6 months, 13 days / working it

It was quite a busy day yesterday and once again I was exhausted by the end of it, which is why I didn’t write anything. As usual I was greeting at the afternoon meeting in town. I don’t think it’s a commitment that I will ever look forward to. I said to myself as I was walking there, that the day I look forward to a commitment is the day that my ‘miracle’ happens. I get on with the commitment because I have no good reason to jack it in, though I think that if I still feel this way after six months I will happily hand it to someone else. Six months seems a very reasonable amount of time for me to do something like that.

Funnily enough, tonight was my first shift as tea boy at the step meeting in Central London. I was fairly nervous in the hours leading up to it, but I had a few thoughts to comfort myself with, such as the fact that everyone gets nervous about commitments. The amount of people I’ve spoken to who said they hated the tea commitment to start with is incredible; the amount of people who say they loved it by the time they’d done it for a year is also amazing. I don’t think I’d mind doing it for the next year, though as I said before, I doubt I’ll ever look forward to it on a weekly basis.

It went as well as it could have done tonight. The previous tea person showed me where everything was and what to do with it; once I’d got to grips with things all I had to do was stand there for half an hour serving people tea. Thankfully I knew most of the faces so it wasn’t especially difficult conversing with them.

When the meeting started I went to sit in the middle of the room; as soon as I’d done so the thought entered my mind that I should have stayed at the tea station, to continue serving anyone who wanted tea during the meeting. Sometimes tea makers at other meetings do this; sometimes they don’t. No one told me I had to do this, so when the meeting finished I sort of accepted that I hadn’t done anything wrong, though that niggling doubt will probably remain at the back of my mind until next week.

God, my head is so screwed up! Making tea shouldn’t be an ordeal for anyone, but for me it practically is. If I’m not worried about whether to stay with the teapot or not during the meeting, I’ll be worried about not putting enough tea bags in the kettle, or not buying enough milk, or not saying “hello” to people properly. Basically, there will always be something to worry about, because that’s the way my brain is wired. Although I’ve been greeting at the Sunday meeting for nearly four months, there are still niggling worries related to the commitment every week. I simply can’t let them go.

There was a moment earlier on when I wanted to walk away from all my commitments: that was the old part of me wanting to run away from responsibility. That fear of responsibility and pressure may never go away. I may always hate work. I’d really like to think that one day I’ll find a role in life that I take to instantly like a duck to water, but I just can’t see it happening. I’ve never taken to anything easily. The reason I’m pushing ahead with all these commitments is because I need to find out if I can operate in the real world. Until now this is something I have never been able to do, and part of my recovery is inevitably learning about the real world.

People say that commitments in AA are designed to keep you coming back to the meetings, but I’m also sure that they’re designed to teach us alcoholics about responsibility. People have shared this week about responsibility: I’m not the only one who finds it sickeningly daunting. I know I keep going on about this, but when I’ve graduated in the summer I’m going to have to find a job to support myself, and the fear that I won’t be able to do it sits with me every day. It doesn’t go away – I’m so fed up of it now, I just want it to be the summer so I can find out what’s going to happen. In a way, I suppose it’s a good thing that I’m getting impatient for the degree to be finished, so I can get on with entering the real world and finding my way.

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