The picnic

I really hoped that the impromptu picnic that my home group had planned for this evening would go well. It was organised fairly last minute because the owners of the room where the meeting is normally held were redecorating this week. Luckily the weather was OK so we convened in the park this evening to eat lots of sweets and crisps. More people showed up than I expected to come. For an hour or so we chattered about everything except recovery. There were a couple of newcomers there, who we may never see again if they judge all AA meetings by tonight’s fiasco. At the end of the hour I managed to have another run-in with A, in front of everyone. He was picking on C for some reason, hollering loudly that he no longer wanted to be C’s friend. I tried to tell him to stop causing a scene; he blew up in my face, unsurprisingly. He’s a complete loose cannon these days. He told me rather aggressively to stop interfering in his business, and then he started shouting extremely personal things about me, mentioning my sexual problems which I had spoken about last night.

It’s not what he said that really upset me, it’s the way he said it. He was almost on the border of being violent. He had been snappy with everyone earlier in the evening, but with me and C he was absolutely vicious, perhaps because we’re the closest to him. In the end I asked A never to speak to me again, which he said he would gladly do. When he’d gone I came very close to bursting into tears, and the meeting’s secretary J kindly offered to look after me and give me a lift home. He was absolutely furious with A; he had no idea that the guy had gone off the rails so badly. When I told him about the numerous other recent incidents involving A, he was shocked. He said that if A decides to cause any more trouble, he will ‘deal with it’. It’s good to know that I have friends who are willing to protect me; actually throughout all this my friends have been incredibly supportive and kind. It has been upsetting. I used to consider A a friend. Ever since we went to Bristol, I seem to have been caught up in all his problems, and now he’s taking things out on me as well as C. It isn’t nice. Many people have said that they find his behaviour draining these days. I find it very depressing. I don’t resent him for it, I know he’s very sick. A year ago I might have hated him, but I’ve done good step 4 work, and I know that resentment wouldn’t help me.

When he was verbally attacking me tonight I had a flashback to my school days. Back then I was called names such as ‘freak’ all the time. Today A became the first person to call me a freak in years. But I wasn’t scared. I thought I would be, but I think I actually dealt with it well. I saw him picking on C and I wasn’t going to stand for it. I took his abuse and walked away feeling a bit shaken but not so upset that the whole week would be ruined. I don’t feel humiliated, like I would have done at school. I’ve changed.

Everyone thinks I should stay as far away from A as possible, and I do agree with them. I can do nothing to help A now. He needs to be seen to by a doctor, as quickly as possible. None of us really know what’s wrong with him, whether he’s on drugs or if he’s schizophrenic. He’s certainly very unwell. He’s alienating himself from everyone in AA very quickly. The Big Book tells us to treat people in that state like we would sick friends; I really wish I could support him but he needs to want to be supported first. At the moment he doesn’t seem to know that there’s anything wrong with him, so he can’t want to get better right now. The first step to recovery is to gain insight into the problem. I’m beginning to think that A never had that insight. Apparently even his sponsor doesn’t know what to do for him any more. The problem is beyond the scope of the AA program.

On that note, I am flying to Stockholm tomorrow for an international gay AA convention with C and some others. I think I’ve mentioned it before. I’ve looked forward to the holiday for weeks. I’m still very excited, despite tonight’s upset. I’ll be glad to have a week away from London, to be honest. When I get back next week I may have to see A in the meetings again and I may have to deal with him some more, but until then I won’t be thinking about him. I will be enjoying the Stockholm convention because I know that I deserve to. Whilst I’m there I probably won’t get the chance to write much. If so I’ll update this blog as soon as I return next week with all my exciting Stockholm news!

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