The highlight of the day was, again, the meeting I went to. My home group, the newcomers meeting to the west of town, is on Tuesdays, and it is quite often the highlight of my week. I think it’s the only meeting I get really excited about now. I’ve gone there pretty much every week since the beginning of my sobriety, and I know it well now. They ask newcomers with less than six months sobriety to share there, so it is the only meeting I’ve shared at consistently for five months. I’ve never really had a bad experience there; after five months I can confidently say that I love it, and I can definitely see myself becoming a permanent fixture there!
Just knowing all the faces that walk through the door is comforting; knowing that I have to share every week is also kind of comforting, because I still don’t manage to share a lot in other meetings, meaning that my opportunities to get things off my chest are not what they could be. I’ve probably said this before, but when I reach six months in January and don’t get asked to share any more, I’ll undoubtedly be quite sad. I hope that by then I’m better at raising my hand to speak, because that’s what I’ll have to do in the meeting after January.
Tonight’s meeting was generally positive and upbeat, as it always is. I talked of my recent ‘going out’ experiences, which have all I think been positive. Everyone in AA can appreciate being able to go out without the fear of waking up to a hangover or the embarrassing realisation that one has done something pretty stupid whilst in blackout; me especially. Before recovery, going out was my life, and although I’m not ‘on the scene’ these days nearly as much as I used to be, I don’t think it will ever stop being a part of my life. And to know that I can go out now without any fear of negative consequences is pretty amazing. I’m still getting used to that.
I saw lots of friends there tonight and afterwards, for the first time, I was actually really keen to go for coffee with the group. Sadly, that meeting doesn’t normally end up going for coffee, for some reason. In five months I think I’ve only gone to coffee with them twice. When they do decide to stick around for some socialising at the nearby cafe, it’s really nice, which is why I look forward to the next time such a gathering happens.
Unfortunately I think my desire to socialise tonight may have pissed D off a bit. He seemed to be expecting me to walk to the tube station with him as normal, but when I said I wanted to stay with the group, he just walked off without saying “goodbye”. I’d felt a bit awkward with him from the moment I saw him tonight, to be honest. Since last week I just haven’t felt the same around him. It’s like our friendship has changed too much since our date to ever be comfortable again. I’d hate it to be like that permanently, but this sort of thing has happened to me too many times before, and I’m not sure what to do to change it. He may not be pissed off with me; he may not be bothered that I didn’t walk to the tube station with him tonight; but in my head I feel as if he is bothered, and because I’m still in early sobriety, that feeling alone is bound to make me feel even more awkward with him the next time I see him.
I just can’t help letting this kind of situation occur, can I? On the way home tonight I found myself getting increasingly worried about all this awkwardness that seems to have surrounded me in AA recently. No one’s told me off yet for missing my greeting commitment on Sunday, but when I next go to that meeting I can just see the person who I share the commitment with saying something. He’s that type of person. So the thought of that has added to my worries this week. I’ve tried not to project, I’ve tried to remember that what other people think of me doesn’t matter, I’ve tried to remind myself that I’ve done nothing wrong; but the negative thoughts and feelings keep coming back, hijacking me every time I start to feel positive.
It’s clear that what’s happening at the moment is a sign of my remaining illness. My awkward relationship with D is an overt and painful symptom of my co-dependency; perhaps a symptom of his as well. Everything that causes me discomfort and pain in life is a symptom of my disease. I’m still experiencing those symptoms because I still have a long way to go in sobriety. What I can be positive about is the fact of how far I’ve come. Having a home group where I know everyone and feel comfortable sharing honestly each week is not something I thought I’d ever get in sobriety; wanting and being able to socialise with other human beings without alcohol is the greatest reward that the programme has brought me. Tonight, for that, I am extremely grateful.