Have you ever found out about a get-together of people you were close to after the fact? In other words, have you ever discovered you weren’t invited to a friend’s event once it had already taken place? This happened to me just recently when I learned about a game night a friend of mine had, days after it transpired.
Group game nights are just one of the many events I enjoy about the fellowship of recovery. Back in Massachusetts I regularly attended many of these that friends in recovery held at their homes. In Toledo, there’s a bunch of us here too that do the same, occasionally getting together to play things like Euchre or Cards Against Humanity. So when I discovered the other day that one of these game nights had already taken place with that group of friends, I immediately called the one who had held the get-together at his house to find out why I hadn’t been asked to come. Interestingly enough, I was a little shocked at his response.
Apparently I actually had been on his list to invite but another fellow invitee said he wouldn’t attend if I were going to be there. While I had no idea that anyone was holding a grudge against me in this circle of friends, the sad truth was that it ended up putting my friend in a place where he felt he had to choose. And eventually he made the choice to not invite me solely because an out-of-town guest coming to the event had very strong ties to this resentment-filled person, thus he felt there was more of a reason for him to be there than I.
I feel bad for this friend having to choose like he did, having to be put in that uncomfortable position. Personally, I would have handled it different though if the tables were turned. The fact is any individual who says they won’t attend an event because someone else is going to be there they don’t like, that’s ultimately on them. Expecting the host to make a choice is really being unfair, codependent and quite unhealthy.
Nonetheless, it was still difficult to have been left out of an event I normally would have been invited to and attended. But in all honesty, I’m not the least bit angry or resentful, because I tend to believe that things happen for a reason. The night this game night took place, I ended up spending time getting to know a relatively new friend a lot better and going to a meeting with him I never attended before. Even better, the speaker at the meeting was actually another friend of mine I had never heard tell their entire story to recovery before.
So while I may be a little sad that a resentment prevented me from attending a game night with a group of my friends, I’ve decided to accept there was a much better plan for me that evening, one that brought me closer to someone new, and one that moved my heart closer to my Higher Power. And hopefully the next time my friend has a game night, he’ll invite everyone, regardless of whether someone has an issue with another or not…
Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson