Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Anger Management :: A Midnight Rant

I’ve just given up on getting to sleep early and getting up early and getting on with my life in a controlled and successful manner for yet another miserable motherfucking day. I can’t sleep. I can’t sleep because I’m too fucking angry. This is one of the reasons I’m going to see a therapist on Friday. I get angry an awful lot. More than I think is altogether reasonable.

I’ve seen therapists twice before. Once when I was in my late teens. Once a few years ago. I didn’t particularly care for either of them. The first one started crying when I was telling her some standard familial horror story. ‘You’ve touched me,’ she said, wiping away a tear. I don’t recall how this made me feel at the time, but in retrospect, I roll my eyes and shake my head and sigh. Also, as I'm on the internet, I say, 'Pfffft'.

The second one was of the ‘I’m going to sit here in more or less complete silence for an entire hour’ school. On the rare occasions that she did speak, it was always to suggest that whatever I’d just said was in some way connected to her and to our counselling sessions together. After the fourth or fifth time she did this, I felt compelled to point out that in my opinion she was a little fixated on my relationship with our sessions and that there was more to my life than the hour a week I spent with her.

I’m not entirely sure why I have such high hopes for this next stab at psychotherapy. Apart from the fact that I’m older now and I have a much clearer idea of what I think is wrong with me. And maybe also because this time I’ll be paying, therefore I DEMAND SATISFACTION!

Anyway, because I’ve had such a shit day, I’ve decided to have a good old whine about it. (Wellington, if you’re reading, I apologise, but I need it.)

So. It was just one of those days today, you know? I was trying really hard to get a bunch of things done – chores I’d been putting off – paying bills, sorting out an accountant, all the vile life admin crap I’d been putting off for the last couple of months. And everything kept going wrong. I discovered that I’ve lost my passport, a copy of which the accountant needs. I spilt a pan of stew over my keyboard. I slipped on a stair and burnt my forearm on the banister. Stupid shit like that. I got in a strop with an automated payment system and ended up swearing my face off and hanging up three times. Three times! And what the fuck is the point of swearing at a machine? What is the point of shouting, ‘I DON’T WANT ANY OF THOSE OPTIONS, YOU MECHANICAL FUCKING MORON! I WANT TO SPEAK TO A HUMAN BEING!’ This is why I need therapy. Part of the reason. I came so close to throwing my handset through a window today. I would have despised myself if I had. That’s the other part of why I need a therapist. The self-loathing.

I really felt like getting drunk tonight, although I realised that it wasn’t a great idea. It wasn’t a great idea because it would have been escape-drinking, and I really want to avoid that if I can. In this case I was able to avoid it easily because there was nobody around to get drunk with. All the friends I have in London are in couples and if there’s one thing worse than ringing up a coupled-up friend and suffering the mutual discomfort of being told that he really just wants to stay in with his girlfriend tonight, then I don’t even want to think about it. I even got in contact with Morag, just to see if she was free for a chat. You know? Friends. That’s all. We can still be friends, can’t we? But I just ended up feeling like Barry Champlain in Talk Radio when he hears his ex-wife telling her new husband that her seeing him (Barry) is just like she's visiting a sick relative. I don't want to feel like a sick relative, thank you very much. Which probably isn't fair on Morag. Is it, Doctor? Meanwhile, brand new friend Paddy is away on business, sending cryptic messages that make me think he might be under the impression that he’s Jason Bourne. Keith! Where are you when I need you?!

Reluctantly, I accepted the fact that I’d have to remain miserable and alone for the rest of the day. Then, just as I decided to escape into a film – which is almost as bad as escaping into booze, frankly – something very unusual happened. The electricity went off.

I’d been a bit weepy before, I must admit. Throughout the day, rage would mingle seductively with self-pity and my face would crinkle and my eyes would wet themselves. But I stopped myself with a sharp word and a healthy exhortation to pull myself together, like a tennis player battling a tie-break.

But when the electricity went, it finished me off. It was just getting dark. The electricity board said they’d have to send someone out. They said it might take 3-4 hours. I lit a couple of candles, heated some more stew on the gas stove and wept.

In the end it was back on within two hours, but my God, it’s been a miserable day.

I tell you though, I honestly feel better just to have talked it through. This is why I need therapy.

Now, housekeeping.

The solution to the phenomenally popular Bookscan quiz from yesterday was - you'll kick yourselves - this:

(Bad luck, Sudders. It’s really not been your week. 863!!!)

What else? Nah, fuck it, that’ll do. Rachel Getting Married has just arrived in a magical torrent of bits so I’m going to stay up and watch that. That’s about mad people, isn’t it? Cool.

Back soon with neurotic talk about weight loss and a possible cure for breast cancer.

Bonne nuit les petits!

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Anonymous said...

i read somewhere that when you start swearing at 'automated attendants', you are looped into a purgatory with no exit... i have no idea if it's true, but it seems as though it's happened to me on the occasions when i blow my brains out into the receiver of the phone because i can't locate a human...

avoiding the booze? highly commendable. i'll take a bottle of whisky into the bath and stay there crying until i am too dehydrated to keep going... and when i see myself in the mirror? eyes swollen nearly shut, bleary and red? i wish the electric was out...

here's to a better day.

