The difference between “so what” and “fuck it”

so what pendant

In my AA group we have a saying that surfaces in our meetings with great regularity: “So what?”.

For example: “I was really stressed out about getting the house ready for the birthday party until I caught myself and said ‘SO WHAT?’ So what if the toys aren’t all put away and there are dust bunnies under the furniture? Who cares?”

The “so what” reminder pops up so often in our conversations that I made each of us a pendant with a first name initial on the front and “so what?” on the back.

When I heard this song (Secrets by Mary Lambert) in my car recently, I couldn’t wait to share it with the group.

For me, “so what” is a positive tool to use in sobriety to reset my perspective. It’s different from “fuck it”, and I’ll try to explain why.

“Fuck it” was a common mental prelude to drinking when I was trying to quit. It was marked by resentment. Example: “I’m tired of being the only one in this house to take the garbage out. Fuck it, I’ll just do it and have a drink.”

Compare that to the “so what” response: “I see that the garbage is still there even though I asked Billy to take it out. So what? It’s not worth drinking over.”

While both expressions can signal an attitude of I DON’T CARE, “fuck it” means I don’t care enough about myself to deal with a situation in a healthy way. “So what” means I don’t care enough about the situation to allow it to threaten my serenity.

What do you think? Do you agree that “so what” is different from “fuck it”? Have you had a “fuck it” moment recently that you were able to turn around? (And do you love Mary Lambert as much as I do?)

10 Comments on “The difference between “so what” and “fuck it””

  1. Kirst says:

    I have definitely developed so-what-itis, especially when it has to do with what other people might think of me or something about me. I might be daydreaming about attending a social event and the conversation about me not drinking might start to play through my head. Previously this caused some concern. Now I get one or two lines into my imaginary conversation and I thnk ‘so what, I don’t drink. Deal with it.’

    So what factors a lot into my day to day thinking because nothing seems really important anymore. None of the bullshit that consumed my mental energy previously really factors in. I am healthy and happy. My husband is healthy and happy. My children are healthy and happy. If what I am stressing about doesn’t fall into one of those categories then it quickly moves into So What.
    Good post and I love the thinking of the switch from fuck it to so what – I can definitely relate.

    • LifeUnbuzzed says:

      Thanks for sharing your insight on this, Kirst! “None of the bullshit that consumed my mental energy previously really factors in”. That’s what I was trying to say! I love that you’ve trained yourself in the art of quickly moving concerns to the So What bucket.

  2. […] came across this fantastic post – the difference between “so what” and “fuck it” from Life Unbuzzed, who doesn’t post as often as she could for my liking 😉 she is over three […]

  3. lucy2610 says:

    Such a great way of changing perspective. Almost 14 months in and really helped me reading this today. Can’t believe I haven’t found your blog before – D’oh! 🙂 xx

  4. Daisy says:

    Just found this brilliant.

    Fuck it – I cant talk about my old stuff, I know I’m alone. Drink.

    So what – I can’t deal with this today, so I won’t. Have a bath.

    Thank you for sharing x

  5. h2014 says:

    I love this. My nights always fell apart when I said “fuck it,” and I always did it with such disgust. I say “so what” now and it’s like I’m immediately respecting myself and my feelings at that moment, and not dramatizing something that doesn’t need to be blown out of proportion. It’s a great form of self-care.

  6. Sober Geek says:

    Great post! You’re so right! There is such a subtle distinction between “so what” and “fuck it,” yet one is a useful as a healthy tool and the other is a license to self-destruct.

  7. mishedup says:

    great post!
    I lived in he “fuck it’s ” for so long that the true into ‘so what” had not been something I really noticed, but this put it so into perspective for me…thank you!

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