Getting on

I may have been hasty in dismissing the benefits of anonymity yesterday. I still think it’s a better idea to talk about AA with friends than to keep it a secret at all costs – but when it comes to personal relationships, I seem to have realised that I have this tendency to blurt everything out in the beginning, before I’ve really got to know someone. My brief ‘fling’ with X in North London feels like it’s coming to an end, and I can’t help thinking that I gave him too much of myself too quickly. I told him all about my alcoholism and AA last weekend; I made a CD for him; I even gave him the first chapter of my novel to read through. We shared so much, it’s like we attached too much weight to the relationship before it had a chance to grow. Perhaps we overfed the flowers. We became so honest with each other so quickly, that the relationship turned into something serious before I was really sure that I wanted it to be so. Yesterday we met for coffee, and I was happy to see him again, thinking maybe I ought to give him another chance. It became clear that he wanted me to come home with him last night, and for once I didn’t want that. I had it planned in my head that I would be spending the night at home in my own bed. I don’t know why I feel more secure when I have these things planned ahead. Maybe I’m a mummy’s boy, but when I’ve told her that I will be coming home that night, I like to keep my promise.

X wasn’t happy about this. He also wasn’t happy about the fact that I still couldn’t promise him I wouldn’t sleep with anyone in France. I have no idea why I can’t make this promise to him. Perhaps I wasn’t ready to commit yet; perhaps I wasn’t sure if he could fulfil all my sexual needs; perhaps I just didn’t like him that much. Anyway, we parted company rather early last night, and I went home fairly sure that I would never see him again. I’m not so upset about it. I think I got a lot out of that relationship, as I’ve got things out of all my relationships, even the really pointless ones. I liked X, but I didn’t get overly attached to him, and I was able to let go of him when it felt like the right thing to do. Years ago I would have been hugely disappointed at the death of another potentially great love affair. I would have spent weeks mourning that loss, utterly convinced that I’d never find anyone to make me happy. Today, I don’t feel anything like that.

I had to visit the local police station yesterday, to make a statement about the incident with A a few weeks ago. I was the only true witness to the assualt on my sponsor, and yesterday was the first opportunity for me to make my statement. The police officer who saw me was incredibly nice and understanding, explaining that A wasn’t mentally unwell enough to be sectioned at the time, and he clearly wasn’t high on any illegal drugs. I said it was a shame that A probably won’t get the help that he needs – I really wanted this to be clear in my statement, I don’t want A punished or indicted, I just want him to be pushed into treatment because he’s clearly not going to push himself. But the lesson I seem to have learned from all of this is that A needs to help himself, nobody else can do it for him. The whole thing was really silly and pointless, he didn’t need to attack me and my sponsor, and he didn’t need to be arrested, but he chose to explode, and we all knew that it was him who made that choice. Part of his bail conditions are not to contact me, and to avoid the Monday night meeting. So I can at least feel safe from him, but this isn’t the resolution I really wanted. Well, I’m not a doctor, so I can’t sit here and diagnose him with mental health issues. It’s up to him. He’ll be charged with assault next week, then there’ll be a trial later in the year. I may have to stand as a witness. I’ve told the truth about what I saw all along, and I will continue to do so. He physically attacked my sponsor, and he can’t be allowed to get away with it. I will pray that whatever the outcome of this, it teaches him the lesson that he needs to learn.

I’ve started writing a new novel today. For some reason, I only seem to get these creative urges once a year. The last novel is still stuck at the first draft stage; I don’t know when I’ll finish it. I felt the need to write something new today, and I’ve learnt not to ignore that need when it comes along. The new story is about a young gay man growing up in London, the difficulties and challenges he faces. It is partly auto-biographical, and it’s something I’ve really tried to write for years. I think, looking back on all those failed previous attempts, that I needed to do some real growing up before I could write about these things that I’ve experienced. I couldn’t write about coming out and discovering the exciting, scary gay world while I was still discovering it. I’ve done a lot of growing up this year, and at the moment I feel ready to write this story. It needs to be written. I can’t put pressure on it – there can be no deadlines. I have to write when I feel like writing; if I don’t want to write, then I can’t. This urge to write is a gift given to me by God; I don’t feel like it’s really mine. It’s up to God whether I write a good novel or not. I hope I can write it, because all I’ve ever wanted to do is write, really. I think about writing every single day. It’s unfortunate that I only feel that creative energy once a year, but I seem to need a great deal of inspiration before this can happen. Recently I’ve read a lot of great books, so maybe that’s where it’s come from. There’s no doubt that I have the time and space to write now. When I go to Nice next week, I’ll probably write on the beach. Writing is my first love; words to me are beautiful. The emotion that this makes me feel confirms to me that I need to write, always.


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