Jim was going to have to do an awful lot to get my smile back. I had really done it. Six counts in various forms and degree of charges all consisting of vehicular assault were staggering to me when he finally shared the severity of the circumstances. The words began to blur and finally, I don't think I even heard large chucks of what was being said. I was astounded by the charges and could not fathom how there could be six.
And more importantly, why was this man willing to help me? I had agreed to pay him all the money I had. I still found it hard to believe at the time.
There were two or three people I knew that I could count on up to this point in my life. Why had they chosen to help me? Did they see promise in me?. I didn't feel it myself, but they had faith that I was worth it. They recognized something in me that I didn't see in myself. I was worth saving?
So, how did I even begin to tell this stranger what was below the felonious charges. Did it matter? Certainly didn't seem to at the time. There were forms to fill out and documents to sign. "There are certain things you need to understand", he said. 'If I catch you drinking, or in a bar, even near a bar, I will fire myself from your case", he continued. "attend 12 step meetings every day..." his words trailed off as I jolted from the suggestion.
Did he say meetings a day? Yes. He had. Without hesitation.
How in the world was I going to do that? I had a job to go to and bills to pay. There were already 2 and 3 psychotherapy visits a week since April that year. And I had joined a closed group that took one night a week too. I was up to my eyeballs with talking. I was tired of it... carrying it... thinking about it....discussing it. But I was being told the only way to get past it was to go through it. it? The pain, the memories and what it caused. That's what I was doing here in the hospital: focused, direct work specifically designed to deal with trauma.
And now, more? Sure enough, that very night I traveled to the lighthouse. There was coffee and cookies and circled chairs into which I was herded for the top of the hour silence signaling the beginning: Hi, I'm Ginger. Not so freeing a statement as one would expect. Sounded kind of anti-climactic since there was so much more. How could I tell these people what was the source of my drinking?
I couldn't imagine working this program based on what I was hearing from the group either. How could I possibly be exonerated from the charges against me with all the honesty required here. I'd be nailing my own coffin shut. The truth sounded like 6 years x 2 in jail by default. Can you say rock and hard place? Bleak outlook is all I could think about.