On the surface, everything is getting better every day. Inside, the daily rollercoaster of emotions continues to drain my resources. Work is getting better: I’m finally settling into my new role, feeling tentatively confident in what I’m doing, and my supervisor Jan no longer has to roll his eyes at my perceived slowness. Yesterday was actually brilliant, as at the end of the day I was thanked for my hard work in getting the number of live online enquiries down to below 200 (apparently it’s been over 300 for months). I’d finally done something good in my colleagues’ eyes, and the danger of being demoted or sacked seemed to slip even further away. Still, I woke up this morning with the usual jolt of fear, the feeling that tells me something bad is about to happen. I’m about to get a phonecall or an e-mail from them, telling me I’ve made a huge mistake and they don’t want me any more. That fear will not go away. To be fair, I’m still relatively new to all of this and I never expected the anxiety to subside completely before I’d been in the job for at least a good few months. In AA it took at least a year for me to feel comfortable in all my regular meetings. Sometimes I can still feel that anxiety about walking into a meeting room, even now, two and a half years down the line. Will I still be anxious about going to work in two years from now? I really hope not. The mornings, at best, are just about bearable now, for it is the mornings when the fear tends to be at its most active. Every day when I get up it’s like stepping onto a rollercoaster: the carriage slowly starts to move, and as it gets closer to the time when I have to go to work, the ride takes me higher and higher into the sky. The moment I walk into work at midday is the moment when the rollercoaster reaches its peak and begins to descend violently. The next six hours at work see all the ups and downs of the ride throwing me around insanely.
I’ve been taking anti-depressants for a week now, and I’m experiencing all the old questions about whether they really work for me or not. So much so that I don’t even want to talk about it. I know that my sex drive has decreased significantly, so something is happening. In spite of the loss of libido, I decided to do something potentially silly over the weekend: I went to see Gareth. I hadn’t seen him for about six months. For some reason I couldn’t get him off my mind last week. I missed our encounters, our kisses, our cuddles, our wild nights in Hertfordshire, more than ever. So I called him up, and he came to collect me in central London, then drove me through torrential rain out to his lovely warm house in the countryside, where we made love for a few hours until we were both exhausted. My libido appeared to go through a brief revival that night. It was, of course, wonderful. I couldn’t stop smiling. I knew I had never experienced that kind of intimacy and joy with another man. I knew I was in love with him that night.
Whether Gareth is in love with me or not, is probably a question I will never be able to answer. On Sunday I had to leave his place pretty early as he was having friends over for lunch, and I couldn’t possibly get in the way. I haven’t heard from him since, and as always I’m wondering why I should continue to pursue a relationship that only pays dividends once in a blue moon. I’ve always known that he has an incredibly busy life, and I’m slowly coming to accept that he just isn’t the romantic type. He’ll never send me a text message on a week night, he’ll never buy me flowers, take me out for a meal, invite me round more than once a fortnight, watch a film with me. Six months ago I was ready to give up on him completely. But now I can’t help thinking of how things have turned out with my dad: in a similar way, I’ve come to accept that I’ll never see my dad more than once every few months, and there are many things that he will never do with me, not because he’s a bad person. Just because it’s not in his nature to be open with his feelings. I’m happy to be there for my father when he wants me to be there. Maybe I can abandon this old selfish need for the perfect romance and accept the occasional offerings I get from Gareth. When I’m with him, I get to know what love is. It’s such a rare thing, so precious, I don’t believe I can ever exclude him from my life again.