It’s an average Sunday, and the highlight of my day has been the Central London meeting where I always go on Sundays. I got there half an hour early as it was my turn to do the greeting this week. I can’t say I was completely unaffected by nerves, but I was told by someone with a lot of recovery that the best way to do a commitment is to turn up on time. So I’m not as stressed out about the greeting as I was a few weeks ago, which is good. The meeting was lovely and warm, as always. A lot of meetings end up focusing on one theme, and today’s theme seemed to be relationships. Many people talked of how they had searched desperately during their drinking days for someone to ‘save’ them. I used to do that. Most of my ‘relationships’ were with older men who I half unconsciously stayed with because I wanted them to look after me. I needed a father figure, because I’d never had one, and a lot of men were very happy to fill that role.
For years I just didn’t have the strength to be on my own. Every man who came along was instantly ‘the one’. My habit of getting very drunk in bars and going home with the first guy to show interest arose purely because I just wanted to be loved, to be enveloped in the big strong arms of a caring older man. I always knew it was tragic, but I couldn’t help it. I never loved myself enough to go home alone when the opportunity to spend the night with someone who looked like a potential daddy candidate came along. To an extent I still don’t quite love myself enough, and I’m still always looking for ‘the one’ subconsciously. At the moment I have about fifteen crushes in AA, and often I catch myself looking at these people and thinking well ahead into the future, dreaming of every minute detail about how our relationships will pan out.
I’m really trying not to get carried away with the fantasies, but it’s something I’ve always done, it’s a big part of my psyche. Fantasizing doesn’t hurt as much as it used to, because I know exactly what it is now. I don’t expect any of my fantasies to ever turn into reality – not when it comes to relationships with these particular people, anyway. Yes, I’d love a relationship one day, but I’m determined for it to be the right relationship at the right time. I’m not looking for a father figure any more. I’ve already signed a secret contract with myself to stay celibate until I’ve been a year sober; that’s still going strong. I need to see if I can stay away from men for a year, just because my head is definitely not in the right space for relationships at the moment. Many people stay single and celibate during their first year of sobriety – it’s not just me. And just because I’m confident about this doesn’t mean it’s the right answer for everyone coming into recovery. No one told me to make this decision for myself, I’m doing it because I want to.
Today I’m grateful that I was able to get to my greeting commitment on time and do it well. I’m grateful that I saw friends at the meeting and didn’t isolate myself at any point. I’m grateful that I was able to come home at a good time after the meeting was over. I’m grateful that I always have a warm and secure home to come back to. I’m grateful that I will go to bed sober tonight.