Tonight work was a bit of a disaster. I'm going to leave out most of the details. But on three separate occasions, people blew up and yelled and swore at me and had to be escorted out by security. One person threw something at me before he went. And in between, patrons asked me why I wasn't smiling, or whether I was tired, or why I was being so serious. I don't know, I'm just not always all that cheery after being told to go #$%% myself. There are lots of reasons for the work crap--I work in a poor part of town where an extremely high proportion of the population has mental health and addiction problems. (And I'm not even talking about the staff!) On Saturday night, we are one of the few places open, and everyone is welcome as long as they are not obviously drunk or high and can keep it together enough not to swear or throw things and so on, but lots of people can only do that for a while before they blow, often because they really want to be drunk or high but they've already spent the cash, or they just have really bad stuff going on and one more irritation is more than they can cope with. Hell, I get it. But sometimes I just don't feel able to withstand the barrage of abuse that happens on a regular basis. All the advice to breathe and not take it personally and let it wash over you and so on is fine, and it helps, but I am the person who is working and being yelled at and sworn at and so on, and I don't know if there's really any way around finding it upsetting sometimes.
It wasn't all bad. I did not swear back at anyone, much as I wanted to. I didn't throw anything. I didn't even cry until after I'd biked home. And no, I did not buy wine and drink it when I got home, which was my standard go-to solution for a night like this. I know it won't help. I feel raw enough already, and I know this not drinking gig is moving things in the right direction. The kettle is just boiled, so I will pour myself a cup of herbal tea and go read the Pema Chodron book I have on the go--Taking the Leap: Freeing Ourselves From Old Habits and Fears. Free. That's the right direction.
Tonight I feel like the edges of my nerves are exposed. And it's hard. Not having a way out of feeling is sometimes just plain tough to deal with. I am hoping, because I'm listening to the people who have done this already, that the raw edges smooth out a bit after a while. At 54 days sober, they sure are still a bit ragged sometimes. Anyway, for now, tea will help.
Peace and joy to you, and to those troubled folk who blew up at me tonight, if they can find some. Maybe there's enough of that going around that I can have some, too.