We are finally experiencing our first truly great weather of the year here in London, and I have to say, it’s much appreciated. This has probably been my favourite time of year since I came into recovery, when I started noticing the seasons for the first time. The light evenings, the flowering trees, the ability to go out without wearing four layers of clothing. What’s not to love about it?

Because it’s spring I guess I’ve been in a better mood than I usually would be. I’ve had to work incredibly hard at the office this week, but even that hasn’t gotten me down. On Monday and Tuesday I worked full time for the first time in my life, spending close to 20 hours in the office over the two days, as there were about 400 customer enquiries to get through and I was the only one who could do them. The full time hours were specifically agreed with the boss for this purpose – I don’t think I’ll be going properly full time for a while. More about that later.

By the end of Tuesday I had managed to surprise myself and everyone else by getting through the entire backlog of enquiries that had existed since I went to New York. As a way of thanks the boss gave me £30 worth of the company’s special gift vouchers and got everyone to give me a round of applause. Even Jan, who never really seemed to trust me with the work before, seemed impressed with me.

Getting through so much work in such a short space of time might have meant a few more mistakes than normal. We can’t know yet – only time tells with this sort of thing. I did my best, and I don’t think the quality of my responses to all those enquiries suffered too much in spite of the massive increase in work load. A year ago, the thought of going into an office at 9 in the morning and leaving at 7 in the evening would have made me want to die. This week, it didn’t feel like much of a departure from my normal routine. I guess working from 12 – 6pm in that environment every day for the past six months has helped me to get used to it a bit. I feel like one of the team now; like I have finally, unequivocally, proved myself. That could all change today – unfortunately in this line of work you never know what’s around the corner. On the whole I don’t seem to be making many mistakes any more, and making mistakes is really the worst thing you can do with angry customers who want their money.

In the rest of the company important staff changes are continuously taking place around me. Nearly all of the people who started at the same time as me have now been promoted upstairs from the helpdesk to more important jobs. I think I must have set a trend. There’ve been a few surprising departures. Yesterday I heard that Karen, the girl who got drunk and embarrassed herself at the QBU last week, had handed in her notice. If that’s not active alcoholism, I don’t know what is.

In the midst of all these changes I seem to have found myself a niche in the company. After nearly six months I am still there, learning and growing in my role all the time. The fact that I actually want to go full time still amazes me. I know I still have a long way to go – on the social side of things it’s still not brilliant. There remains a whole bunch of people I’ve never spoken to, and it’s not that big a company. But somewhere in me I know that will change eventually. Three years ago when I joined AA I knew no one; now I feel like I know everyone.

So it’s hard to think of things to be sad about today. To be able to say that is really heartening. Of course, you know as well as I do that it won’t always be this way. Last week I was bemoaning how hard it was to make friends at work, and I really felt sad about that last week. Then again, I was working on step four last week. I hate to admit that since then I haven’t touched it. My body has cleverly found ways of making me avoid it, such as making me feel extremely tired every time I’m at home and there’s the time to get the pen and paper out. I still wish to do all the steps, but this step, more than all the others, is one that can be extremely hard to pick up again once it’s been put down. I hate the fact that there’s still so much writing to do, and undoubtedly so much more pain to experience. As always, I imagine trying to keep my higher power close wouldn’t do any harm.


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