Catofstripes said...

I watched Rachel getting married the other night. I can't say it's guaranteed to make you feel better. But still, maybe it's like listening to Morrissey.

You will be aware of the pop psychologist's opinion that anger is the other side of depression. It will out, one way or another.

As to therapy, it's done bugger all for me over the years, but it's got to be good for material.

Chin up, sweetie. We love you. Come and see me in France this summer.

Clare Sudders said...

863? Eh? Am confused.

But you've stolen my thunder, cos I was going to say that I too spent yesterday crying and not getting stuff done and then hating myself for crying and not getting stuff done... and generally feeling like a miserable failure.

I didn't spill any stew on my keyboard though, so I win. Hooray!

Maureen said...

Rachel Getting Married, that'll fix you.

Lady Julia said...

I know you weren't asking for anyone to fix things for you, but I was so moved by your situation and your openness with your feelings that I found myself wishing some brilliant, magically-fix-it type of words would pop into my mind. Unfortunately, my mind is not cooperating.

I truly hope it gets better for you soon.

Anonymous said...

Oh, Bete, I hope you have a better day tomorrow. I've been there. It's OK to get weepy over the lights going out. Sending hugs from Oregon.


Selena said...

Don't worry Bete, I'm scared of the dark too...

I'm sorry you had a shitty day at the hand's of Murphy's Law. I hope things work out better for you tomorrow(today.)

Maybe you should see if they have one of these in your city. It's really Amazing. Now this is what I call therapy:

Honestly, I hope you have a day were all your ducks end up in a happy little row.

Anonymous said...

Man! Like Howard's Way, I'm always there.

Lainey said...

Big sighs.

That's exactly how I feel all the time at the moment. ALL THE TIME. I lie. Sometimes I feel a moment of motivation and then all of a sudden the big sighs come rushing back.

What I'm trying to say in my big ramble is... well, dunno really. Suppose we all suffer from the trauma of being alone and generally feeling shitty.

Thinking of you.

La Bête said...

Daisy, it’s true. It’s definitely true. Here’s to a better day to both of us.

Stripey, it did make me feel better, you know. I felt sad but very touched by the sadness and familial love that I saw. I may come to visit you in France this summer, but you’ll have to cut out that vegan nonsense. I like a nice steak.

Sudders, 863. The numbers game! I was in the gym and I saw you on the telly. I was surprised that you didn’t get that numbers round. It’s obviously much harder under the glare of the studio lights.

Thanks, Mo. (I trust you weren’t being sarcastic.)

Lady J, it’s the thought that counts. I thank you. Or at least I’m thinking of thanking you.

Thank you, Maria. Right backatcha.

Hey, Selena, thanks, that looks great. Unfortunately, as for my ducks, I smashed them in a rage.

Keith, are you on drugs? Or just high on underlay?

Hi, Lainey. I’m sorry you’re feeling like that a lot too. It sucks. Fingers crossed things change soon.

Clare Sudders said...

"I was surprised that you didn’t get that numbers round"

Ah. That. I have blanked out the details.

I was so furious with myself re performance on the numbers rounds. I would have been able to solve them in seconds if I'd been sat all comfy at home. My brain went to mush. I panicked. I couldn't think straight at all. I felt such a fucking idiot. But there you go. [sad shrug]

But never mind me... are you still in need of {{{HUGS}}}? Cos I forgot to give you any. Here are some backdated ones:

AndrewM said...

I'm bloody great by the way!

What you need is sex. Plenty of it.

And don't rule out the beer option.

Anonymous said...

Don't be Betty Blue.

Dive into a big fat beautiful book, and get lost in it for a few days.

Garp is ideal, I reckon.


Catofstripes said...

The cats aren't vegan. Maybe we can come to some arrangement.

Misssy M said...

It's so hit and miss with therapists/counsellors. I banged on and on to my mum (who suffers from depression and anxiety) about trying counselling and when she finally did the one she ended up going to was the sit in silence for the whole hour type. She went for two seshes and then dropped it. She felt she was boring the woman. I want the kind of therapist that appears in Woody Allen films.

I hope blogging abut it all helped in some way. I don't blog too much about stuff that upsets me but have recently started an old fashioned diary - it has been great. I'll need to burn it at the end of each year for fear of it being read, but as therapy it's useful.

Anonymous said...

one word, marijuana. Even though it's illegal in most of the world... It is used medically in certain places, like California. Unlike alcohol, it's actually a great medicine for anxiety, depression, anger, and other symptoms including various pains. It can help you prioritize and judge how serious stressful situations are long-term, not just for the time of intoxication. My mate used to be very angry, and have anxiety issues. He used marijuana a few times, and is really much happier now, can fulfill tasks without irritation, interacts with people better, etc. I highly recommend it.