I wonder if the cow is even aware of that strange thing in the sky. Should I warn the cow. Probably not – would just think I’m full of hot air.

I think saying stupid or silly things is a release for me. It’s a way of relieving pressure. Diffusing the dark thoughts that can crowd my mind. However that Monty Python in me is often misinterpreted.

He’s a happy soul.

Not a care in the world.


He’s got over things now.

He’s moved on.

That is so far from the truth. Everyday is a struggle. You just have to learn to coexist with Depression and Grief.

I would love to release my inner demons through beautiful paintings or dark soulful poetry. Unfortunately that’s just not me. It doesn’t work for me and the end result is a pile of pants. All it does is bring out my inner Alvin and The Chipmunks. Not sure that would be a box office winner – Alvin and The Grief Trip.

Sorry there I go again.

The point I’m trying to make if Alvin would just let me is that how you appear on the surface is often very different to how you actually feel inside. It doesn’t help that often people don’t want to hear how you really are feeling. They will ask – how are you? They desperately want you to say – fine. And guess what – when you get asked that question your almost preprogrammed to say – I’m ok.

Maybe we should have a deal. From now on let’s all REALLY ask how someone is. When they say fine or ok how about we follow up with – are you really sure. Or I’m here for you I know how tough it can be.

The other part of the deal is when someone takes the time to really ask how you are then be honest. Instead of saying just dandy it is ok to say like shit or not good or I’m struggling. Or if your feeling really brave just say I could really do with a hug.

We all struggle sometimes. Wouldn’t it be a better world if we could all just be a bit more open about that. What do you say Alvin.

64 thoughts on “Alviiiiiin!

  1. That. Sounds. Awesome. It is a shame we hide how we are really doing for the sake of others quest to perform a bit of small talk and bail. Would be great to feel safe being open and face such a receptive person!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree. We give platitudes to make others feel more comfortable. Because time is supposed to have waved its magic wand.

    Nope. It doesn’t work like that.

    I love your Pythonesque humour. Matches my own darkness 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I’m in total agreement with you!

    Sometimes people ask me how I’m doing, then rush right on to the next topic before giving me time to answer.

    I walk away.

    It’s not my job to make them comfortable or keep the conversation “light.”

    I lost my husband. I’m not obligated to be accommodating…and I’m not anymore. 😏

    Liked by 4 people

    1. That is so true. I get that look, the cough, the look down at feet then rapidly change subject. Hope you are sort of ok today. I need to work on a better word than OK. Your never really ok – yes need to think about that. Maybe is a different type of ok after the world changes.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Mental health, emotional health, physical health… we’re all expected to keep a stiff upper lip for politeness sake. It’s a bunch of cow pies! I’ve gotten to the point where if someone asks a question, they’re going to get an honest answer. Small talk is for the guy/gal at the market, not friends.

    Sending virtual hugs because we all need them! 💌💌

    Liked by 1 person

  5. That is a reeeeelly cool photograph!! I suspect that cow has no idea about anything but the next piece of grass or cud it is going to chew on.

    As for the other bit – I blame it all on overpopulation – there are simply far too many other people on this planet we are forced into sharing it with and as a result of the society’s and communities we have broken up into, in an effort to make it all more ‘manageable’, we have had to develop ‘social skills’ and manners and common ‘niceties’ which come into play whenever we encounter another member of our ape species.

    Back in a simpler age we just had around 10-30 members of our group and we pretty much all new one another well enough to know how the other was feeling just because we were so close every hour of the day – we relied upon one another and so needed to be sure everyone was coping well and we would help out if they were not, we shared the load.

    Now we tend to isolate ourselves from human contact and are very choosy about who we let get close to us because most people are actually a pain in the butt most of the time, because of the kind of society we have had to become. A largely judgemental and highly competitive one.

    We find the coping mechanisms (such as our sense of humour that can often be misunderstood by others) that we feel work the best for us and we would do well to mimimise the effect on ourselves of the opinions of those who we know who do NOT know us well at all any longer because there are simply far too many people for us to know well and be caring and ‘there’ for all of them.

    How many people have liked or follow your blog – how many of them do you really know all about? Social media life is a subset of our real life. We really need to care more, but about about fewer people, than we share our part of the planet/cyberspace with.

