12:30pm I’m writing early as it is quite an important day and I needed to share about it. Already I’ve got some important things done; I went to my doctor’s clinic first thing this morning to make an appointment for next week. I’m ready to talk to him about seeking therapy. I’ve been putting this off for the past seven months. I’ve known since last year that therapy could be very good for me at this stage in my life, but I’ve let fear stop me from asking for help. I was reasonably nervous as I made my way to make the appointment this morning. I haven’t been to see my doctor for two years; part of me was scared they might have removed me from the patient’s register for this reason. Doctors have a habit of doing that in London.
The last time I went there I found the reception staff unbearably rude and that’s what’s put me off going back for so long. But I went through with the trip today, despite my nerves, because I know what I need and I can’t therapize myself any more. So, I’m seeing my general practitioner next Tuesday morning. I will undoubtedly be nervous as hell about it. I’ve never found my GP to be particularly in touch with my problems – he is a very old Irish man – but he’s the only one who can help me. Since I can’t afford to pay for a private therapist, I will need my GP to refer me to someone free on the NHS.
I’m determined not to let today be a waste like yesterday, so I’ve just done some writing for my final year Psychology report. Although the research isn’t finished yet, there’s certainly no harm in starting the report now. I know what the introduction and methodology sections need to say already. Since I have just four weeks left to get the whole project done, the more I can do now the better.
I’m not sure I’ll have the will to do any more work today, but I’m pleased with what I’ve done so far. I really do feel better when I’m doing something constructive. Even though constructive work is hard and a little boring sometimes, it is ultimately rewarding. I was depressed yesterday evening because I’d spent the day before the meeting surfing the internet, chatting to strangers on those pesky discussion forums when I should have been getting this work done.
The internet is such a bad habit. I know I’m addicted to it. Even though it’s nothing like alcoholism, I do feel that my AA program is helping me to deal with this particular problem. At least I’ve realised that there is a problem, and I’m finding ways to handle it, such as logging off for a few hours to do some studying. I’m not pressuring myself to work: I would have been happy even if I’d managed just to write one line of my report today. The key with work is willingness, just as it is with recovery.
In today’s blog title I mentioned ‘play’ as well: that’s because later on I’m going to see a show in the West End. I’m going to see ‘Mamma Mia’ with C, and I can’t wait. We’ve lived in London all our lives and neither of us has seen anything in the West End before. I think it’s about time we saw something, don’t you?
11pm Just got back from Mamma Mia – it was camp as Christmas and utterly fabulous! I was bound to love it, I’ve always had a huge soft spot for Abba (haven’t we all?) Seriously, apart from the fact that the show was loads of fun, I’m genuinely pleased that I can do things like this now. If it wasn’t for AA, tonight wouldn’t have happened. My old drinking friends just wouldn’t be interested in this sort of thing, we’d always just meet at the pub. Alcohol seems to make people so unadventurous – the people I know, anyway. Next week, C and I are going to see another show in the West End, the Mousetrap. Obviously, I can’t wait. I hear it’s a very good play. This is the kind of life I want to live, a life with variety and culture. To share these experiences with real friends, too, is exciting. After the show was over tonight I felt completely at ease in C’s company, as I always do. We were able to relish in the whole experience together. I don’t know if it’s because I’ve changed as a person, or because my friendship with C is real, but whenever I used to share experiences with non-AA friends, I didn’t seem to feel that same fondness with them. It’s strange, but if I was walking out of a cinema three years ago with a so-called friend, there’d always be tenseness in the air, like we wouldn’t know what to say to each other. Tonight, the experience was completely different. Long may it continue.