Uninvited

I am not feeling very spiritual today. I’m pissed off because my fellowship friend S didn’t invite me to his birthday celebrations yesterday, and I’m also pissed off because A has gone into hospital, and I feel really guilty about it. When it comes to A’s birthday, I know that he doesn’t like having big massive parties. He’s like me: the type of person to invite only a few close friends. I thought I was his close friend; I was there yesterday after the meeting when he invited several others to go and celebrate with him, one of whom was a newcomer to the program who I am sure doesn’t know him as well as I do. I almost half expected not to be invited, because I have a history of not being invited to things and getting really upset about it. Pictures from last night are splashed all over S’s facebook profile today; it looks like they had a great time. My illness wants me to be furious about this. My illness wants me to punish S by never speaking to him again. After today’s meeting I refused to say goodbye to him. I simply couldn’t help myself. Do I want to punish S? Is it really me who feels this way or is it just my illness playing with me again? After a year’s sobriety, I still can’t tell the difference between the illness and my true self.

A’s latest relapse has come as more of a blow than I thought it would. Although he was clearly on his way to a rock bottom, given his behaviour in recent weeks, the fact that he’s in hospital today bothers me because I feel less able to help him than ever. He’s chosen to let me know what’s happened to him, so clearly he wants my help and support, but I don’t feel able to give it to him. He probably won’t like me for not phoning him immediately. We fell out a couple of weeks ago over the fact that I never pick up the phone to speak to him. It’s not just him who I don’t phone, it’s everyone, but he’s the only person who’s made an issue out of it. Anyway, I feel guilty because I shouted at him last week and now he is in hospital, in God knows what condition. My sponsor would undoubtedly tell me that I don’t have to phone A if I don’t want to. The fact is that I haven’t felt like A’s friend for a long time, and he’d be the last person I would phone normally. He shouldn’t be able to blackmail me into calling him, which is what he would be doing if he used today’s bad slip to try and make me pick up the phone.

But I still feel bad for him. In fact I’m bloody angry. I sat through today’s meeting though I didn’t want to be there at all, I felt so low. It’s funny how anything can trigger off my sickness and make me ‘act out’. If I hadn’t got that text message from A today, I probably wouldn’t have ignored S and the others. I probably wouldn’t have felt upset at all. As it is, I slipped back into the old antisocial mode and isolated myself. I kept thinking: what is the point of being here? I might as well have been a newcomer again.

I know all of this will sort itself out, which is why I’m not as upset right now as I might be. I’m glad I stayed in the meeting regardless of how I felt, and afterwards I was able to have a good chat with D about it all. There is at least some hope that I won’t feel angry forever. My step 4 work brought up the fact that getting upset over people’s birthdays is completely pointless, I know this, so I’m a little concerned at how resentful I was today. It’s like my old resentment against S had never gone away. I’ll probably be OK with him again tomorrow. Of course he doesn’t have to invite me to his birthday if he doesn’t want to. The problem is all in my head.

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