Sometimes life throws you a curve ball. Sometimes it hits you with a one-two sucker punch to the gut. Or a bullet to the head.
I spent Christmas and New Years dealing with the one-two punch, curled up in my Burrito of Misery and trying my best to cope with both physical and mental pain. I lost track of what the rest of the world was doing as it carried on without me.
When the dust settled and things were back to something resembling 'normal', I put the call out for a gathering. On a frigid Thursday night last week, pints in hand, my friends and I sat down for an overdue venting session, a soothing, cathartic release of emotions.
Apparently, we'd all been going through varying degrees of excremental effluence over the past few months. It's been too long, we kept saying. We need to do this more often.
The whole time I was thinking, why the hell didn't I call one of them when I was feeling so low? Why didn't they call ME when THEY were feeling the same? The answer: because who wants to listen to us go on about how shitty we have it, when everyone else has their own shit to deal with?
"It could be worse" is something I fall back on repeatedly, in an effort to mentally kick my ass into gear. And I guess everyone else had been doing it too. We measured our ordeals up against whatever the other was enduring and thought, "It could be worse, so I'll just suck it up and deal." Why do we do that to ourselves? In the safety and sanctity of our booth at the pub, we hugged, we ordered more beer, we validated the shit out of each other. We felt better.
There's pre-teen angst, teacher troubles and potty training. There are trips to CHEO, to the principal's office, to the therapist. There's war and famine, climate change and racism, homelessness and Trump. There will always be bigger things that put our pain in perspective. But it's still pain, and when we're in the middle of it, it hurts. So instead of suffering alone, let's reach out and hug one another, let's have a good cry and let's order another round.
Life sucks sometimes; that's just the way it is. It's a good thing we've got each other.
Ashton Brewing Company Red Rye - Normally when I'm at Patty's Pub, I opt for the Ashton amber or the brown, but this seasonal sounded too good to pass up. A savoury start and crisp mouthfeel, rounded out with warmth and caramel notes on the malty finish. Halfway between the amber and a porter, with all the goodness of both. Sláinte.