Seeing as I’m over a year sober now, I don’t think I’ll count the days in the blog title any more. Although it’s one day at a time in this program, it’s been a while since my day count was important to me, which is a sign of lengthy sobriety I suppose. It still hasn’t sunk in that I’m over a year sober. It’s really crept up on me, which is strange considering I’ve been thinking about it for months. I’ve decided to take the one year sobriety chip everywhere with me from now on. It really is a nice chip; it will mean a lot to me. Already I feel safe just having it on me. I clutched it at several points today to calm my nerves. I’m terrified of losing it, I’m so clumsy by nature. Realistically I shouldn’t lose it, given that I’ve never managed to lose my wallet or keys or phone in sobriety.
I realised this evening that I hadn’t shared in any meeting for over a week, so I went to the meditation meeting in town which I’ve always liked, determined to open my mouth. After the ten minutes’ meditation at the beginning, which I found useful because it gave me time to think of what to say, I spoke about this constant anxiety that I seem to have about not being liked. I talked about yesterday’s anniversary meal, which was marred by the niggling doubt that no one really wanted to be there. I found myself blurting out that I thought they’d all just been there out of politeness. There were three people in the meeting tonight who had been there yesterday, and I really didn’t want them to hear this stuff, but they heard it anyway, because I couldn’t stop myself. I made myself more vulnerable than ever, because that’s what you have to do in AA, you have to be honest, even if it hurts. I said things such as: do my friends really like me? Do they just feel sorry for me? Why do they like me? And then I realised that I have absolutely no idea what my friends like about me. I tried to think of one thing, but I couldn’t. After all this time, all this self examination, all this sobriety, I’ve only just realised that I don’t know what’s good about me.
After the meeting S came up to me, hugged me, and said: “J, I love you, and I was at your meal yesterday because I wanted to be.” He sounded very sincere, and I believed him, I really did, but even that’s not enough to take the doubts away. I’m still left wondering why he and all the others like me. What’s great about me? I’m not funny, witty, particularly brainy or even attractive. God it’s been a long time since I’ve beat myself up like this. I realise how stupid I must sound, but it’s how I feel, and it really concerns me that I still feel this way. It’s like I’m having a one year sobriety crisis. These feelings have never gone away, they were just hidden, waiting to be exposed by me peeling away another layer of the onion.
If anything was going to cheer me up, it should have been ‘Mamma Mia’ the movie which I was due to go and see with P at the cinema after the meeting. I loved the theatre show earlier this year, and had been looking forward to the movie for ages. It’s a great movie, very enjoyable, colourful and camp. Just my cup of tea. I felt a lot better afterwards – I really missed going to the cinema in my drinking days – but I still have this lump in my throat now because I can’t think what’s good about me. I still can’t believe that my friends, who were there for my meal yesterday, will be there forever. What’s to stop them from disappearing eventually, like everyone else? More than that, what’s going to convince me once and for all that I actually deserve to be happy? When will this pit of self-loathing and self doubt close up? It hurts so much, staring into a pit which seems to have no bottom. And I still can’t cry.