This evening I attended the step meeting where I make the tea each week, and this week it was focused on step 6. I think it’s interesting that I should hear all about step 6 at a time when my character defects are certainly more salient than ever. My reaction to our northern friend’s behaviour at the weekend was based purely on my character defects. Because I’m co-dependent, I was far more hurt by his decision to leave the convention early than a normal person would be. I wanted him to stay and rescue me; yesterday when I came home I wanted to tell him about my feelings instantly. I might as well have said “please love me, please take care of me.” It’s what I’ve said to people, especially men, all my life. It’s the normal reaction of a scared, abandoned child. When the child doesn’t get what it wants, it lashes out and punishes; my character defect in this area always motivates me to punish. It wants me to ignore him from now on, to hurt him in the way he’s hurt me. It’s such an old behaviour, but it’s not so easy for me to do it now, because I’ve been in AA for a long while and my recovery has enabled me to detach from it somewhat. I can see all the trouble that punishing people has got me into in the past, and I’m determined not to do that this time. I’ve sent him a friendly e-mail, telling him that it was nice to see him at the weekend and that I hope we can meet up soon. No mention of being hurt by his unexpected departure, and no mention of my ‘feelings’. The AA program says that it is better to love than to be loved, so in this case I know I ought be as loving as I can. It doesn’t matter that he hasn’t fulfilled the lustful fantasy which I was stuck in on Friday night – I am loved by plenty of people in my life, I don’t need anything more.
After tonight’s meeting I rushed home quietly for the second time in a week, unable to stand the company of the ‘clique’, which includes people like S and J, who always go to that meeting. My resentment towards them is still going strong. I need desperately to discuss it with my sponsor. He gets back from a month’s holiday to the US next week, luckily. This resentment has gone on for too long: it’s eating me up and I keep thinking about drinking. I had a horrible drinking dream last night, perhaps the worst I’ve had in sobriety. When I woke up it was a good fifteen minutes before I realised that it had just been a dream, that my sobriety was still intact. For those fifteen minutes, I was quite convinced that I had gone back to one day sober, and that I would either have to leave AA or start the program all over again. I really don’t want to do that, and I’m really scared that I’m heading for a fall. I’m so clearly an alcoholic, because resentment eats me up in a way that it doesn’t normal people. Perhaps I’ll have to do step 4 again. Whatever it takes, I know I’ll have to do it. At any moment I could be caught off guard by alcohol. This is serious. Please God, help me here.