No One Likes a Complainer, But Here’s the Thing

I’m being tested. We’re always being tested, I guess. But the past couple of months have been a little bit extra trying. At least in my world.

I’ll qualify that statement. We have a home, albeit small and in need of several repairs and renovations. We have groceries, and I can even afford to buy organic most of the time. The kids are healthy and my husband and I are employed. We have heat and hot water, electricity, Internet, and cable television. Though our needs are more than met, we are frequently uncomfortable. Many of our wants are unfulfilled. And, things just keep breaking.

Life isn’t easy. No one’s is. Even those we think have it all are struggling in some way. I work hard not to complain, especially on social media. I just tend not to air my crap there. But, I realize I often leave out the unsavory details of my everyday story, instead opting to find an inspirational, humorous, or educational nugget to share; I neglect to complain about some of the garbage that goes on in my life. First, I don’t like burdening people. Second, I feel like a total jerk complaining when people are dealing with problems exponentially greater than mine. Third, if I don’t complain about things then it means they don’t bother me. Right? [Dramatic pause for erupting laughter]

My failure to complain is a lot like my drinking used to be. Don’t complain about it because it makes it real. Have a drink and forget it ever existed. Lovely.

So, I’ll admit it. The past seven weeks have sent me into a little bit of a “what’s the effing point” tirade. At least internally. Now, I’m letting it out.

If you ask me where I have managed to find the cash I have hemorrhaged since the beginning of the year, I would tell you a stone. I made a stone bleed. Truly. I have no idea how we’ve managed the unpredictable shit storm of expenses. From a super major repair on my car in January to a second major repair today. From a basic wellness check for our senior pooch that turned into an ultrasound that revealed splenic masses and X-rays that show his spine fusing together. And, then, of course, there was Monday night’s oven fire. Yup.

I don’t need sunshine and roses all the time. I’m pretty good at creating the light when it’s too dark. But, a little bit less of this whole “all the crap all at once” thing would really be much appreciated. And, I know. It could be worse. The house could’ve burned down. I could’ve been hurt putting out the fire, especially since I handled the situation entirely wrong.

Quick PSA: If there is a fire inside your oven, do not open the door. Do not open the door and spray a fire extinguisher into your oven. Leave the door closed, evacuate, and call 911.

Either way, we would need a new oven – the thing is nine years old and it most definitely malfunctioned. But, had I left the oven door closed, I would not have spent the entire day Tuesday scrubbing the kitchen from top to bottom, emptying out every single cupboard and washing every glass, mug, dish, plate, utensil, pot, and pan. Fire extinguisher residue is the worst. We now need to make a major purchase and my husband and I have not spent more than a few waking moments together in days, maybe weeks. The schedule is wearing on me.

And, I think of a line from one of my all-time favorite movies, A Few Good Men, when Tom Cruise’s character finds out Demi Moore’s character is accompanying him on a trip: “And the hits just keep on coming.” I’ve started looking toward the sky, asking “Whatcha got next? Wanna kick me while I’m down? Again?”

When I was drinking, I would simply numb out and try to forget the world was attacking. Without booze, I am far more powerful in this war. And, I always find a way to push through the junk. But, right now, the hits are just taking a toll on me. I’m feeling unmotivated, beaten, and small. I’m making mistakes, missing details, and lacking creativity. I’m not sleeping very much. And, when I do sleep, I have nightmares.

I’m feeling lost, and I’m spending far too much time looking for answers on social media. That has to stop. While I adore our sober community on Facebook and Instagram, and I am so incredibly thankful for everyone out there walking this path of recovery and sharing their stories, I am starting to feel a lot of pressure to deliver a “product” bigger than what I have in the past. And, that’s wrong. I feel pressure to write, pressure to read all the things I’ve “saved” on Facebook, pressure to post just the right message on Instagram. And, that’s not what this is about. I’ve let myself become overwhelmed to the point of paralysis. In the past, that’s what drove me to drink. I’m in a very uncomfortable place right now and I need to find my way out. I’ve known this for a while but figured the way out would just find me when the time was right. But, as Sasha Tozzi posted on Instagram today, “It’s not out there, it’s in you.”

So, it’s me time. I need to come up for air and recharge my batteries. And, I’ve determined that the best self care for me right now is a break from blogging and social media. I don’t know how long I will stay away, but I am certain the time to return will become abundantly clear once I’ve purged all this gunk and bad attitude from my head.


  1. Laura,
    Removing yourself from social media and the endless pressures to perform is the kindest form of self-care. You have no control over the slings and arrows coming your way, but you can choose to do all you can to protect yourself.
    This doesn’t seem like a bad attitude to me. What I felt throughout your piece was intense grieving for all you have lost. You’re just allowing yourself to feel it. Much love to you as you drink from the well of yourself.

  2. Laura,
    Yes! Take a break, engage in self care. I can so relate to your hesitation to complain about “first world” problems. I too have often told myself I have no right to be upset when so many others suffer much more. Thank you for sharing some of the crappiness of daily life. It is not all roses every day. Step back and don’t feel an ounce of guilt about it. Joan

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