I’ve unexpectedly had my busiest weekend in ages. I brought my work laptop home, hoping to finally finish those specs for the new improved enquiry system, but the weather turned out to be too nice for work. Yesterday I went swimming by myself for the first time, which I loved, and then I went to two meetings in a row. Both meetings were great; I even managed to share in one for the first time in about a year. Thanks to my bravery I was approached at the end by the secretary, who wanted me to come back in two weeks to do the chair. Of course I was taken aback – it’s been about three years since I last did a chair, and this is a busy meeting. I agreed straight away. It was never my policy to turn down chairs if I could do them. I always liked something about the opportunity to talk about myself in front of a busy room for half an hour.
So I appear to be on the road back to AA, which feels reassuring. It occurred to me today that I’m doing things my way this time: I’m not talking in meetings unless I want to talk, I’m listening to the stuff that helps me and I’m ignoring the stuff that doesn’t. It’s impossible to say for sure whether 2014 has been such a good year so far because I’ve been doing AA “the right way” for the first time in seven years, but it does appear to be a bit of a coincidence. Previously my recovery was all about other people, if I’m honest. I measured how well I was doing by how many friends I had. Losing those friends was so upsetting because I truly believed I couldn’t be recovered without their influence in my life. They always seemed to be doing so much better than me, I was sure I needed them around just to be able to say I was OK.
For quite a long time I’ve felt like I must be doing something wrong, if I can lose all those friends with hardly any effort. At the moment I seem to be coming to terms with the fact that what happened just happened. In life people do drift away naturally, without much thought sometimes. I never wanted to accept that, but now I think I must. I have to do recovery by myself, for myself this time. Sure, I can open up to people and make new friends, but if I’m relying on them for my self-esteem then I’m definitely not doing it right.
This morning D took me to IKEA to look for stuff for my room. The single bed’s arrived so it was time to find desks, coffee tables, lamps and all manner of other things to fill the huge space that has suddenly been freed up. To begin with I was glad of the opportunity to take some control of my own living space. Unfortunately as soon as we got to IKEA, it became clear that D had his own ideas. I was free to make suggestions, but the final decisions would have to rest with D. No, I wasn’t happy about it, but I didn’t have much choice. He was paying for everything.
He had become obsessed with finding matching colour schemes and things that would fit neatly into corners; most of my ideas, which were admittedly not nearly as well thought out as his, were discarded quickly. We ended up coming home with some undeniably nice furniture – though I couldn’t help wishing I had chosen all of it. We were so tired and hot by the time we got back we had no energy to set everything up, so D will be putting it all together this week while I’m at work. I can only hope he sticks with the arrangement we agreed on. I get the feeling he will go ahead and make more changes, just because he’s here and he can. If he does, I have to be honest with him and tell him I’m not happy. I don’t want to end up fighting with him, because I don’t have the energy for that any more, but I need to make my mark on this place somehow. In the year that I have been here it’s always felt a bit like a guest room, with D’s personality all over it. Now we have a chance to change everything, perhaps it’s a sign that I should stand up and be counted.