By 8:30am and I had already failed miserably at practicing the virtue of Charity.
A former sponsee called me at 7:30am, waking me up out of a dead sleep. Now, I arrived home from work this morning at 3am, fell into bed and after a 15 hour work day. I had been asleep for about 3 hours.
I get the phone call from Julie - drunk and crying. "I want to get sober". I asked her when she had last had a drink and she told me it was at 6:30am. I suggested she get all the booze out of the house. She said she didn't have any and she did not have any more money - which is why, of course, she decided she needed to get sober. Afterall, nothing will sober up a drunk faster than the realization that they are out of booze and out of money. OH NO...now I need help. She had called her mother - an untreated Al-Anon member who had once told me how fabulously well Julie was doing now that she had left that pesky ex-husband, the three children and that mother-in-law (the woman raising her 3 children) behind - afterall, they think so poorly of Julie, which is bad for her self-esteem. Apparently, it does not dawn on either mother OR daughter that the reason these people don't like her is because she dumped her husband and kids so she could drink.
I mean, yes, we have a disease but it is a disease that requires us to address three things: physical, mental and spiritual problems. If you refuse to do what is necessary to stay sober you are no different than a diabetic who insists on eating chocolate every day. If that diabetic has some sort of attack while driving and kills three people they should go to jail.
I started to suggest that she call the AA hotline to see if there is someone available to meet her at a meeting today. Her response? She began to tell me all the things that are wrong with me. "Do you know what has always bothered me about you? Well, let me tell you..."
I lost it.
I intereupted her list of Leslie's Faults 101 with this:
Let me get this straight.......you cannot stay sober, you have deserted your kids, been through 6 different rehabs, no one in the wonderful fellowship of Oakdale wants anything to do with you because you are such a beligerent and lying drunk, and you are calling someone who has been sober one day at a time for 15 years in a row to tell them what is wrong with THEM? What the Hell makes you think I am interested in YOUR opinion about ME? I have been up all night, I drive 4 hours a day to go to work, I do it all sober and YOU have an opinion about ME???? Who gives a flyin' F**K what YOU think?
Then her tears started. "Oh I'm so sorry I'm so sorry I'm so sorry." And she was off and running on a crying jag. I felt awful. I tried to tell her to just calm down and listen...and I told her about my drinking. I told her that I understood how hopeless she felt and that I used to do the same thing to people in AA...I knew everything, they knew NOTHING and I had no problem telling them that over and over and over again, usually while I was sneaking booze into a meeting by spiking my own soft drink (I put vodka into fresca - my friend Bonnie called that true alcohol abuse to put perfectly good Winner Circle Vodka into fresca). It told her about that mean, old man named Eddie who finally told me he was not in the least interested in any of my tales of woe - he didn't want to hear about my dead husband, my dead babies, my parents getting divorced when I was six years old - he said, "It is a privilige to come to a meeting of AA, not a right...until you are willing to say you want to stop drinking and you will do everything we say without backtalk or comment you will keep getting drunk. And I am tired of watching you do that so why don't you just go out and get done". I also suggested to her that she tell her fiance, who she said is wonderful but condones what she does, that if he really loves her and wants what is best for her that he stop condoning what she is doing and.......she hung up on me.
The fact is I am not a very gentle person when someone wakes me up to tell me how awful I am and the person doing so happens to be drunk. Gee, I am the only one who ever gave her my telephone number. I am the only one she could think of to call because I am the only one she knew would answer the telephone. Yup, that's me....I am an awful, horrible woman and boy I am shocked at myself for not listening to drunk Julie in order to gain more insights into my character defects.
I should not have lost my temper but hopefully she will be so angry at me she will go to a meeting, tell everyone in Oakdale how horrible Leslie K. is and they can all sit around agreeing with her and feeling superior while she dies in their midst.
Anyway, I am going back to bed. Jesus, forgive me for not being gentle with your creature Julie. I hope she finds the help she needs and calls the hotline like I suggested to her before I lost my mind and yelled right back at her. May God forgive me for losing my temper. amen.s perfect.