Part two of an alcoholic’s story
|The weeks dragged by in rehab. Jane’s son Brad came to say goodbye.
Knowing he was visiting, she’d attempted to make herself appear normal, but inside she felt as far removed from that state as possible.
“When do you fly out?” Jane asked.
“Tomorrow morning, Ma, I have to be at the airport at seven. Dad’s taking me”
“I’m so proud of you Brad, joining the military is something you’ve always wanted. I’m just so sorry I’ve let you down.”
Her son made no reply, the fact was, his mother had let him down, and at a time he’d needed her the most. Throughout his adolescence, she’d been drunk much of the time. Often leaving him waiting in vain for her to collect him from sport. Sometimes she would even be too drunk before school, which meant no breakfasts or packed lunches. He’d never felt comfortable about inviting friends home, not knowing what state she would be in.
“I’m excited about tomorrow,” he said, changing the subject, “I hope I don’t regret joining the army.”
“You’ll be amazing Brad. I’m determined to get well enough to see you graduate. I’ll be there don’t worry, I promise.” Jane gripped her son’s hand, but she could see in his eyes he didn’t believe her promises any longer.
Her sponsor, Matthew, had taken her out of rehab a few times to see the therapy horses at Maggie’s farm. The peace she felt whilst she was in the company of the great beasts never failed to amaze her. Even cleaning out the stables made her feel calm.
“I think this time I can do it. I can getter better,” she told Mat. “I need my family to trust me again.”
“Have you spoken to your husband?”
“Sam says he still loves me, and wants me to get well, but he’s not promising anything. I don’t think he wants me back, I’ve hurt him too much,” Jane gave a sudden cry of frustration. “I just need another chance.”
“It’s a long journey Jane, one step at a time, be patient,” Matthew reached over and touched her hand.
Turning in her seat to look at him she pleaded with him. “Mat, please call my family, tell them I mean it this time. I need them to believe in me. Brad left last week to join the army, I could tell he didn’t trust me when I promised to never drink again. Can you speak to him please, tell him I’m doing well?”
Matthew glanced at her, whilst trying to keep his eyes on the freeway traffic, “No, Jane, words are no longer enough, it will take time for them to trust you.”
Matthew decided he would call Jane’s husband Sam after all. He wasn’t about to make excuses for Jane’s alcoholism, but felt the need to speak to him, let him know how Jane’s recovery was progressing.
“Hi Sam, Matthew here, how’s things?”
“Great mate, we’re all doing well, in fact it’s like a holiday without Jane and her antics,” Sam retorted.
“I know, you’re probably sick of dealing with her. She told me she thinks it’s all over between you guys?”
“Mate, I’m more than over her, God knows why she started her drinking. She blames me I suppose, but we’re like a turtle dove and a crow, they’re both birds but different species, we’ll never be happy together.”
“She’s not blaming anyone Sam, just herself. She’s trying, that’s all I wanted you to know,” Matthew said.
“Rehab is expensive Matthew, I promised her I’d still foot the bill. I want her to get better but I’m not prepared to have her back,” Sam told him before ending the call.
“Graham, would you like to begin today?” A man in his fifties nodded, and began to tell a typically sad tale of the mistakes he’d made in his life, all caused by his drinking.
If I have to listen to one more sob story I’ll go crazy, Jane thought, looking around at the rest of the group's sad faces.
She could see the pattern in all the stories she’d been forced to listen to day after day. No one taking any personal responsibility for their plight, blaming it all on the evils of alcohol or some other drug of choice.
“Just stop!” Jane stood up, twelve faces turned to see who’d disturbed the group.
“It’s time we all started to blame ourselves!” We’re weak, pathetic characters, all of us!”
“Jane, sit down, please, you’re upsetting the others,” the group leader said in her quiet voice.
Jane abruptly left the room, angry with herself, the rest of the group, and with life.