I had gotten really broke, as I expected I would - after taking several months off of work. I was working as a temp at a quilting magazine. It was really fun, but it wasn't much money. I remember one day looking at the way someone had written their numbers like a bunch of lower case letter "i"s and I missed my life in medical records terribly. I said something about working "in my field," and thought - wow, I have a "field." That day, I checked my messages on a break and found I had a message asking me to come in for an interview in a medical records department at a hospital.
It was a smaller hospital, and a small department. It was extremely low-tech, and I fell in love with it the minute I hit the door. I prayed I would get that job, and I did. ( There is a wonderful side story about this interview I blogged about when I was a new blogger, you can find it here if you would like to more time reading about ME! ME! ME!)
I wrote this in September of 1994, "It feels like I've come around a huge corner. I actually feel happy and I am looking forward to the future." What a wonderful thing, after the abysmal years of that marriage.
My divorce was final in October. I changed my name back to my maiden name. I was so grateful to go to bed alone at night. I was grateful to go places alone. I was grateful to be alone. My daughter by this time was incarcerated, so I was living alone. My son was now in the Army. I had that pretty apartment and it was clean and wholesome and the rent was paid and I had a job. I felt like a real bonafide human being. A real woman who was living a life consistent with my values.
I loved my job and I loved my boss. She took a mentor role with me and actually talked me into going to school. I was 42 years old and hadn't been to school since I graduated from high school when I was 18. She helped me every step of the way though the application process. I applied for student loans and got them (I STILL have them as a matter of fact!) At the age of 43, I attended my first college class, and I found I loved it and I got an "A" for the semester. I had a 4.0 GPA! Who cares if it was only for one class! I kept the 4.0 until I had to take Anatomy and Physiology, and Statistics.
I abandoned any hope of belonging to the super cool AA group with all of the super cool people. My ex-husband and ex-sponsor went there and I felt very uncomfortable there. I decided that I would be a plain old sober woman and be there for the plain old drunk who needed a hand. I didn't need to be part of some kind of "super" AA, I could be down in the trenches with the drunks. It was a relief to me to make this decision.
Even writing this, I feel like I can breathe again. It has been so amazing to really delve into what it was like for those first years. I spend so little time thinking about it, it was really painful to look at it. But I am glad I did.
Here is what I wrote on my 11th birthday: "Thank you God is all I can say, but it doesn't sound like enough. I guess I need to just show - every day of my life - my gratitude."