My name is Anne
, I'm an alcoholic,
Okay guys...that's just not funny
. Never mind...if ya didn't get it. I was a cell guard for the local police station for a year and a half. Now...I walk into a meeting room, & there are "familiar faces"...last time I saw them, all wired up & on their way to prison. Times' past & done for them, some out for good, some on parole/probation.. what are my thoughts? They're in the right place. My prayers are w/ them & I hope this program works for them. I pass my experience, strength & hope. What was a little alarming was, to be called in to work & there--a member of 15 years... picked up for drunk driving???
My heart just sunk. This case was a little different. Do I think anything less of him? Absolutely not. Do I go out & blab to the group, "guess who I saw in jail?" Also, absolutely not. Lucky for him, it was me on shift...in the sense that here was someone who understands. Not supposed to talk to the inmates, this time, I opened the slot & was willing to listen. He poured out his heart. I asked him if he wanted the BB, he did. He'd been struggling/drinking for a number of months...I had no idea..even saw him at meetings, none the wiser. One of the things he said to me was: I'll bet you sure think I'm low & disgusting. I said, no, I think you're an alcoholic...what do you think? This guy had 17 years, so I sensed a certainty that I could speak a little more bluntly than if he'd never been inside an AA room in his life. He took a deep breath & said, I can't believe I forgot that. He said his name, & said he was an alcoholic. I told him my name, & that I was an alcoholic. I told him not to worry about where he was...God put him in a safe place for the night, admittedly, it's not the Royal Hilton, but for that night, he was safe. Instead of reading, he wanted to sleep. Of course, the next morning, he was released...he asked the officer if he'd be allowed to have a smoke while he waited for his wife to come pick him up. Officer said there were no cigarettes in his affects...that was okay...I would give him one if he (the officer) didn't mind, cuz it'd be the officer who took him outside for a smoke. Officer had no problems. Thing of it is...every once in a while today...that member never forgot the compassion. I never once said anything to anyone in the program, for that's not my place to do so--but he has. He's been back in the program for 2 years now, on different footing than before.
I guess...I don't know what I'm tryin' to say??? There are times when we walk into these rooms--& we're gonna see someone who...??? Well....it's gonna be a little "odd"...but we treat them the same as anyone else in these rooms. We're all in these rooms for the same reason. We're alcoholics...how we get here--those paths are both varied, yet the same. The first time I walked into a room & saw someone who I'd drank w/ was...well..odd, but it a good sort-a way
As a prison guard (which is what I'm schoolin' for, too), how much better are we going to be able to relate to the inmate who's in there for substance abuse. We can honestly tell him/her we've been there, & the honesty will touch them in a way that maybe
it'll bring that person to the rooms after prison. It's a great forum to do 12 Step work...that's the "front-line". I've been able to say to individuals: I know you feel that this is the end of the line--being in jail, but consider this...what if it's the end of an old life, & the beginning of a new one? Consider this a time out to re-think how your life is going...is this
what you wanted when you were 8-10 years old? I've seen the "light come on" in some--not all. The one guy left for prison almost a tad "too eager" to go. I'd told him that "we" can help ya, but ya gotta want it. When the transport came, he's askin' the guy if there's AA. Tellin' the cop, I know what got me here, I'm not gonna do this again. Some leave w/ that mind-set...then come right back again some time later. If we can help one
person find their way, cool! But each one keeps me sober, cuz we gotta give it away to keep it.
Why am I not currently working for the local police service? Cuz I screwed up & slipped. Yes sir, gang...I gotta be the only person I know of who's tryin' to get back IN to jail.
Good luck, & let me know how it's goin' for ya.