What does one do when there are four years of photos stored in your phone with a person whom doesn’t want you anymore?
I almost didn’t go to tonight’s meeting. I felt like crap all day, my visit to my therapist today was… unproductive, and the drive home was brutal. Yet, I made it home, fed Bea, and grab my backup full of my I’m-Chair-of-an-Agnostic-AA-Meeting-at-a-Church stuff. Then, when I walked into the room, I at first thought I was in the wrong place and/or the wrong time. Last week, no one came to the meeting. Yet, tonight, I walked in and there were nine people in there! A regular and a group of young women I had never seen before. Turns out, they all came to the meeting from a rehab facility. Each of them seem pleased that this was a secular meeting – a first for many of them.
But for me, it was going to be tough. I had been on the edge or over the edge of being emotional all day. As I started the meeting, I knew I wasn’t going to make it; trying to hold back tears and trying to not let my voice choke up. I didn’t even know if I wanted to share of what happened to me this past weekend. There was no way I could tell the story without breaking down.
So I began the meeting, it was difficult for me to start, but even though I wavered, I got through it. Then it came time to read the Daily Reading from the agnostic daily reading book I own. When I looked down at the first sentence and began with, “Steps 8 and 9,” I knew I couldn’t do it. I had to hand off the book to someone else.
See, after M told me she was dating and I explained that I couldn’t be friends with her anymore – it was unsaid but the implication was out there – this would be the last time we would see one another. That afternoon, I stopped her on the sidewalk and said this: “I haven’t started the steps, but given the circumstances I need to talk to you about Step 9.”
“It won’t change anything,” she said.
I nodded, “I know it won’t and I’m not looking to. But Step 9 is acknowledging the wrongs I did to those closest to me and ask for their forgiveness. So I want to say, that I am very sorry for what I did and how I treated you. And I hope one day that you can forgive me.”
M forgave me.
It felt hollow to me – not her response – but me trying to explain how much I screwed up and how poorly I treated a friend and a woman that loved me. This is why when I saw those words in the daily reading, I had to hand it off.
Then when it was quiet for a moment, I opened up. I was brief, but I told the story. My emotions were not hidden. I couldn’t hide them. In for a penny, in for a pound.
I felt better after and I tried to offer advice to the newest members of the meeting. Yet, afterwards, my thoughts returned to what had been on my mind all day – it’s over. You share your life with someone for four years and then it’s over. Nothing. No more Jake in the truck, no more fall walks in Rock Creek, no more cuddling with dogs, and no more having someone with whom you can talk to with just about anything.
I looked at those photos… photos from the past and I want to scream at that guy. I want to tell him what he is about to give up, about how if he doesn’t get his shit together, he will lose one of them greatest things that has ever happened in his life.