Happy New Year! I’m Going to Jail.
On September 2, 2016 I was just over eight months sober. I had been going to meetings and “working” a program but not diligently or with a sponsor, and my meeting attendance had dwindled. That day someone very important in my life told me they thought I was still drinking.
The alcoholic still inside me was furious and full of resentment and decided “they think I’m drinking? Well, I might as well drink then!” And I did. I went inside and downed about a third of a large bottle of tequila (my roommates had mistakenly shown me where they kept their booze) and started making plans with someone I knew to go out to a bar. I wasr blackout drunk by the time they arrived to pick me up. I have zero memories of the night. The next coherent memory I have is waking up in jail, in extreme pain; multiple large cuts, 2 broken ribs, 2 black eyes, and hungover. I had no idea what happened. I asked the sheriff and he said I had been arrested for assault. I later learned that while at the bar I’d been cut off, not happy about that I decided to go behind the bar and get my own drink. The bartender was not happy about that. Somehow we ended up outside in a brawl, 3-4 people against me. I put up a fight, damaged property and God knows what else.
Everyone left, including the “friend” that I came with. I was later found by the sheriffs bloody, bruised and combative. While the sheriff tried to help me in the squad car to go to detox I spit in his face; felony assault against an officer. So instead of detox, I was taken straight to jail. For the next 33 days, I sat in county jail waiting for court. Somehow, somewhere in that month, I found my peace and serenity along with a stronger, deeper relationship with my higher power.
At the time of the incident, I was on probation in another county so the new charge and consumption of alcohol violated that probation. On December 15, 2017, I had my final probation violation court date and have been sentenced to serve 30 days (20 with good time) in jail. I have to report tomorrow evening 1/2/17 by 7 PM. Jail sucks. Sure. However it could be worse; the state prosecutor and judge initially wanted 90 days but after reviewing my progress notes from outpatient treatment, a voluntary anger management course, weekly therapy, my psychiatrist, and a letter from my sponsor the judge decided to stay 60 days and by the grace of God dropped it to 30.
I’m not scared of jail; of the jails in the area the one I’ll be visiting is by far the best.
(They even have real windows, coffee in the mornings, a library and gym with access everyday, 12 step meetings, church, limited lock down times and the guards aren’t total a-holes.) I have plans for my time there; I’ll have a big book and a Bible. I’m debating writing a book so I’ll be journaling and writing a lot. I’ll have my depression meds, and a couple people have said they’d visit me. But I still have my serenity. I KNOW when I’ll be released, I don’t have to visit any courtrooms. Frankly, where I’m at in life circumstances right now, 20 days away from what’s going on out here will feel like a relief. Is it sad that this will be almost like a vacation for me? Time to really focus on me, my inner work, planning what to do with my future… and get to read a few books, sleep whenever I want to, and really recharge for the new year.
This is my last hoop to jump through; no more court dates or warrants to worry about. Like my therapist told me, when I leave there I get to start over; I no longer have to carry the “old Kari” crap with me. I get to build a new life. And yet somehow, some part of me is terrified. Why? I’ve been holding myself back knowing that something was going to come. I haven’t fully lived the last 16 months because I was living in fear of this outcome. I fear the unknown: I’ve never had the chance to really start over. And now I’m looking at it, 35 years old and I don’t even know where to begin! (That topic is in my list of journaling topics.)
I relapsed because I allowed someone to get into my head and judge my program and that one night changed the course of my life for years to come.
I lost my career in the medical field, I didn’t see my daughter for over a year, I’m now a “violent” felon so stable housing and a job are difficult to procure, and I hurt and lost a lot of people in the wake of my addiction. Just over two months ago I learned that my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. Sadly, that tragic information is what opened the door to our relationship again. We’re talking now and slowly rebuilding what I broke but there’s still a very long road to walk. But I am walking it one day at a time.
Tomorrow, on 1/3/18, I will have 16 grateful months sober by the grace of God. I’ve diligently worked my steps with a sponsor, found meetings that I love (2-4x a week), learned the true meaning of fellowship in the sober community while meeting countless new friends and have even picked up a new hobby — the ukulele. I have learned how to accept responsibility, how to live a healthy, HAPPY sober life and to trust the process and not let other people taking my inventory get under my skin. (As much. ?)
While I feel compelled to say “Happy New Year!” I feel like my new year’s “celebration” will come on the date of my release.
If you made it this far, HAPPY NEW YEAR!!
This post was submitted by Kari Peterson.
A Sober Mommies Contributor is most often a non-professional – in and out of recovery – with reality-based experience to share about motherhood & active addiction, the multiple pathways to recovery, or a family member’s perspective.