I posted on FB back in June about helping a drunk women outside a meeting I attended. This is the post:
Tonight, I helped a drunk homeless woman get to the ER and off the cold street. She was outside a meeting; body shaking, tears rolling down her face, her belongings stuffed in a bag, completely alone, with no where to go. Wow, brings back terrible memories. I am grateful tonight, as a climb into my warm bed, so very grateful. But for the grace God go I...Sober and Grateful, Kw
The post on FB received great attention and many people commented and emailed me about the post and the extraordinary lengths I went to help her.
Over whelmed by the response I posted again.
You all give me way to much credit. I am not a saint, I am not even nice. Really I've been called many things over the years, intense, loyal, passionate, fierce, dark, wounded, but never nice. I could no more walk away from her last night, than my own children. She, as broken and lost as she was, is one of us. 'We alcoholics are like men who have lost their legs', we must stick together. I did what I did last night, because she is one of us, and by paying forward, I bought myself one more day of sobriety. Helping her helped me...that's way I helped, not because I am a saint but because I don't want to drink today and I never want to be in that place of complete despair ever again.
Sober and Shameless, but not nice, Kw
I have been thinking about the posts and the response that I continue to receive. I have been very humbled through the experience of the last year. I have been supported and encouraged to continue my work and my writing by thousands, most of whom I do not know, and most likely will never meet.
In my addiction, I was raped and beaten in a dark alley, in the late hours of the near freezing night. He left me, with my pants around my ankles, blood dripping from my face and a terrible ache between my legs, for dead. I remember laying there unable to move, frozen with fear and pain and an overwhelming feeling of deflation, as if he had torn a hole in my spirit and all hope or promise of a new day was leaking and evaporating in thin air. I felt invisible. How can no one see me? Why wont someone help me?
No one did. I pulled myself up from the ground, tired to put myself back together. I had no where to wash or clean myself, I stumbled back onto the the street and frantically looked for my next high. Oblivion, Sweet oblivion followed....
I have never forgotten that night, of course, not the rape. He, that, haunted me for years but what I remember most, what still sends chills down my spine, is that feeling of complete despair and hopelessness, of being completely alone. I am certain, that it was the loneliness and being invisible, that nearly drove me mad, not addiction, but the feeling that people were seeing right thorough me, as if I did not exist. I promised myself, that I would always see the lost hurting people, in the eyes of the drunk and addicted.
This is why I helped that women that night. She was drunk, completely, to the point that she could stand or sit. She actually fell off the bench and onto the ground. She could not speak. She mumbled. I had to look in her purse, to find an ID with her name on it. I found her DL with a beautiful picture of a healthy woman with clear eyes and brushed hair; a far cry from the woman who was in front of me. She was a shadow of the person she used to be. People from the meeting passed her, as if she was not there, she was sobbing, that drunk kind of sobbing, loud outside on the bench right in front of the meeting hall. 50 people walked right by her, in a hurry to get home or to the movie or to coffee or on a date or where ever they were rushing off to, as if she did not exist. She was invisable to them. My heart ached for her. I know that despair. I know how it feels to be bleeding, cracked wide open for all the world to see, with no one, willing or able to simply, acknowledge that you are alive.
Walking away from her, would have been walking away from myself.
Helping her, was making amends to myself and to the many addicts and alcoholics, I had to leave behind, when I got sober. Thank you for your undying support over the last year. Since Addicted aired, your support has changed me. I am stronger today. I take each of you with me into every intervention I have the privilege to facilitate.
You see me. You hear me. You support me. This has healed me more than you will ever know.
Again, I am no saint, please do not put me on a pedestal, I am just one, trying to make difference to the still suffering alcoholic. Each of you, have been a part of my healing and for this I am grateful.
Sober and Shameless, but not nice, Kw