The good news is that I’m fifteen months sober tomorrow, and I’m still feeling good about life. My writing’s still going brilliantly and today I was able to stay at home and spend the whole day focusing on the novel. Years ago a whole day indoors would have thoroughly depressed me. I don’t recommend staying in all day if you’re a depressive kind of person, but I had a good reason to do so today, and I have fifteen months of recovery behind me. I felt rather like a teenager again, at home to see my mum come home from work and cook dinner, something I haven’t seen for a long time. I guess having just completed 90 AA meetings in 90 days, I haven’t spent a lot of time at home recently, and this must be the first Tuesday evening I’ve stayed in for over fifteen months. In my recovery I’ve gone to the Tuesday night newcomer group every week, and I’ve been in charge of the literature there since January. This week I decided to have another week off, because I’m kind of bored with the meeting and I want to see if I can live without it. I’ll be back next week, don’t worry. This kind of leads me onto the bad news, though – I think I’m beginning to get bored of the gay meetings in general.
I was at the gay step meeting last night where I make the tea, and a week’s break hadn’t changed my feelings towards it. I was bored with all the sharing and I was bored with the people. I’ve seen and heard them all before. I know I must sound quite harsh right now. All AA meetings are the same, to a big extent, but I can’t help feeling boxed in when I go to gay AA meetings now. It doesn’t help that the room in which the Monday night group is held is tiny. Last night they had the air conditioning on full blast, for some reason, and a bunch of newcomers behind me were chattering and giggling thoughout the meeting, which really annoyed me. Yes, I could have done something about these things. I am completely unjustified in holding a resentment now, twenty-four hours later. What worries me is that I’m getting the same resentments every week. The newcomers who annoyed me last night were Joe and Billy, the two little queens right in the middle of the AA ‘clique’ which I have been so resentful of all year. I hardly speak to Joe and Billy any more, which is sad because I used to consider them friends. Months ago I enjoyed a nice night with them when we all went to play cards at Gavin’s flat in the East End. That was a memorable night; things like that don’t happen any more. Not to me, anyway. I guess I’m just not in the clique any more. I always feared it would happen, which is why I never like being in ‘cliques’ with people to begin with. There’s always the danger of one being cast out.
I know how it happened and I’m moving past it now. I seem generally happier when I don’t have to see those people. The local meetings that I’ve recently discovered seem to be much more up my street. Meetings where I don’t know many people. Perhaps I will always be happier as an anonymous alcoholic. Making friends and getting close to people is a tricky business. I spent a year getting close to Colin, Dean, Andy, Joe and others, thinking it would be forever. Now I hardly ever see them. They don’t seem particularly upset with my recent absence from the gay fellowship. I’d be surprised if they’d noticed.
I seem to be becoming part of a new family, with my sponsor and his friends. Some of us went out for dinner on Saturday night, after the meeting in Notting Hill. It was lovely. I was broke and thought I’d have to endure everyone else eating tasty burgers while I sipped on a cheap diet coke. Luckily my kind sponsor bought me a meal and I could enjoy the occasion with everyone else. I really felt part of a family that night. Unfortunately, one of the people there is someone who I have mixed feelings towards. Clive used to be my sponsor’s partner, and they still spend a lot of time together; Clive is also Colin’s sponsor, and so he is technically part of that little clique which I have spent so much time loathing. Because he’s with my sponsor nearly all the time, I’ve had to see an awful lot of him recently, and he’s begun to irritate me in lots of small ways. I used to really like him; he was responsible for completely changing my attitude towards sex during a three hour long, in-depth conversation in his van. For that I will always be grateful. Whenever I see him now, though, I just don’t want to be around him. He gives me the creeps a bit. He’s been in AA for nearly twenty years, and he seems to think he’s the most sober person in the world. He regular boasts that he will never have another drink in his life; he’s always spouting advice like a fountain of wisdom, like he knows everything about the human psyche because he did a twelve-week psychotherapy course twenty years ago. I don’t dislike him, but I don’t like him either. I think we’re better apart, but that probably won’t happen because he is my sponsor’s bosom buddy. I guess I’ll have to learn to put up with him.
All this leads me to wonder whether I’m allergic to certain types of people. All the people in AA that I resent at the moment are confident, extrovert, secure individuals. If I delve into the resentment I’m sure I could find jealousy in there somewhere. But I’ve known about my jealousy for a long time, and it hasn’t stopped me from developing these resentments. Am I allowed to just dislike certain people? If I could find ways of avoiding them, then it would probably help. I find resentment always goes away after you haven’t seen someone for a while. Well, avoiding people in AA is rarely possible, which is why I’m growing so tired of the gay meetings. Everyone knows everyone else’s business; it’s like the gay scene without alcohol. I used to love the idea of that close knit community, but the problem with anything close knit is that you have to face people who you might not like. I know who I am, I know what kind of qualities I like in people, and the fact is that I will never like everyone I meet in AA. Nor should I have to like everyone. This doesn’t bother me too much at the moment because I know of many other meetings that I can go to. As I said a while ago, new meetings don’t scare me any more, which is brilliant progress for me. When I started in AA last year I couldn’t go into any meetings without a friend holding my hand!