It’s been a great weekend and I am feeling very well at the moment. On Friday I went back to the Soho meeting where I felt so horrible the previous week; it was much better this time, with a chair that I could relate to and even some fun socialising afterwards. One of the recent newcomers to the program asked me to be their temporary sponsor, and I accepted, instantly feeling both excited and nervous. I knew the request was coming, it was only a matter of time as I have been putting my hand up for weeks in every meeting where they ask if anyone is willing to volunteer their services as a sponsor. When I finished the steps last year my sponsor told me I should start volunteering, because he knows as well as I do that it will be good for me. So I have my first sponsee – we’re meeting tomorrow to make a start on the steps. I’m nervous because I really hope I get it right – though at the end of the day, whatever I do it will be up to the sponsee whether he chooses to take on board the suggestions that I make or not. I’m looking forward to a new chapter in my sobriety, whatever happens.
Yesterday was a particularly nice day. I spent the afternoon enjoying the sun in Camden with some non-AA friends, then in the evening after taking my home group in Notting Hill I went to Soho to help young Joe celebrate his first sober annivesary. It came as a pleasant surprise when I received his invitation earlier in the week. As I’ve said before, we haven’t always been on the best of terms. Most of the time the problem has consisted simply of my resentment towards him. He’s in the centre of the young gay AA ‘clique’ that I have been so scathing about at times in the past year. It was nice of him to invite me along last night, and until I got there I was just looking forward to a good night out. We would be celebrating on the Soho gay ‘scene’, the place that chewed us all up and spat us out in our drinking days. My perspective on the scene has certainly changed since I stopped drinking – these days I just think of it as a collection of bars and clubs and coffee houses to be enjoyed, rather than a place to be relied on for friendship and entertainment. Unfortunately when I arrived on Old Compton Street last night I felt nervous for some reason, even though I’ve been there many times in sobriety. Nearly all of the ‘clique’ was there, and from the start I found it hard to join in the conversation as they kept talking about things I had no involvement in, such as friends that they’ve fallen out with. I was surprised to find out that Joe and Colin have fallen out. Up til last week they were virtually inseparable. Some kind of dynamic has changed in the clique: the way they were talking about Colin actually shocked me a little. I couldn’t help feeling sorry for Colin, who should have been there but wasn’t because of this new acrimony between them. It will probably blow over and be forgotten about by next week. But for now I’m reminded that being part of a clique can be much more trouble than its worth.
In the end we all went dancing at G-A-Y nightclub and because the music was so good, I couldn’t help enjoying myself. At times I felt left out of the group, just as I always did in the cliques that I desperately tried to be part of in during my drinking days. At times I didn’t want to be there, feeling stupid for intruding on Joe’s little gang even though he had invited me to be there. But it wasn’t so bad as I knew I could leave at any time, and I didn’t think about drinking at all. At 3am I finally left, exhausted and relieved to have made it through another clubbing experience without harm. It wasn’t a bad night out for me by any means. I enjoyed dancing to top pop music, as I always do, and the men were all very pleasing on the eye too. I imagine it will be my last clubbing trip this year, though – I just don’t have the energy for regular clubbing nights any more. In my drinking I don’t know how I managed to do it two or three times a week!!