Newcomers Perspective – Rachelle B.

A few months ago, I drove the wrong way on a one-way lane. The flashing lights blinded my pained eyes. My heart beat on high alert. A cop followed me. Yet, I kept driving like a high and drunk genius. Another flashing cop car appeared behind the other one. Knowing two cop cars usually meant jail, I pulled over, hoping to talk my way out of it. I prayed, realizing I may not deserve any assistance from the Angels this time.

I didn’t do well in confinement. The hospital and school were the only places I was ever confined too. But, as someone who was super “h” in ADHD to the point I drove teachers to the students crazy with my fidgeting. In college, I was thrown out of a class because I couldn’t sit still. Even then, I talked my way out of it, by showing the professor I wrote down everything she said, while managing to read the school newspaper and organizing my highlighters.

Jail or Prison would be without my parents’ support, my life-saving medications or my king-sized bed with almost every streaming station. A spoiled upper-middle class woman, who rarely left home for any lengthy period of time, would be without my parents credit card. “Can I see your license and registration Ma’am.” I did as he asked, throwing out everything in my glove box, adding to the huge collection on my floor. I hoped the saying was true, that the messier the car, the better looking the woman. One look at my frizzy brown hair and red eyes said otherwise. “Do you know you were going the wrong way on a one-way,” A familiar brown-haired young man asked me while looking down at his clipboard. Wait. This can’t be good.. I knew this guy from somewhere. Unless.

“Honey Graham.” I hated it when they used my first name with my maiden name. Neither of which I go by these days. But my name was catchy all the way from elementary to, well now, as this man remembered the times I used to sit on his couch and watch Rugrats. He happened to be babysat by me from back in the good ole’ nineties, when the only drug and drink of choice was kool-aid and jell-O. Also, our mothers were practically long-time neighbor friends. The type who were always there for each other, even with a multitude of kids and a spouse, with baked goods during a crisis. Would this constitute a crisis? Or would I finally be disconnected from my parents’ support emotionally and financially. He motioned the other cop car and he sped away into the night sky. I released a breath I held in since seeing the flashing lights. This could work in my favor. “Are Glenn and Flo still retired?” “Yes, they’ll come get me.”

I pictured my Dad’s face when he was woken up from a dead sleep at three in the morning. But hey, they told me to always call them before driving drunk or high. Not everyone is so lucky. I should have asked them before, not after being pulled over though. “Ok, then. We will keep this between us and this ticket for going the wrong way. But hey, get some help.” He winked at me. “Next time. It won’t be me catching you.” I wouldn’t be alive if it weren’t for this young man, this fellowship and a few members of A.A, who saved my life. A few days into the program, I was filled with shame and guilt of losing two jobs, getting a huge ticket and about to file for divorce. I had a desire to run in front of the trax to stop the pain and insomnia.

I abruptly left the noon meeting, but was followed closely behind by a nice older man. He asked me why I was leaving. “I don’t feel good.” “It gets better. If you stay, I will introduce you to some of the wonderful women here today and get you some numbers and a sponsor..” I followed him back into A.A. where he did as he said. Red-faced, I met some of the most wonderful women. One, who I share a gratitude text with on a daily basis and another, who became my life-saving sponsor. No longer spiritually dead, I enjoy getting up in the morning to do service projects, volunteer shifts and attend Alcoholics Anonymous. Hope has replaced my complete despair. My relationships have improved and fortunately I was accepted into an outpatient program for my dual diagnoses. Life is good again. I never consider death a viable option, anymore. I feel my higher powers in A.A. through the people who took the time to help me. I am not alone in my recovery. Lucky to be saved by strangers and neighbors, who took the time to chase me down. To stop me from going the wrong way on a one-way lane. -Rachelle B.

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