I take the bus home from Oxford Circus after the meeting. One hour and thirteen minutes of traffic jamming, moving slowly through the West End, Clerkenwell, Hackney. The sun is shining and I am in a reflective mood, listening to music.
You’re the only thing that I love
Scares me more every day
On my knees I think clearer
Goodness knows I saw it coming,
Or at least I’ll claim I did
But in truth I’m lost for words
Snow Patrol– Chocolate
I remember the days when those lyrics resonated for me, when what they made me think of was alcohol. In Edinburgh, walking to work, listening to those lines over and over again and marvelling at just how lost for words I was and at just how well I had seen the crisis coming but been powerless, or unwilling, to stop it. Because I had. Seen it coming. I had known for years that I was under it, that I couldn’t and also wouldn’t crawl out. In those days I was still unwilling. I was in its grip and I didn’t want to free myself from it.
Today I relate more to the first verse.
I can make my first steps
As a child of twenty-five
Because that’s what I’m doing- I’m taking steps, making a life somehow, granted at twenty-seven rather than twenty-five, haha.
The meeting today was lovely and vibrant. Afterwards we went for coffee and there was lots of laughter. Genuine laughter is something I’d missed in the days Before. Going to meetings in London is scary- Kent was always a little removed from Real Life, because it isn’t where I’m from. Going to meetings in London makes recovery that little bit more real. I pass old haunts on the way to church halls, I walk old streets and smell the familiar smell of pubs I used to frequent. There’s nostalgia there but just for today there’s no desire to go back to that. Still, it makes everything feel very real. This is my home. This is where I come from. This is what I know- yet everything is changing. Changed.
Sitting on the 55 thinking about all this, I miss my Canterbury friends and the little city. I miss the idea of staying. I send texts to the people I’m thinking of.
But I can’t say I don’t love the place where I’m from.