I’m doing three AA meetings a week again, which is good, because I was beginning to feel myself drift in AA. I now know why people say that if you don’t feel like going to a meeting, that’s the time you should really go to one. I haven’t felt like going to any meetings recently, and every time I’ve been to one I’ve had to force myself, something I never thought would happen. For at least the first three years of my sobriety I liked going to meetings most evenings. I don’t know why I don’t feel that way any more. Well, I might be able to guess what’s changed: I’m pretty settled in my life now, unlike before. I have a solid, full time job, I have money in the bank, I have plenty of friends, so you could say I’m quite secure. The need to go to meetings all the time is not quite the same need that it once was. Most evenings I’m tired, and I’d much rather go home and watch TV for a couple of hours before going to bed. I’ve realised that in spite of that, I need AA as much as ever, not just because most of my friends are there, but I need the constant reminder of where I’ve come from. I need to be reminded of how I got to where I am.
All the AA meetings that I’ve been to this week have been very good. In my experience it’s impossible to go to a meeting and not hear something that you needed to hear. Tonight they were talking about anxiety; the onset of general paranoia in life, the sense you sometimes get in later sobriety that you should be feeling a lot better than you are. I know all about that, don’t I? Although I don’t experience anxiety anywhere near as frequently as I used to, it certainly hasn’t left me. As my recent step four work has revealed, there remain things in my life that I feel a lot of fear around, things I know I can still work on.
I bumped into Ethan at tonight’s meeting. It was a relief to see him there, having not seen him for nearly two weeks due to my illness last week. We chatted like old friends in the five minutes leading up to the start of the meeting, and I was sure that we’d walk home together afterwards. It was nice to think that we could still talk, after all the distance that’s developed in the flat during the last year. Our late evening walk home wasn’t to be: as soon as the meeting ended Robert appeared out of nowhere, at which point I instinctively ran off, leaving Ethan without even a ‘goodbye’. It was rude of me, I know, but I just couldn’t stick around. I’d like to have been stronger and forced myself to hang around with both of them, but with just a few months left of having to live here, it hardly seems worth the trouble. Robert and I will never be friends; the only reason I’ve spent so much time worrying about our relationship is because he lives in the room next to me. Like it or not I have to see him nearly every day. What was a slight irritation a year ago has developed into a serious resentment, and that’s the thing I like least about this whole situation, the fact I can spend so much time and energy disliking someone I barely know.
Resentment is a killer, and don’t I know it? This resentment has eaten away at me all year, just like all the others, and I’m still at a loss as to how to tackle it. If it was just me and Ethan here everything would probably be fine. I’m OK in one-to-one situations; for some reason I have always struggled in groups of three or more. If there are two other people in the room then I naturally lean towards being the odd one out, the isolated one. It’s not really conscious, it’s just the way I am. Although I’m much more aware of it than I used to be, and I know of tools that I could use to overcome it, I’m not entirely sure if I want to. Yes, being resentful is not an ideal way for me to be. But every time I think about approaching Robert for some kind of ‘chat’ I inwardly groan, and I can’t help wondering how much good it would really do. Perhaps I could be perfectly happy just saying a quick ‘hello’ to him every time I see him from now on, and accepting the noise and the mess and the campness. Perhaps things are OK the way they are. Time will tell, as it always does.