Tonight wasn’t so bad. I attended a local AA meeting where I knew I would get the opportunity to share, as it goes around the room in a clockwise fashion; it is not just those with the loudest and most confident voices who get to speak. I talked about everything that has been going on for me, including the fact that my paternal grandmother passed away last night, which I only discovered this afternoon. I am sad about this mainly because I didn’t know her: I only met her a couple of times, as she lived in Ireland and my involvement with my father’s side of the family has never been that great. I am sad for my father and for my aunts who have all lost their mother today. I don’t know what I would do if I lost mine. I doubt I would really be able to carry on. It has made me think about the family again, something I’ve done a fair bit this year. I’ve seen a lot of my aunt Emily recently but not of my father. I wish I was closer to all of them. It’s a big family and for years I was so angry that they never included me in anything. Now I think I probably could have made more effort to be part of things.
Despite the sad news I am feeling better tonight that I have done in the past few days. Tonight’s meeting was good for me; it reminded me that AA can be a supportive, safe and comfortable place. The crowd there was completely different to the one I usually see at meetings. It’s in a different locality to most of the gay AA meetings, which is probably why I’ve always liked it so much. No ‘clique’ exists in this meeting. Perhaps I would benefit from choosing it as my new home group. People shared about the difficult times they’ve been having recently and the hope that the AA program has given them. When I talked about my grandmother’s death and all the other things that have been going on for me, I guess I finally accepted that it has been a tough period in my life which I don’t necessarily deserve. Of course, life is tough sometimes and we all have to live with that, but what’s been happening to me in the last month or so has not all been my fault. Neither has it been anyone else’s fault. It is what it is, and maybe it will pass. Many of the things I’ve been through are not unusual or uncommon experiences for alcoholics, but thanks to the fact that I suffer from depression they have all seemed so much worse than they might to a normal person. I have a tendency to be hard on myself when I realise things like that – as if I should have known all along that I was just depressed and it would all be OK in the end. But I can’t help feeling the way I feel, and when I am depressed I really need to start being kinder to myself.
I also need to start being kinder to others. I was very mean to the people from the Monday meeting earlier – people who used to be friends. The fact is that I’m not really a part of their lives any more and it’s not really anybody’s fault, it’s just a process that has taken place. I need to find a new group to hang out with, certainly. Maybe I’ll find that in local meetings. I’ve been saying for months that I want to make the local meetings a more regular thing. Like many changes, it will require work, something I don’t like.
The past week has seen me more spiritually sick than I have been in my entire sobriety. That is a scary thought at 17 months sober. What could I have done to avoid this event? Well, I still have a tendency to isolate and blame others when things don’t seem to be going my way, which leads to more anxiety and anger and depression. I should have gone to more meetings, I should have called my sponsor more and I should have done more praying. But I didn’t, because I’m still in early sobrietyand making mistakes, something I forget far more often than I should. I’m still learning and growing; growing is very painful. I hope that after tonight the dark period will pass and a better stage in my sobriety will begin, but there are no guarantees in this life. All I can do is try and stay sober, one day at a time. God, I’ve never loathed that cliché as much as I do right now!