Since Sunday things have really calmed down on the work front, and I have to say it’s been absolutely lovely. The sun is shining, it’s really hot in London, and I’ve given myself time off to enjoy it as the last few weeks had been just so incredibly hectic. Yesterday I spent the evening with my close friend P; first we sat in the park for a few hours then we went for an Indian meal later on. For the first time ever, we sat outside the restaurant and ate. It’s so rare to be able to do that in London – the weather is normally too unpredictable! P said he was sure we’d eaten outside at that restaurant before; if we have, I must have been really drunk, because I couldn’t remember any such occasions. It was a lovely, lovely evening, and today has been fairly similar. I sat in a beautiful park for a few hours, listening to relaxing music on my mp3 player; then I went to my home group over in West London, where for once I didn’t feel resentful about anything!
I set the literature out, had some tea, chatted to loads of people. Then when the meeting started in earnest I identified with all the sharing; because it’s a newcomers meeting I feel naturally on a wavelength with everyone there. During the tea break in the middle, one of the old-timers who regularly comes to the meeting was a bit awkward about which of us was first in the tea queue; the ‘incident’ pressed my anxiety button and for a few moments I became my old social phobic self, whilst more and more people approached me for friendly conversation. Quite quickly I realised I was unnecessarily isolating myself by allowing the conversations to drift; the frosty facade that I put up when I’m in social phobia mode was much less of a comfortable state to be in than it used to be. Eventually I returned to being the friendly, chatty literature secretary which everyone seems to like. Once all the newcomers had shared I put my hand up and talked about the great weekend I’d had; it was probably my most positive share in ages, because I’d had such a good day.
Afterwards loads of us went for coffee: now that summer’s on its way I think more and more people will be keen to socialise after meetings. We all had a good laugh together in a nice local café. It was a fabulous half hour!
My new friend A was there as always, and at the end we headed off on the tube together, and as usual we chattered away about all the things that we have in common. I really, really enjoy his company, and I WISH I could ask him out now! I’ve known how I feel about him for about a month. I also get the strong impression that he likes me a lot too. But I don’t know the truth – I’m not a mind-reader, and I really want to know if I stand a chance with him. Is that incredibly selfish of me? Probably.
I’ve spoken to my sponsor about this, and he has strongly advised me not to ask A out until we’re both over year sober. He says that they call going out with newcomers ’13th stepping’, as it’s a bit like taking advantage, and the sad thing is, I can see where he’s coming from. The truth is, A’s a lot newer to the program than I am, and if I was to start pushing my feelings on him I might be putting too much pressure on him.
I’m torn between my dedication to AA and my powerful, romantic feelings here. If I go back in time and look at the occasions when I’ve been ‘in love’ before, it has never been straightforward for me. I’ve never been in love without there being a whole lot of pain and drama involved. There’s always some reason why the man is completely wrong for me. He’s always either too old, too young, too clingy, or too disinterested. The thing about A is, he’s not like that. He would be absolutely ideal for me, were he not just three months sober. He’s none of those things I just described. He’s the kind of guy I’ve dreamed about meeting. Already I can see myself getting way too attached. I am utterly co-dependent by nature, and if my feelings towards him are already causing this much of a problem, I dread to think what it would be like if I actually started going out with him.
I so badly crave a relationship; I’ve been alone for too long, I know it. I hate having to keep these feelings a secret. It’s absolutely doing my head in. But every time I think about telling him how I feel, a reason not to instantly pops into my head. It would be taking advantage of him; it would be putting too much pressure on him; he probably doesn’t like me in the same way anyway; if we were to start going out our gossipy friends in the fellowship would have an absolute field day.
Just now I composed a text message in which I come out to him about my feelings. I have no intention of sending it – as soon as I read it back it came across as soppy, silly and pointless. I’m sure it would be much better telling him face to face. But I don’t know if I can wait until I next see him!! My heart wants me to tell him tonight, and it really hurts having to continue with this secrecy. I know my sponsor would be mad if I go against his advice. I’ve come out to guys about my feelings in the past, and it’s never turned out well, because it has invariably been really soppy on my part, and as I said, they’ve always been the wrong guy. I just get the strong feeling that this text message which I’ve composed is the exact same text that I sent to the last guy a couple of years ago, that it has ‘co-dependency’ and ‘neediness’ written all over it.