Restless, IRRITABLE and Discontent

Sobriety is a beautiful experience, but it’s also a unique type of challenge. In early sobriety, there are a few rules you should abide by to stay sober:

Rule #1: Take it one day at a time. Don’t think about the problems of yesterday or let yourself “future trip.” Be present.

Rule #2: Stay away from people, places and things. In other words, distance yourself from friends who get you into trouble, bars you used to frequent, and things that might trigger you to drink or to use.

Rule #3: H.A.L.T. Never let yourself be hungry, angry, lonely or tired. These are some big triggers that drive us to relapse.

At 2 years of sobriety, I still struggle with these 3 simple rules. The most challenging for me at this moment is H.A.L.T. Right now, I’ll simply focus on the “A”, angry.

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I’ve never considered myself to be an angry person, but I’ve always referred to myself as someone who is “easily irritated.” After all of the work that I’ve done over the last 2 years, many of the things that used to really irk me, no longer bother me. However, I’ve compiled a list of the things that still drive me crazy and put me back into that “irritable” state of mind.

1. Being Left on “Read”

No one likes to be ignored. On the other hand, not everyone ignores us on purpose. I’ll be the first one to admit that I ignore my friends and family by accident on a daily basis! The difference between ME accidentally ignoring people and others who (possibly by accident) ignore others that really pisses me off is the use of the read receipts!

For those of you who don’t know what “read receipts” are, they are the little gray reminders that someone is ignoring your text– where it says “read” and the time your text message was opened. If you’ve turned off your “read receipts,” your friends will only see the word “delivered” in small gray writing under the messages they send you.

Maybe you don’t actually know if your “read receipts” are on, and if that’s the case, my anger is not directed toward you. However, I know many people who choose to leave those receipts on. I personally think that those who keep their “read receipts” on are freaking sociopaths. Why would you CHOOSE to drive your friends and family crazy? This is pretty much a subtle, passive-aggressive way of giving someone the middle finger and saying, “what you’ve sent me is unimportant and I want you to clearly understand how annoying you are.”

2. Public Restroom Door-Knockers

Some of you may be wondering, “why does this piss you off, Zoë? They’re just being polite!” Well, I completely disagree. Let me tell you why I believe that knocking on the door of a public restroom is, indeed, NOT polite.

First of all, bathroom doors have LOCKS. Some of them even literally tell you that the bathroom is in use when the door is locked. If there’s no way of knowing if the door is locked, do you know how easily you could find out if it is? Try opening it. Groundbreaking, isn’t it??

Secondly, if you don’t want to do a quick pull on the door (for some stupid reason) and think that knocking is a better way to find out if the restroom is vacant, let me ask you this…what exactly are you expecting to get out of your knock? A frantic “OCCUPADO!” from the person sitting on the toilet you need to use? That, not only is unnecessary to answer your question (because trying the handle would have done it much faster), but it also completely interrupts the peace of the current toilet-sitter. Think back to the last time someone randomly and loudly knocked on the door while you were peeing. How did you react? You probably squealed one the following interjections: “uhhhh..someone’s in here!” or “Just a minute!” or “OcCuPiEd!!” Wasn’t that extremely awkward or uncomfortable? Your private moment of incognito bodily release was very suddenly shattered.

Lastly, if you’re knocking to try to incite panic on your fellow pee-er so they hurry up, then you’re just kind of a dick. In summary, quit disturbing my damn “pee”ce. If you knock, I’m not responding. Sorry not sorry.

3. Mumblers

As a middle school teacher, I have dealt with a fair share of mumbling students. This is frustrating, mostly because it causes students to have to repeat themselves six times in order for little Billy-Bob in the back row to hear their answer to my question. However, I understand that KIDS tend to mumble in class because they don’t feel very confident in what they are sharing in class. I have patience for mumbling kids. Whom I have zero patience for are mumbling adults.

I know several adults who are in a constant mumbling-to-whispering volume and this seriously makes my damn skin crawl. Look, I probably went to far too many rock concerts in my youth and my hearing is slightly weakened because of it, but I’m still able to hear things people say if they’re speaking at an acceptable amount of decibels. When you chew on all of your words, it leaves me (and others) in the uncomfortable situation where we have to ask you to repeat yourself so many times that it gets to the point where we just smile and nod, looking like that seal from “Finding Dory.”

In other words, and let me say it loudly so you can hear me in the back, ENUNCIATE, FOOLS!

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We’re all human. We all do things that piss other humans off. We also all have our own lists of meaningless, little things that other humans do that inexplicably make us want to pull our hair out of our skulls. The point of writing this all down was to get it off my chest, drop the weight of the world, if you will, and to let others know that this annoying sh*t is so insignificant in the grand scheme of life, or more specifically, sobriety. Next time something small makes your eye twitch a little, be annoyed for a second and then let it go.

Published by

Zoë Cardinal

Core Values: Positivity, Dedication, Education & Growth A language nerd with a passion for learning, I aspire to live each day to its ultimate good. I'm consistently in search of ways to become a better person and world citizen, by being of service to others and practicing self-care. I'm currently a middle school teacher in Brooklyn, NYC. Before moving to the city, I studied French, Sociology and Linguistics. I'm blessed to have spent a year in the south of France and a year in Ireland during my studies. I'm sober. I'm queer. I believe I'm on this earth to learn as much as possible and inspire others to do the same!

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