Our Beyonces, Ourselves

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If you’re wondering where I’ve been (and I know you spend hours worrying about such matters), I’m sad to report that I haven’t been hanging out in very nice places. It shames me to admit that my wit and candor can be largely seen in the comments sections of pop culture blogs these days. I know, I know. The internet’s equivalent of a roach-infested dive bar. Lately, all I can muster up, creatively is a one-liner and comments sections or Twitter are easy places for them to live.  One-liners about James Franco, one-liners about Nicki Minaj, one liners about anything really. One-liners, zingers or terrible puns are how I express myself. I’ve always been “funny”, “sassy”, a “smartass”, what have you. However, the psychological community at large tells me this is a defense mechanism. This need to make jokes about everything is a leftover from old childhood behavior to simultaneously diffuse tension while seeking attention and in general is a way to conceal hurt or anger. I’d  like to tell the psychological community that while I agree, sometimes I just really want to make fun of Beyoncé.

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In my defense, Beyoncé is really easy to make fun of.  I mean…

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Plus, I think people with dead-eyes and no sense of humor are actually hilarious and ripe for satire. From the lyrics of Irreplaceable and her performance in Dreamgirls to that elevator thing and her Pretty Hurts video, I just think she’s comedy gold masquerading as a pop music icon. But then again, I saw Tina Turner in concert at a young age so perhaps Beyoncé’s powers would have never worked on me.

Of course, none of this is actually about Beyoncé. Or Kimye or Nicki Minaj’s ass. It’s about me. Truth? I’ve been kind of depressed lately. Depression is one of the many colors I represent in my mental illness rainbow. Lucky me. For my first five years of sobriety though, the bitch hasn’t really been an issue. Turns out, she was just sitting in the corner sipping her tea, waiting to pounce.

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Thankfully, I am now aware enough to take action when she shows up and wants to knock me out. While I’m not on medication (and don’t have any issues with folks who are) I do take certain physical and spiritual measures when depression becomes a problem.  For me, I know depression is a chemical thing because the honest to God’s truth of my life is that it’s pretty terrific. The evidence is staggering that despite minor glitches and little areas for growth, all things in Seanland are undoubtedly fabulous which makes depression’s appearance all the more baffling. But when things get rough or my thinking is off, getting sober has taught me to ask myself,”So whaddya gonna do about it?” (Because when I ask myself questions I sound like a pawn shop employee from New Jersey.) Part of that answer is “Write more!” My second sponsor, in her infinite wisdom, once told me that, “Self-esteem is built through esteemable acts.” As we’ve discussed, writing makes me feel good so why not write more and write thru whatever I’m feeling and maybe, gee I don’t know, feel better as a result?!?

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But let’s not get overly excited here. I’m stopping being a smartass anytime soon. It’s kinda who I am. I would argue that making jokes about the Kardashians or Chris Brown has at least kept my creative juices flowing. And as readers of this blog, I laugh just as much at myself as I do at Beyoncé. My sarcasm is all-inclusive and equality opportunity.Plus, making people laugh is a tiny way I can be of service. So just for today, I’ll aim to be a more productive, more spiritually fit clown and not a sadsack, comment section clown like this guy.

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Eye Rolling in the Deep

I promised I’d use this blog to drag out things I don’t like about myself, be honest about them and even laugh about them. So here it goes: I’m a straight up eye rolling, shit talking, sarcastic, smart assed hater.

There isn’t a 12 step program for this particular bad habit. Or maybe there’s a Shittalkers Anonymous and I haven’t found it yet. Still, I like to think I’m a recovering hater. Recently, I’ve had opportunities to tear someone down or throw people under the bus just for the sport of it and I haven’t done it. Not like stopping being a dick qualifies me for canonization but considering my past I think I’ve made real progress.  Getting sober has made me less of a hating a-hole for sure. Drinking and being bitter is a classic combination and my negativity cocktail of choice was always a tequila and haterade. Nothing made me happier than to get drunk and talk shit. Not surprisingly, this made my self-esteem feel like an abandoned outhouse by the time I got sober. As you can imagine, my first inventory was filled with people I verbally assassinated.

Like nearly every addict I know, I had an early opportunity to learn the shit talking lesson but it didn’t stick. My 5th grade teacher Brother Joseph, a Franciscan brother who sounded like Elmer Fudd, intercepted a note I wrote to a friend. The note said lots of stuff because even back then I didn’t know when to shut up but there was one key phrase that sealed my fate. I wrote “Brother Joseph is a jerk” and he read it. And even worse he took me out in the hallway and asked me in his sweet funny voice why I thought he was a jerk. A shit talker’s nightmare. I burst into tears. I cried because I called this sweet teacher a jerk. I cried because it wasn’t good Catholic behavior. Mainly, I cried because I got caught. This horrifying event should have stopped my big mouth in its tracks. But it didn’t. I’ve spent the better part of two decades rolling my eyes and making the “gag me” hand and facial expression combo.

Today, I try to not to live in HaterVille. I really try to treat people how I want to be treated. I honestly try to stop myself from gossiping.  But about that eye rolling, I’m still guilty of that one. I’m so sarcastic, I probably roll my eyes in my sleep. I do know that it’s extremely rude and I am conscious of when I do it. But I still eye roll with the best of them, I just do it a little less then I used to. After all, like they say “progress not perfection.” (rolls eyes)