11 months, 13 days / summer is here

I’m a bit stuck for what to write here, only because I haven’t written for four days and my orthographic skills are always a bit frosty after a break. It’s been a good few days. I made some really good progress on step 5 with my sponsor on Thursday night. We decided to meet in town for once as we both had social nights out planned afterwards. We’ve come very close to the end of my resentments list; just one more session should do it, then we’ll cover my sexual inventory, then that should be it. There were a couple of embarrassing moments when I had to talk about resentments that I’ve developed in AA, against people that my sponsor knows. Obviously he was fine about it, reassuring me that it will all remain confidential. Those people are among my closest friends in AA now, so the resentments that I encountered in early sobriety are undoubtedly irrelevant to my life these days. I’ve let go of them.

I’ve realised that the fact my step 5 work is taking so long will benefit me when it comes to steps 6 and 7. I know what all my character defects are now and I’m already praying for them to be taken away on a daily basis. I’m not saying that to boast, I’m just pointing it out to myself because up until recently the slow pace of my step 5 work was annoying me. Now that I’m near the end of it, nearly six months after I started, I can see that it will really help me in the long run. I’ve always been glad of the opportunity to do it with a good sponsor.

When that was over on Thursday I headed over to one of the main gay ‘scene’ bars to meet some fellow volunteers from the unpaid phone service that I’ve been working at for the past few weeks. I wanted to take the opportunity to socialise with them, firstly to see if I could, and secondly to get to know the people that I will be working with. Only four of us turned up in the end, which was disappointing, and because I was the only one not drinking, it wasn’t exactly the best night out I’d ever had. People actually seemed shocked when I announced that I didn’t drink – I hadn’t encountered this yet in sobriety. I guess I’ve spent so much time with fellow AA’s this year that I haven’t had much chance to encounter it.

Thursday was OK in the end. I got to know some of my colleagues a bit better, so I’ll probably be more confident in this line of work from now on. I can’t see myself socialising in bars much more this year, though, to be honest. They are rather boring places; I’ve got so used to socialising in cafés that I feel much more comfortable in that environment now.

Yesterday was a pleasant day. I spent most of the afternoon with S and D. First we went to a lunch meeting in town, then coffee afterwards, where we chatted affably for several hours about life, love and sobriety. I absolutely love the camaraderie between the three of us; I can’t believe we’ve been friends for nearly a year. In my life pre-sobriety it was surprisingly rare for me to stay friends with anyone for more than a year. In AA, D is part of the class of 2006 while S and I will always be class of 2007. They are the two people I feel closest to in the fellowship. When someone suggested going on holiday later in the year I was thrilled. It would be my first sober holiday with anyone other than C.

When I found out that S and D were going to Ibiza this summer with a bunch of other people I couldn’t help feeling a little left out, though I knew that I would probably have been invited on that trip had I been present at the initial discussion. Because I was there yesterday, I was present for a discussion about a possible holiday in Gran Canaria over the Christmas and New Year period. It’s a beautiful idea, and after a quick internet search we found that a fortnight’s vacation on the island wouldn’t be too expensive. Hopefully it will be booked in the next few weeks. That’s if nothing drastic or bad happens! I don’t think we’re going to fall out with each other, but you never know with alcoholics. Maybe that’s just my paranoid illness speaking, I don’t know.

Yesterday evening was my latest shift at the lesbian & gay helpline in North London. My supervisor for the evening hadn’t been at the social gathering on Thursday, so I hadn’t had the chance to meet her and make her out. Last night would be the first time we met, and my initial impressions were of a rather loud, gregarious, foreboding woman who has been in this line of work for a very long time. Quite scary, you might say, but we got on OK in the end. For the first time I got to take a call by myself, which was nerve-racking but ultimately rewarding. Many of the people calling the helpline are youngsters trying to come to terms with their sexuality; I spoke to a couple of people going through that last night and I really felt able to connect with them, having gone through the same experience (albeit a long time ago). I left the shift feeling confident and happy with my work – it’s a good start on the road to becoming a therapist, which I hope to be one day in the distant future.

The weather has been gorgeous again this week, so I hope to get some outdoor walking action at some point this weekend. I’d also like to continue with the second draft of my novel, which was going really well when I left it the other day. I feel that I’m closer to finishing a good novel than I ever have been; it’s really exciting. At the same time I’m sure I’ll be keeping an eye on the Wimbledon tennis championships, something I’ve always enjoyed following even though I’m the least sporty person I know!

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