Today was a good one. That doesn’t really cut it- to say that today was good is a bit of an understatement. Nothing grand happened, nothing momentous, nothing life-changing- but today was a gift, and one I think I should share.
I can’t help but think that there was something deliberate about it- I have never been past 11 days sober before, and today is my eleventh. If it had been a bad one, I might have let myself slip into what I can’t help but see as the inevitable. But it wasn’t a bad one. At all.
This morning I met with my mentor up at uni. It was good to see her in person after four weeks’ Skyping over Easter. She told me I was strong, and brave, and that I should be proud of finishing this course whatever my end grade is. That other people would have run away, and quit, and not come back to complete it. That she was proud of me. I cried, and she said my eye make-up was very nice today, and not to spoil it. I came away from the meeting feeling a little overwhelmed,but with my head a little more in perspective about things like grades. Calmer.
Afterwards, I went for coffee with a guy from the meetings. We both had frappes because, amazingly, the sun’s back out in full… does the sun come out in swing? In any case, it was sunny. We talked for a while and then he said he was going to meet some girls from another meeting, and did I want to come? So I did. He introduced us, and then I ended up going for a coffee with them. One went to the same university as me for undergrad, which was a nice coincidence. It was good to meet some new people and I felt oddly comfortable, the kind of quiet confidence that usually only comes with a pint.
I went back up to campus feeling quite good. Then I got a text from a friend-of-a-friend asking if I fancied a coffee as he was in Canterbury for the day. Bear in mind, this was my third coffee within about three hours. We had a really nice chat in the Library Cafe, about my research and his, people we’ve lived with, people we know. Afterwards I went and sat in the sun for a smoke and a phone-call to my friend I.
As I was sat on the grass, someone I met in Amsterdam came past and we sat and had a smoke together in the sunshine. Things aren’t going amazingly for her, so I tried to be uplifting and pass on some of the sunshine. I hope it worked.
Alone in my carrel I started to feel lonely again, re-scripting my Dissertation Proposal (scary stuff) and thinking about how awful my writing was. I felt a bit deflated, and annoyed at myself for the way that I recently haven’t been able to spend any amount of time by myself without feeling it. The feeling nagged at me, and I decided not to let it pull me down without a fight. So I resolved to go to a meeting at night.
The meeting went really well, it was good to see faces I knew and interesting to hear people talking about their experiences and thoughts. Sometimes I feel a little like a tourist, and then I remember why I am really there and it settles me. I know I need to be there. A lot of what was being said really resonated, and got me thinking about past experiences and behaviours in- not a new light, but a light I had refused to see it in before.
I saw another guy I know there, we had a hug and chatted for a while. Then I walked back to the bus stop with the first guy I went for coffee with (and sorry if this is complicated, but I obviously can’t name names).
I missed my bus.
It’s an hour’s wait for the next one, so I decided to just get the next UniBus as close as it would take me.
And then I missed one by not paying attention.
So I caught the third bus, and it took me not very close to my house. As I was walking up the road, I saw someone walking next to me and recognised her. It was S, the girl I met going under the scary underpass months ago. I didn’t think I would ever see her again. It was nice to have come full circle and be discussing her exams and plans and my ongoing dissertation. And how she broke her leg as a child, and knows how it feels to be in plaster.
I looked up at the moon after, fumbling for keys in my Becky-style-organised bag, and it was full.