“The Family” was a long term facility and most graduates stayed two years to complete the program. I could not swallow such a big, bitter pill so I focused on the first three months. Each day trudged along and I was depressed but playing along to just crawl through my 90 day blackout period. About a month into my stay two counselors came up from the adolescent rehab that I had attended the prior fall. They were checking out the halfway house to see if they should refer some of their residents that needed a boost after rehab.
I look back on it now and it’s like the clouds parted and trumpets blared but I tried to stay neutral. They recognized me when they came in and somehow Tony agreed to let me visit with them instead of sending me off to do some filthy chore. Guess I had a believable game face, they must have thought that I would give the place rave reviews. I didn’t.
I played it cool at first. Trying to convey a message with my eyes which was in absolute conflict with the words coming out of my mouth. A few minutes in they asked me how I was doing and a dam broke. I tried to keep it together but I couldn’t. I swatted the tears away and in a whisper, behind gritted teeth I told them not to send anyone to this place. I hugged them when they left and tried to get my game face back on. I was confronted immediately with angry words and an accusatory tone.
I didn’t fight it, I admitted it…..I hated the place. I told them that I didn’t think that this setting was appropriate for me and I wanted to leave. They told me they didn’t want to be bothered calling the authorities could I wait until tomorrow. OK, I guess. The rest of the day and evening carried on without much fanfare. That night I had sheep watch at 2am and when I came back from that Sandy was awake and asked me if I wanted to leave. Hell yes.
Within 10 minutes we were out the door headed toward Monticello, NY Sandy’s home town. Keep in mind it was February in upstate New York so it is cold, negative temperature cold. We were dressed pretty good for the weather although I managed to lose a glove at some point. The first couple of hours we hid from the few cars that we saw but mostly we sang. I don’t remember what we sang I just remember the feeling of joy from being out of that damn place……it kept me warm on a cold winter’s night.
We walked all night and into the next day when we finally got to a more active road then we went thumbs up. It is just under 50 miles to get to Monticello from Long Eddy and we probably walked half that distance. Mid morning we were able to hitch a ride with a guy in a truck. He seemed friendly but we were a little on edge. Hitch hiking sober was a lot more intense than doing it high. I calmed down soon enough.
Maybe ten minutes into the ride a car drove past us and the guy that was driving us gave a friendly toot toot of his horn. I noticed that the car that passed us had an AA slogan bumper sticker “This too shall pass.” I asked if our new friend was in AA and he was…..the relief that washed over me was overwhelming. Sandy and I both started to tell him about the crazy place we just left and that we were sober. We explained that we just couldn’t take it there and he agreed to drive us the entire way to Monticello. He even offered to take us back to “The Family” to collect our belongings if we wanted to…..wow. That was a real God moment for me. Just one of those times when I felt a divine intervention. I didn’t have a plan once we got to Monticello but I sure as f*ck wasn’t going back to “The Family”.
To be continued…………https://wasthatmyoutloudvoice.com/2015/05/08/1-out-of-37-part-7/