What a weird, weird day it has been! While America celebrates a historic and momentous political event (hooray!) I am making what seem to be great strides in my recovery. I spent most of the day writing e-mails to people who I have not seen or spoken to for years, amending for past mistakes and misdeeds as part of my step 9 work. I contacted as many former flatmates, friends and lovers as I could find; unfortunately for some I don’t have the contact details any more and there was no chance of me finding them today, though I will always remain willing to apologise to them as I have apologised to people today. I can’t say it was easy writing and sending those messages today. Maybe it would have been better saying some of the things face to face, but those people all live on the other side of the country now, so all in all it was much easier for me to do it in one go by e-mail. I was as gracious and honest as I could be, accepting responsibility for all the things I know I’d done wrong in the past. I apologised for being a terrible housemate and friend, swallowing my pride like I have never done in my life. It is a difficult thing to do, and I really honestly feel like a different person now having done it. The responses I’ve received tonight have all been lovely, much better than I could ever have expected.
Julia, a former housemate in Norwich, says she doesn’t think I was a bad housemate at all. When I look back on that year, I know I could have made things a lot easier for us all. I did isolate myself in my room a lot, I didn’t pull my weight in the house and I know I treated Julia like the enemy at times. But as my sponsor has said, we all do things like that when we’re 20 years old. Julia’s response has been extremely positive and friendly, considering we haven’t spoken to each other for over four years. She says she would like to stay in touch, which has taken me by complete surprise. She could have said she never wanted to hear from me again.
Jon, another former friend from my Norwich days, has also been surprisingly positive. I treated him pretty badly four years ago, throwing a job that he’d helped me to get back in his face because my social life was too important to me. He says he has never held a grudge and it also seems like he wants to stay in touch. I am humbled by his kindness.
Andrew, one of my closest friends in Norwich, has been incredibly understanding. I already sort of knew that there were no hard feelings there, as I’ve seen him a few times since 2004 and we chat on facebook every now and then. But I never properly apologised for my behaviour when we lived together in 2004, and as it was what I consider to be the darkest period in my life, I needed to put it behind me once and for all. Andrew realises, like everyone else, that we all make mistakes and he too has never held a grudge. I’m visiting Norwich in December for a weekend and it will be really nice to hang out with him and the others again.
With all of this in mind, I met up with another internet date this evening in one of the bars in Soho. After what happened at the weekend I could easily have gone back to celibacy and avoided dealing with the sex issue altogether, but in my heart I don’t want to avoid it any more. So I met this guy tonight and I have to say that there wasn’t an instant spark between us. He seemed to realise this and after an hour very politely told me that he didn’t think it could work between us. So I came home early, determined not to feel hurt and rejected. Coming home to read all of these great responses to my step 9 amends has certainly taken my mind off feeling rejected by some guy in Soho, I can tell you! I know that meeting guys in real life is the test that every relationship has to past; after this week I’m so much more aware that what you see online isn’t necessarily what they’re going to be like in real life. There are other dates lined up and I look forward to them, though I think I’d rather meet these people away from the ‘scene’ from now on. I saw people in the bar tonight who I didn’t want to see, faces from my scene-queen days who reminded me what an unmanageable, shallow life I used to lead. Coffee shops and cafés are more up my street these days – I wish I’d known that earlier.
In any case, I’ll continue to meet guys and see what happens. If anything I cannot afford to take any expectations to the next date. Expectations are for fools and you just cannot know what is around the corner. My issues around co-dependency, neediness and abandonment may never truly be resolved, but in detailed discussion with my sponsor and my higher power, I know that I won’t find happiness by shutting myself off to what’s out there. By which I mean I need to keep exploring and learning this stuff.