It’s been an interesting weekend. Yesterday I went over to my sponsor’s place to continue with step 5. I didn’t spend long there this week, as he seemed very tired and in need of his rest. In fact he was in his pyjamas the whole time I was there! It was weird seeing him in such a state. I felt like I was seeing something private, in an odd way. As I left his place I was instantly in a bad mood as I had wanted to get a lot more done yesterday. I’ve been stuck on step 5 for three months now – I feel like I should have moved past it already. All my other friends in sobriety seem to be much further along in the program. My sponsor picked up on my mood as I was walking out of the door, and told me that he wants to do the step this way for a reason. He says he wants us to take our time with it, so that I can grow in the process. Rather than do it all in one sitting, we’re spreading it out over the months just like he did with his sponsor. Finally he reassured me that he too felt impatient to finish it when he did it, but he can now appreciate that it was the best way. I guess I can see his point – I am growing in the process of working step 5, I can see that already. As I’ve been told many times before, there is no race with the steps, and I have heard of cases where people took a year to finish it. I hope it won’t take me that long, but if it does, I guess that’s how long my higher power wants it to take.
After leaving my sponsor’s flat I went for a long walk across London, as I normally do on Saturdays now. Unfortunately the weather couldn’t make up its mind yesterday – one minute it was sunny, the next it was snowing! My walk wasn’t that enjoyable, and I had to come home after a couple of hours as I just couldn’t take it any more. I had intended to stay out all day and go to the meeting in the west, but in the end the thought of coming home early to spend a fun evening on the internet won out. On the way home I bought a notebook, which will now be my ‘book of random thoughts’. Ever since I started spending lots of time in coffee shops on my own, I’ve been thinking that I need something to write my thoughts in, when I can’t get to the computer. In the day I’m always getting interesting and useful thoughts which I’d like to remember, which are usually forgotten about by the time I get to writing this. Now I have my notebook, which I can take everywhere, hopefully I’ll be able to remember a lot more. It’s like having a companion. I read somewhere that writers should take notebooks everywhere with them, for those useful thoughts and ideas.
Today I was meant to be going to the cinema with a friend, but because it was still snowing, I really didn’t feel like going out. So I contacted him to cancel, with a lie about being ill. I don’t like lying, but I couldn’t think of anything else to say. He had other people to go to the cinema with, so I haven’t ruined his day. I ended up spending the day at home, writing on the computer mostly. I’ve managed to get back to my novel, redrafting the first chapter. This is something that really needs to get done, and because it’s so hard redrafting I’ve procrastinated about it for months. I’m really pleased that I got that first chapter done today; it reassures me that I haven’t got bored of the novel yet. It will probably be years yet before the whole thing is finished, but that’s no matter. As long as I keep going with it in the meantime. I feel more than ever that writing is what I’m meant to be doing. And I still believe that the story I’ve written is a good story.
Another benefit of staying in today is that I’ve saved money. I’ve been spending rather a lot recently on all those hours sitting in coffee shops in London. I know I’m spending not nearly as much as I used to when I was drinking, but the money I am spending could still be better utilized. I’ve had a nice day at home; apart from the writing I’ve watched a couple of good films on TV. It being Easter Sunday, there was always bound to be something interesting on. This spending the day at home on leisurely pursuits is something I could never fully enjoy before. In my drinking days I’d always feel restless and bored after a few hours, impatient for the next drink, I guess. Today I’ve spent the day with myself, doing nothing particularly exciting or energetic, and it’s been really good. I’m not bored of my own company tonight, because I’ve found things to occupy my mind that don’t involve mind altering substances.