Calm after the storm

Things seem a lot better now at the end of the week than they did at the beginning. Since Monday A has not been seen at any meetings, so I assume he’s keeping to his word, when he said he wouldn’t come back to the fellowship. I really hope this means he is taking time out to get some help. I’ve prayed and prayed and prayed for him to get better. Maybe he finally will now.

The upset over P’s birthday no longer seems so painful. I found out from S the other day that P really did want a small meal with his very closest friends, it’s just that he will be going on holiday with a number of people next week who are not his very closest friends, and he felt that he had to invite them to the meal on Wednesday, though he didn’t really want to. This made me feel a little better – it makes sense  why I wasn’t automatically invited, though it still seems a little strange that at five years sober he is still going with the instinct to people-please at all. Well, it’s none of my business really. I don’t care as much as I did the other day, thanks to S’s comfort and support. He really was understanding when I opened up to him on Friday about how hurt I had been. He said I had every right to be upset, though my huge reaction was probably down to all the let-downs I’d suffered in the past: it wasn’t just about this one meal. In my teenage years I was never invited to anything, as everyone knows, and Wednesday reminded me of those experiences. I am made of my past, I can’t help that. S thinks I should have a little word with P about it, just to resolve the issue, but I haven’t felt comfortable enough to do that yet.

On Friday I had to go and sign on for state benefits for the first time. I have not been able to find a job since I graduated from University, and it was only a matter of time before I got to the stage where I needed to take this step. I wasn’t thrilled to have to go to the job centre and sign on alongside all the other unemployed of North London, given that when I had to do it four years ago I endured the highly unpleasant experience of having my benefits stopped because I had previously resigned from a job. Luckily that isn’t on my record any more, but I still don’t love the idea of signing on every two weeks. It feels very strange going back there. I returned to University in 2005 specifically so that I didn’t have to do this again. Oh well, everyone tells me there’s no shame in it. I really need the money, and it’s not like I haven’t searched high and low for work this summer.

By Friday afternoon I guess I was feeling pretty low. I hadn’t fully got over the incident with A yet, I was still hurting over P’s birthday meal, and I felt some shame over my continuing lack of employment. Then I was able to have a good long chat with S, which really helped; I had to make myself vulnerable to him, I couldn’t keep anything back, and it really worked, because he confirmed for me that I am loved and that I’m not alone. Then that evening I had a second date with the cute guy who had messaged me on facebook the week before. To get to a second date without jumping into bed was quite something. We went to see a movie, and we held hands in the dark, and that was it. It was very sweet. Hopefully I’ll see him again next week.

Yesterday I had lunch with my dad in town, which was also very nice. We’re getting on so well, it’s unbelievable. He’s not as quiet and withdrawn as he used to be. Or maybe it’s me who’s changed. I feel a lot more comfortable around him these days. I can’t help thinking that this wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for recovery. I have no expectations of him now, I don’t feel like he owes me anything any more. We’re on an equal footing these days, and it’s wonderful. Who knows where it will go?

I’m starting the steps again with my new sponsor later today. We’ll do the first three steps together in rapid succession; I’m looking forward to it. I really like my new sponsor. Unfortunately he’s going away for a while next week, and I might not be able to do step 4 and 5 with him until late September. My instant reaction to the news was disappointment, because it means yet more waiting around, stalling in the middle of the steps. Then I remembered that I waited all year to finish it with my previous sponsor, so surely I can wait a bit longer. Surely all of this is teaching me how impatient I really am. We’ll finish the steps eventually, all in good time. At least he wants to work with me. There’s no need to panic.

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