8 months, 10 days

5.30pm Despite the Easter weekend being over, the period of rest and relaxation continues for me, as I am on holiday from University until next week. Yesterday I managed to do some washing, the most strenuous thing I’d done all weekend. After that I went to meet my closest friend P in town, for a spot of lunch. It had been hastily planned as we were both at a loose end. I guess I was looking for more excuses not to get on with the studying which I am required to start before I return to Uni next week. We ended up enjoying a lovely afternoon out, finding this remarkable little café in the heart of the borough which serves the nicest traditional English food. I couldn’t believe I hadn’t spotted it before. It was the perfect afternoon; we chatted and laughed. There were no awkward feelings between us, not that there should have been. I’ve known P for a very long time, and although we have a history with each other, we’re long past all that now.

Today has been somewhat less eventful, though I’m pleased with myself for managing to make a start on one of the essays which will be due in the next few weeks. Being on holiday is supposed to give us the opportunity to write those essays in good time, but so far I’ve not taken the opportunity, despite being off since last week. Anyway, I wrote a paragraph today, which may not sound like a lot, but it’s a start. It’s all I needed to reignite my interest in the subject, and I should be set to finish a good essay by the end of the week. As always, I’m aware that many of my colleagues won’t be starting the work until the very last minute, so I’ve done pretty well, all things considered.

Right now I’m very nervous, as I have been asked to do tonight’s chair at my home group. This is the meeting that I’ve somewhat lost my enthusiasm for in recent weeks, due to the ongoing saga of the missing literature. Being asked to give the chair has reminded me why I was fond of the meeting in the first place. Maybe I am a valued member of the meeting, maybe they like me after all. I can’t wait to give the chair; there is such a lot to talk about, such a lot of responsibility on me to say something that will reach out to those newcomers (it’s a newcomer meeting). I’m ready to fully embrace that responsibility. Having been around for eight months, I know that AA works, and I want to spread that message.

I’ll let you know how it goes later.

10.10pm It went brilliantly. Better than my first chair two months ago, I thought. I got to the meeting and I just knew there would be friends there. To be able to chair my home group, the meeting that got me sober and into the habit of sharing about my feelings honestly, was deeply rewarding and comforting. I knew half the faces there, and it was a busy meeting. There was a sense of buzz and excitement amongst my group of friends when they found out that I was giving the chair; I felt like a celebrity!

I talked for fifteen minutes about my early sobriety, as that is the theme of the chair every week there. It was easy for me to talk about this subject, as I’m still in very early sobriety, all things considered. I remarked on those two AA meetings that I went to in 2004, when I wasn’t ready for the program in any way, shape or form. I talked about feeling uncomfortable, angry and frightened in my very early days; my inability to introduce myself to people, my fear of getting up every morning, of taking responsibility for my life. How these things have slowly changed over the last eight months, so that now I have less fear around life in general. I brought the chair around to where I am now; the position I’m in with my career where I don’t know what’s going to happen next, and the acceptance I have that everything’s probably going to be all right. All of this is down to the power of the program, and I really feel that I got that message across, which is important because it’s a message that I needed and wanted to put across.

In short, it was completely different to my first chair back in January, which was focused on step 3. Early sobriety is an entirely different subject; furthermore, I felt more sure of myself today, more comfortable with the words coming out of my mouth. That progress I’ve made in just two months, from a nervous and stuttery first chair to a more confident and rounded second chair, is heartening. I’m not saying I’m completely cured of nerves and anxiety now – I was still really nervous tonight, but it was noticeably less. I feel a closer connection with my higher power, and with the steps, than I did two months ago. I feel stronger now.

On a different note, the saga of the missing literature continues: the treasurer wasn’t present today, so we will have to wait another week to find out if the new batch of literature’s arrived. It’s really bothering me now, not that it wasn’t bothering me before! It’s just one of those things that seems to go on and on and on. Although, when I look back on this in five or ten years’ time, I’m sure I’ll wonder what all the fuss was about! Things like this go on in real life all the time, I know. And because I’m an alcoholic, I want to make it into a far bigger drama than it actually is. In the grand scheme of things it’s not majorly significant at all. It will be sorted out soon; I have the meeting’s formidable secretary on my side now.

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