    Apart from wiping out about 4/5ths of the planet’s population i’m not really sure what a good answer to the situation would be??

    If there were around 10,000 miles less distance between us i’d give you a hug (and maybe even do some of your laundry!)

    P.S. Alvin says: (In squeaky falsetto) “”Be the Chipmunk you want to Be, Dave!


      1. Haven’t seen End Game yet…

        Could there be a bit of death and wholesale destruction?? ( Hope! Hope!) 😉

        You don’t live in Royston Vasey by any chance??

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Me thinks that you learn who can understand what it is to live with that dark cloud (either because of their own experience or extraordinary empathy) …
    …and those who are frightened and feel helpless by talk of dark thoughts.

    I find it helpful to know who speaks that language and won’t freak out whenever I need to call and say “today is really not a good day”. To everyone else I am “ok”.


  7. I read this on a bad morning and imnediately burst into tears. Inhad been consudering putting an honest post on my blog, but when I have done that in the past it has not gone down well with some people. I still might post it anyway though. But you are right about humour Gary. I go into fleas to relieve the agony of my life. I am here for you too Gary. Xx hugs to you

    Liked by 1 person

  8. If only when we told the truth and said, “Actually I’m having a pretty shit week” they’d say, “Come on, tell me. Tell me everything. Even if I don’t have solutions, talking helps. I’ll put the kettle on.” But they don’t.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. You are so right, my friend. When someone asks how another is, they generally expect and hope to hear, “fine, thanks”. The question is typically naught more than a conversation opener, an ice-breaker. When my daughter comes in from work each evening, I say, “How was your day”, and she always answers, “Okay … can’t complain”. Then, I wait a beat, and say, “Now, how was your day, really?” And only then do I get the truth. It’s easy when the person we’re asking responds with “fine”, for then we can move on to other topics — we’ve done our duty in asking. But when the other person answers honestly, says, “Well, actually I’m not well, I’m a bit depressed”, then it becomes uncomfortable because … we don’t know what to say. You’re right that we all put on a front that hides what we are really feeling. Hugs to you, my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I think if you’re feeling like shit it’s totally ok to say so. I wouldn’t want a friend to feel they had to pretend. I know convention states that, when asked, one should respond “Fine, thank you,” but sod convention.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. “Fine” is appropriate as a weather condition, but it doesn’t convey anything meaningful as to the human condition in my view. To whānau (family), I typical use one or two words to summarise how I feel. But to others, I usually respond with something like “You don’t want to know” because I know that in reality, they mostly don’t want to know – they’re simply doing small talk. This results in either a change of subject, or an affirmation that they are genuinely interested, in which case they receive the works (an info dump) 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I was asked recently. When I responded that today was pretty good I got a strange response. Oh, why would other days be different. Maybe I got the response because it was a dentist asking. That profession has one of the highest suicide rates.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. We all have up and down days. I think the only solace is really to just accept the feelings as they come. Acknowledge them without feeling guilt that something must be done about them. Very often we can’t and when others try to cheer us, they very often make us feel guilty for our now rejected feelings. It might just be as well to just say, “Good Morning (Afternoon, or Evening)” and leave it at that, rather than say’ “How are You? ” The latter is a mine field of things it is perhaps better to leave alone unless on wants an hour-long conversation.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Your post so reminds me of a poem I wrote a few years ago about taking time to stop and really ask how someone is. I expect I was in a similarly lonely place at the time. If I get the time I will pop it on here or you to read. Asking if someone is ok is often just a piece of polite conversation, actually having time to stand and listen while the person tells you if they are ok or not takes a special kind of person.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. YES. I’ve stopped being surface-level on these things. Even if I don’t want to dive into shit, I’m going to be clear with people if I’m not doing great. We’ve got to understand that people just can’t always read us, or people are worried of over-stepping their bounds. When we are open, others feel comfortable about reaching out. xxxx

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, the open club! I’m tired and anxious. I keep worrying about the holiday season and how I’m going to mess things up with the in-laws.

        But you and I cannot share these feelings with our kids around. I think that’s why we wear the masks we do–we don’t want our kids to worry.

        Liked by 1 person

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