On Wednesday, I will have had a year sober. It makes me anxious. Not for fear of relapse, though that’s there, but something else. I’m afraid I’m not doing it right. I still think I’m supposed to be someone else. I feel alone in recovery. It’s not true that I’m alone, but that’s the feeling.
It’s actually a feeling of shame. I believe I’m supposed to be more open with people. That I’m supposed to evangelize recovery and live in gratitude all the time. There’s the me in my head, the perfect version, who goes to his home group, probably a men’s meeting, every week, with the usual crowd. The one who goes to dinner with fifteen people after the meeting, who shares about fellowship and about AA being fun. That one is best friends with his sponsor. On Wednesday, he will be speaking about what a year has taught him and people will look up to him. He will get sponsees and feel good about it because he has gone through the steps and is ready to carry the message. People bring him cakes. There’s he, who celebrates, and then there’s me, in real life.
The last time I met with my sponsor, I told him I was embarrassed to still be on the fourth and fifth steps. I feel discouraged because life feels so hard for me. I don’t want it to, even if I see myself making it so. He said that one time he did the steps in 3 weeks, one time it took a year. There are different people and different circumstances. He says the misery is in thinking I can do it right, in thinking I have control over it, in thinking it’s up to me.
Wednesday, what will probably happen is that I will go to a meeting and I will feel a little sad. I will post a short post on my blog. I will check in with the moment and express it in a few sentences, without effort, like I did on New Year’s Eve. I will share in the meeting that I feel weird about having one year. I will cry. I will wonder if I will hear from my sister. I will call my sponsor and feel nervous about what he will say. I will read texts and emails from my friends and remember that I’m not alone and that I’m not supposed to be someone else.