5 months, 1 day

Not exactly a happy day today. It started this morning as I headed off for my latest voluntary shift. The shift itself started off fine; I’m well used to the work now, after five months and plenty of similar shifts. I got on reasonably well with my driver and we found all the homes on the list. Unfortunately the traffic in London was a complete nightmare all afternoon – it’s normally bad on Sundays, but not that bad. I was down to greet for the Central London AA meeting this afternoon; unfortunately by 3pm I was still out on the roads, unsure as to when I’d be finished. I wouldn’t have been scheduled to greet this afternoon but the other person who I share the commitment with was at a party last night, and unable to do his shift today, so I kindly stepped in for him early on, thinking it would be fine. The voluntary work on Sunday mornings hardly ever goes on past 2pm, meaning that most of the time I can get to the meeting with plenty of time to spare.

It was, however, obviously on my mind that that might not always be the case, when I asked to share the greeting commitment with someone else a while back. I knew at the back of my mind that there would be rare occasions like today when I’m not finished in time. Unfortunately I didn’t have the foresight to realise today would be another one of those occasions until it was too late. When my co-greeter originally asked me to fill in for him I agreed not just because I thought I could, but because I didn’t want to risk annoying him by turning him down. I went into people-pleasing mode, something I’ve been guilty of too many times in the past. Because of my people-pleasing instinct, the meeting ended up without a greeter today. I should have realised two or three days ago that today might not go to plan; I should have had the humility to admit it wouldn’t be possible for me to do both jobs in the same day. When it got to 3pm today, I was frantically trying to think how I could apologise to the meeting. I sent a text message out asking a friend to apologise for me at the end, which he thankfully agreed to do. I’ve since spoken to my sponsor about it, and he’s reassured me that these things happen to the best of us. My inability to get there on time was beyond my control, he says. When I set out to work this morning, I guess I must have believed that I’d be done in time, otherwise I would have texted a friend to ask them to greet at that point. But the fact still remains that I originally agreed to stand in for the other greeter because I wanted to people-please, when I had originally asked to share this commitment due to the very fact of my other voluntary commitment on alternate Sundays!

It’s all very annoying and tiring and by the time I finally got home late this afternoon I was thoroughly shattered. Because I decided to miss today’s meeting altogether, I’ve only been to two meetings this week, the last one being on Thursday. That’s not very good. I guess I’m feeling the effects of that now as I’ve struggled to maintain a positive outlook on life in general this evening. I came home to find my mum in one of her moods and that alone has really put my back up. Most of the time she’s fine but this evening she’s been really quiet and withdrawn, and it’s getting on my nerves. My sobriety has taught me, of course, that we are living in a co-dependent relationship which means that every time she’s in a mood, I’m emotionally affected by it. Tonight, instead of giving me humility, that knowledge is just making me even more annoyed.

To make matters even worse, D’s called me just now to tell me he doesn’t want to date any more. I should have seen it coming. Although I realised the other day that dating had no chance of working for us, I decided not to say that to him, out of a silly hope that I would eventually change my mind, I guess. Now he’s said to me the exact things I was thinking on Thursday night, and it makes me feel like shit. Our relationship, whatever it was, is well and truly over. Back to eternal singledom I go – hooray! My sponsor has congratulated me for being so mature. On the surface I’ve accepted that I need to remain single in my first year of sobriety; to all who know me, I seem quite happy and grateful for the foresight and humility which enabled me to see the danger in dating a newcomer to the program. The truth is, underneath the surface I’m thoroughly miserable that I’m going to have to stay single for at least the next seven months.

Again, I know that this upset I’m feeling right now is my emotional inner child. It’s not the adult part of me. The fight between my emotions and my rationality continues, and I’m more tired of it than ever. An hour ago I was so sick of listening to the debating society in my head I had to tell myself to shut the fuck up. That didn’t work, unfortunately. At the time I couldn’t think of anything else that might work, but just now I’ve remembered one of AA’s fundamental practises: praying. If I lived alone, I’d quite happily get down on my knees and pray all day, if it kept me sane. But I don’t live alone. My mum is here all the time when she’s not working, and if she saw me praying she’d be guaranteed to poke her nose in and demand a full explanation. She might mean well, but having to explain myself would still annoy the hell out of me.


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