cocoon.