Tonight I had a chance to talk with my sponsor about all sorts of things, and, as is usually the case, she was able to put my life and its current state — including my relationship with J. — in perspective. The best advice she gave me was that if I choose to step back with J. and become only friends, I am not leaving him or abandoning him or running away; I would be making healthy choices to ensure my sobriety and continued mental health and spiritual growth. She also pointed out that sometimes we need to make mistakes to realize that while we thought we’d gotten rid of the huge red elephant in the room, perhaps he’s back and is now tiny and blue instead. She advised me to go home and meditate and pray about the situation, and let my higher power (which I conceive of as the universe and all of its inhabitants) lead me the way out of this sticky situation. And you know? I already feel better. Even though I am still horribly, horribly ill with the flu.