Wednesday, October 08, 2008


I wanted to say first:  there is a new blogger, a young man named Kyle, who is going to his first ever meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous today.  If you have a second, go over and say hello.  

Yesterday, reading about an experience of blogger Steveroni, I was reminded of something that happened years ago.  I was sober 6 years, and living with my new husband in northern Washington.  Things got very bad between us (dangerously bad), and I left our home.  I had nowhere to go, so I drove to a nearby town and got a motel room.  I sat on the bed.  It seriously occurred to me that I had two choices: drinking or suicide.  At that point, those honestly seemed like my only options.  

I knew that I did not want to drink.  I had no question about that.  And although I was desperately unhappy because of my heartbreaking marriage, I didn't really want to die.  But what was I to do in a motel room in Mount Vernon, Washington?  

Thanks to six years of sober experience, I picked up the phone.  I didn't call my sponsor.  For some reason, I called a woman in AA who I was not particularly close to.  I think calling her was one of those intuitive thoughts that come to us.  She answered her phone.  I said "Hi Jeri."  Without hesitation or any other small talk, she said "where are you?"  I told her.  She didn't ask any more questions, she just said, "I will be right there."  

No kidding.  She didn't need me to tell her anything.  She knew I was in trouble and without a second's hesitation, she drove over to help me.  She did help me.  We went and ate - I hadn't eaten in a while.  She listened to me.  She showed her care and concern for me, and that was a revelation to me.  

Of course, I did end up going back to my husband and things got much worse for a couple more years.  But I will never forget how Jeri came to that motel room and likely saved my life.  I was in serious trouble.  

I hope that I have been able to express my gratitude forward.  I hope that I have been able to be the kind of person who answers the phone and hops in the car.  I know that sometimes I haven't wanted to be.  Sometimes I would just like to not always be "on call."  But we really need to never quit being on call for another brother or sister alcoholic.   I owe my very life to Jeri and others just like her.  

"I once knew a woman who was crying before a meeting. She was approached by a five-year-old girl who told her, 'you don't have to cry here. This is a good place.  They took my daddy and they made him better.'  That is exactly what AA did for me; it took me and made me better.  For that I am eternally grateful."  -- Alcoholics Anonymous (4th ed.), p. 431


Scott W said...

That is the amazing gift we received, not having to do it alone, ever again.

Thanks for sharing that, MC.

AlkySeltzer said...

When I read another "miracle story" I just smile, be still, and realize just Who *is* the Real Director here, anyway?

And I know Who. My God! I thank you.

dAAve said...

Wonderful story.

Akannie said...

..."and I want the hand of AA to always be there, and for that, I am responsible."

Thanks, MC

J-Online said...

You amaze me daily with all that you give to others. You are a "jeri" to many of us!

Lou said...

It's been awhile since I read a post that sent a shiver down my spine. Pay it forward, indeed.

Anonymous said...

Thanks MC

AlkySeltzer said...

Mary, I visited Kyle's place. Why is it we always seem to do what others suggest? What a bad habit! -grin-

You are a true friend to all of us.

Trailboss said...

Love the quote from the little 5 yr old. So innocent and so true.

Pam said...

well that gave me goosebumps.
what an awesome deal we have going on.


Mary Christine,
Goosebumps ran up and down my arms the minute I read the sentence, "I said "Hi Jeri"."

And again when I read about the five year old.

If I think sometimes I don't have enough time for the newcomer or the sponsee, I remember I shouldn't even be here. But for the grace of God, I would be long time dead.

We are all blessed.

veganmama said...

Thank you for that story. I had a similar experience around the eight-month mark. I thought I could either drown myself in the tub or drink... and I called a woman I knew from meetings-- didn't know her very well in the least, but she came over and sat with me, even talked to me on the phone the whole way over, and stayed until 3am, and then pretty much made sure other women from the program were with me almost constantly for the next week. It was the most AMAZING thing I'd ever encountered, and one of many that convinced me that AA really does work, if you can just step out of your own way.

Zanejabbers said...

Oh, Honey, living with violence is just tooo awful. I'm glad you were sober and finally took the right step. God has blessed you.

Shadow said...

amazing story. thanks!

Kathy Lynne said...

Between you and Kyle I'm a puddle today. Thanks. I pray that I can be a Jeri to someone.