I wish I could say I’ve stopped procrastinating and done all the work that needs doing for this week, but that isn’t the case. I still haven’t made any real headway with the two major things that are due in on Tuesday, and so I have a feeling I’m going to be up very late tomorrow night getting on with it. Oh well. I shall have to accept that it’s going to be one of those last minute type situations, again.
Looking on the bright side, my recovery appears to be going well. The feeling that I’m no longer a newcomer in the program is still going strong. Once again I was the greeter today for the Central London meeting that I’ve attended nearly every week since I came into recovery. Now that I’ve been greeting for about three weeks I think I’ve settled into the role quite comfortably. It’s not a difficult job; the only thing I need to make sure of is that I’m there at least half an hour before the meeting starts. I am quite confident in saying that I’m one of the world’s most punctual people, so that’s not a problem. The only problem that has presented itself is that in a few of the coming weeks, I might not be able to do the greeting as it will clash with my voluntary work at the charity. It’s been about a month since I last did a shift there, so I’ve deliberately signed up for three or four shifts in the next month, to make sure I don’t get out of the routine of doing it altogether.
This shouldn’t be a big problem for the AA greeting, as there are plenty of people that go to the meeting who’d probably love to share the duty with me. In my head, however, finding someone to share the commitment with was a huge drama, and this morning I was more anxious about going to the meeting than I had been during the last four months, because I knew I’d have to speak up at some point and ask if anyone could greet next week. I’ve never made an announcement like that in a meeting before, and to be honest I was mainly worried that I’d chicken out because when the secretary asks the room if there are any official announcements, you only get a second or so to open your mouth before they move on with the meeting. So basically what really scared me today was the fact that I would have no choice but to speak – I couldn’t just leave it til next week to deal with.
Therefore I spent the entire meeting planning what I was going to say, how I was going to say it, and how long I was going to leave it to speak after the secretary had asked for announcements. If I was further into the program, I probably could have shared during the meeting itself about my anxiety; I could have released the tension and admitted to everyone that I was getting stressed out over the responsibility that I was suddenly faced with. Unfortunately it was a very busy meeting and, as usual, there wasn’t much opportunity to share at all. When it got to the end of the meeting and the time to make an announcement was almost upon me, my heart was beating so hard I thought it was going to jump out of my throat. As soon as the secretary had asked if there were any announcements I didn’t allow myself any time to hesitate; I simply said what I had to say, and I didn’t care how it sounded. Once I’d done it I was so relieved to have got the words out, I nearly wept. Luckily, someone volunteered to do next week’s greeting straight away, and we’re going to share the duty on alternate weeks from now on, so I don’t have to worry about it any more.
I was so happy about this that I stuck around and tagged along for coffee after the meeting was over. I hadn’t planned to do that today, as I had all that Uni work waiting for me at home, but it occurred to me that I wouldn’t have to stay in town all night. I could just stay for an hour or so before going home, and it wouldn’t be too late when I got back. That’s the best thing about recovery: it gives you choices.
Normally when I’ve gone for coffee on Sunday I’ve never enjoyed it; I’ve probably moaned about it on here quite a lot. The group dynamic never seemed quite right; I’ll never forget the time a couple of months ago when I was sat at the end of a very large table, surrounded by dozens of people who I only half knew, unable to speak because I was so wound up by my unfortunate location. Today, it was completely different. Only a few of us sat around the table this evening, and I knew everyone, which made a nice change. We talked about places we used to hang out, people we used to know, music we currently like and don’t like. I was with a group of people my own age, which is really nice; it’s like my higher power has deliberately proved me wrong in what I was saying the other day about only having older friends in AA. Oh, to have a sober conversation with my peers about things I’m actually interested in is wonderful. Once again, I love AA. After an hour, the group began drifting off home and I made my way to the bus stop as usual, only slightly disappointed about not being able to stay out longer. That disappointment decreases a little bit every time I do this. Soon, I won’t be disappointed about having to go home before midnight at all. A year ago, I simply wouldn’t have thought that possible.