Writing Group Topic: Live and Let Live

Live and let live, right. I’m good with that, because as someone who isn’t in a close relationship I have a lot more freedom to let people just live their life: if I don’t like it I can get out of the situation. Now that I have a housemate I’m very conscious that I’m not used to close relationships and every interaction I have with her is a conscious one. She is lovely – absolutely nothing wrong – but I need to remain conscious and intentional in the way I build relationship with her, be friendly (believe it or not, I do have to remind myself of that with every interaction with every person, every day).

She also has food issues, including a severe allergy to eggs. The last episode she had, she told me, was when she spotted an eggshell on her sandwich and removed it with her fingers. She was getting up to wash her hands, and fainted right then. That’s one severe allergy. I think I’ll stay clear of eggs for the time being, certainly in our kitchen!!

Also I’m quite sure that she is one of us. She’s severely overweight. Of course she’s noticed my laminated Greysheet that’s stuck to the fridge, and my scale on the kitchen counter, so we have already had a chat. She says she knows quite well why she is this way – she had a stillborn son perhaps three years ago, and thinks that subconsciously she hasn’t wanted to let go of the “bump”. She still keeps her maternity clothes and the baby things she got for her son. I had no idea how to respond – there’s no way I can emphasise with something like this, that’s a kind of pain I can’t even imagine – so I just kept quiet and let her talk.

She doesn’t have any friends in this area yet as she has just taken on a new job here, moving here from London. So, because I really like her and she is so friendly and open, it’s been easy for me to introduce her to my friends and I really hope this becomes a friendship, not just a parallel living situation. So – I’m very aware of my interactions with her, which is very much recovery work, isn’t it? All the ways I have learned as to how to relate to people abstinently. Though I’ve never been to AlAnon.

I think she will be the closest relationship I have for the time being – unless we find later on that we’re really not compatible in friendship, which can of course still happen as I know very little about her interests. Although I have found that since moving here to Reading a year ago, relationships with certain few people have really blossomed into deeper friendships. That’s a huge joy to me.

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