11 months, 8 days / the weekend effect

I had a lovely weekend. I spent most of Saturday not doing much, until I went to the meeting in the west which is one of my favourites. There I identified hugely with the chair and was able to share about my fears regarding sexuality and acceptance, which seemed to come up at the end of last week. At the end of the meeting the secretary announced that his year of service was coming to an end, therefore the secretary’s position will be up for grabs in the next few weeks. I felt instantly drawn to the job, I don’t know why. For a while I’ve had the feeling that taking on these big service positions in AA will be good for me. I would like to have been secretary at my Tuesday home group first, but the position there isn’t available until next year. It’s funny that this meeting in the west is the one I hated the first time I went there last July. Back then I never thought I’d return to it; today I couldn’t feel more differently about it. I think it’s a sign of my general change in attitude towards AA. I don’t really hate meetings any more – I have an open mind towards all of them in terms of how much I might enjoy them.

After the meeting six of us went off to S’s flat in the East of London for a night of card games. This had been arranged a few days previously and when it came to Saturday evening I wasn’t really looking forward to it, though I knew I ought to go. Some of the people there, such as the AA newcomer M, had been getting on my nerves a bit in recent weeks with his constant negativity about people who have done him down in life. I know it’s just because he’s new to the program and we all go through that stage in early days – and I realise how patronising I’m being by saying that too.

I went along to S’s flat anyway because I was in a pretty bad mood and knew that going home alone would make me feel worse. When we got to his apartment we were all struck by its sheer plushness. He had a top floor balcony with a view of Canary Wharf and the Millennium Dome – it was breathtaking. None of us wanted to move from there all night. Our card games were hugely fun and entertaining; I hadn’t played cards since my school days and so was glad to have the opportunity to learn the rules again. M, along with everyone else, was in an effervescent mood so there was no negativity to be endured, for once. I came away from the evening feeling newly content with life. I had a good set of friends whose homes I was sure to be spending much more time in, doing things such as this.

Sunday was similarly nice, over all. Early afternoon I went to C’s office in central London so we could book flights to Stockholm together, for an international AA convention which is taking place at the end of July. Neither of us can wait for the trip: it’s going to be wonderful. Given that I never got to travel anywhere before my early 20’s, I feel like I’m currently being repayed by my higher power for all the travelling that I missed out on before. I love travelling now, seeing new places, discovering new cultures. I never want to stop.

After that I went to meet P in town where we sat chatting in the sun for a couple of hours. Then at 4pm there was the Sunday meeting, which I’d not been to for about two months. I saw lots of friends there and it was nice to be in familiar surroundings after a good break, but because it was so hot I managed to doze off towards the end of the meeting. So I didn’t hear much of what was actually said. After that I went for coffee with the group in the usual place, where we all chatted and laughed into the early evening. It had been another gorgeous day and once again I felt that periodic contentedness, which has definitely been with me more in sobriety than any time before. I seem to love Soho much more than I ever did. I said before that I love its colour and vibrancy, things that I never noticed when I was drinking there.

Despite such a good weekend I still find myself feeling fairly downbeat today. I’m not sure what is bringing me down today. It’s that old anxious-depressed package of feelings that have become ridiculously familiar to me in adulthood. When I feel this way, my illness convinces me that it will never go away, which makes it seem so much worse. I don’t know what to do about it. I’m not looking forward to the meeting later, where I will have to make the tea as usual. I don’t know if I want to see or speak to anyone. But today I must.

The other day when I was feeling so great, I realised that the anti-depressants were working for me and part of me felt a bit sad that I might never experience extreme emotions again. Even though the deepest sadness is horrible to endure, when I was under the impression that Prozac would take it away I think I realised that I might miss it. Maybe it’s good for me to have these extremes of emotion, maybe it would be bad for me to just feel one way – normal – all the time. If this weekend has proved anything, it’s that the mood swings definitely haven’t gone away. I still want to go to the psychologist on Wednesday and talk about dealing with my excessive anxiety, but I’m beginning to think that my life would be less rich if I somehow discovered how to eliminate emotions altogether.


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