As time goes on and things progress with Lars, I have to step back and look at where I am.
Sometimes I get lost. Lost in this crazy world of sobriety and trying to figure out how things work. While I was with my ex, I was completely lost in his world. So much so that when I was forced to leave it, everything fell to pieces. Today, when I’m lost, it’s at least comforting to know that I’m lost in my own world, with my own God, and, of course, my cat.
I’ve managed, thus far, to maintain what I think is a healthy distance from Lars and our relationship. Things are never easy when you’re in a committed relationship, I’ve learned enough in my life to know that, but, when you have two people in recovery, there are a few more variables that have to be addressed. There’s a deep knowing built into the relationship that there is something else out there, a substance, a drink, that has powers that the other can never truly understand. It’s ugly and complicated and it creates little boundaries that you sometimes have to be very careful not to breach. There are land mines everywhere.
Lars once told me that relationships in recovery fail when your significant other becomes your higher power.
That always struck me. Now that I have a God that I trust and truly believe in, I can see how foolish I was in the past. My ex had become that higher power to me. The thing that guided me, pushed me, had the power to sink me to the lowest depths of sadness or lift me up to the highest level of elation. And, when he left, so went my universe with him.
Lars could never be my higher power, I know better than to let him. But, I wonder how much I miss out on by not giving all of myself to love. Isn’t that every girl’s dream, to have someone they love and trust utterly and completely? Or is it? Is that just the fairytale that all my Disney movies taught me to believe? What can I really expect?
Since Lars and I are both in the program, we’ve decided to keep our relationship under wraps in the AA community. I mean, if someone were to ask me outright if I was dating Lars, I wouldn’t lie. But, we don’t walk around holding hands outside the meeting. In fact, we share and regularly attend the same home group, but, we never sit together. And, maybe some people suspect and whisper, but, for the most part, I don’t think anyone knows that we’re a couple. We’ve been together almost six months, and on some mornings, I still feel like we’re strangers, or, at least we act like them.
Sometimes when I think about this “under wraps” thing, I don’t know exactly what we’re protecting each other from in the long run. AA puts principles before personalities, but, part of me feels like I’m hiding or being hidden, I’m not sure which. I’m certainly not the type of girl who goes the PDA route. I don’t want to sit next to one another, holding hands or making out. But, part of me fears that our hush-hush attitude isn’t serving me the way I’d expected.
Just because I don’t want Lars to be my entire universe doesn’t mean that I don’t want to be known as his girlfriend. How do you say that to someone? How do you go about saying, “Hey, I don’t want to out you or our relationship here, but, I’m actually happy and proud to be in it!” and worry that something might backfire?
For now, I have to stick to Tradition Twelve, it’s the best answer I have for a complicated scenario.
Tradition 12: Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.