I think my posts to this blog have probably decreased over the last couple of weeks because not much seems to be happening at the moment. I seem to have settled into sober routines, and I think I can say that I’m more comfortable with it than I was two months ago. My head certainly isn’t all over the place any more; I haven’t had a major mood swing for at least a couple of weeks. I’m still attending at least four AA meetings a week and know that this is the sole reason for my continued sobriety. I realised the other day that I can’t remember the last time I wanted a drink. In the beginning I asked for my compulsion to drink to be taken away, and so far all the evidence suggests that it has been.
That said, sobriety sure isn’t an easy ride now. I still regularly catch myself thinking the old negative thoughts that used to get me into trouble. It’s become clear that all of my instincts about how to behave in the world are wrong. That’s what got me into drinking in the first place, I suppose. I still get nervous about going to meetings, thinking everyone in the room is going to dislike me, and anyone who I haven’t seen for a while will no longer be interested in talking to me. I still get angry about this, and lots of other things, and I know that in the coming months and years I’m going to have to do a lot of work on my anger and my fear, if I’m ever to progress in life.
What’s probably true is that the anger and fear will never go away. I’m going to have to learn different reactions to my emotions and feelings. Instead of feeling resentful at life for being so difficult, I need to start facing up to the challenge. In a way, the thought of the challenge ahead is quite exciting, because I know how good things could be if I make a success of my recovery. But tonight I found myself slipping into resentment once again, isolating myself at the back of an AA meeting and slipping out unnoticed as soon as it was over, because it was easier than making an effort to socialise with the group. I feel embarrassed and guilty about my unsociable behaviour, but I keep doing it, I keep pushing potential friends away, because I’m scared to let them in, in case it makes me vulnerable.
My sponsor would tell me how great it is that I can accept and vocalise all of this stuff. I wish I could do something about the problem, though, instead of running away from the challenge like I did tonight. I wish I could go into meetings and not feel like everyone is so much better than me, just for once. I wish I could instantly make friends and impress people. Sometimes I don’t know what to say to people, even when I’ve made the effort to go for coffee with them after a meeting.
Only this morning I thought I was getting better. I thought I’d made so much progress and that I wasn’t scared of the meetings any more. I guess I was complacent this morning. The only thing I can do is go back to the meeting next week, and start making the effort again, because it’s not like I’ve never spoken to anyone there. The fear and anger will undoubtedly rear its ugly head next week just like it did today; I’ll probably want to run away and take the chance away from people before they can speak to me. If I never make any friends in this particular meeting on Fridays I guess I’ll have other meetings and other friends to fall back on, and my recovery will still be OK, but I know in my heart that something wasn’t right today, I didn’t handle the situation as well as I could have. I shouldn’t have to avoid this meeting because of awkwardness and animosity. I can make friends there just like I’ve made friends elsewhere; so I will.