- Mental Health»
Sobriety, Serenity and a Higher Power with a Warped Sense of Humor
Sometimes it's just easier to have a sense of humor!
I know that I’m not a person with an abundance of patience, but why is it that my patience has to be tested to the max every time I get behind the wheel? Although I don’t quite understand the whole “doing physical damage” aspect of road rage, I fully understand the “wanting to scream at the top of your lungs” part.
I am a recovering alcoholic, have been for 3+ years now. I work a lot of hours during the week, therefore (and I know this is not a good excuse) I usually only make it to the Saturday morning meetings which happen to be a few towns over. The meeting place is only 18.7 miles from my house, but I have to drive through 3 towns and multiple stop lights to get there. Therefore, it usually takes me 25-30 minutes to get there…but don’t ask my sister, she’ll tell you that it takes her 45 minutes to an hour to get here, coming from the opposite direction! Yup, sure it does!
I’m lucky enough to have that same sister in recovery with me, so on those rare (funny, aren't I?) bad days, she is the lucky person who gets to sit on the phone and listen to me rant….unless, of course, it’s about her….then it’s Mom who gets blessed with those seemingly endless phone calls (to her anyway).
So, for the most part, I usually drive over there on Saturdays because I want to, not because I need to (although anyone who is in the program knows that it’s always a good idea to get to a meeting if you can.)
My last trip over there started out great. It was a beautiful Saturday morning, the sun was shining and it was really warm out. I love warm, sunny days. There’s something about them that just makes me smile…that is…until life kicks in! I should’ve known the trip was going to turn into an ordeal the minute I pulled out of my driveway. For some unknown reason (I’m thinking my Higher Power) I turned right, out of my driveway, instead of left…which is the direction I should have been going.
Even though I drive right past 3 Post Offices on my way to the meeting, I felt compelled to drive a mile up the road (opposite direction) to drop off my “Netflix” movie at another Post Office. Why? Couldn’t tell you…guess I thought the movie might get back to them quicker (on a Saturday) from that Post Office than it would have from the other 3 that were right on my way. Don’t know if I mentioned this part yet, but there was nobody on the road when I first set out.
So I pull out onto the main road, behind a yellow car (with a license plate that says “UPALLNT”) and life is still good. I had an hour and a half to get over to my meeting. I even called my sister and took her order for Dunkin Donuts…I had plenty of time. The speed limit on that stretch of the road is 35 MPH; “UPALLNT” was only doing 30, not really a big deal.
Then the speed limit changes to 50 MPH (about where I pass my driveway), but “UPALLNT” apparently didn’t feel the need to speed up. This would’ve been ok if it was just a short stretch, but 6 miles of the trip over there is on this long windy road. So that wonderful disposition that I started out with is beginning to get ugly, and I find myself yelling out loud “SO, BECAUSE YOU WERE UP ALL NIGHT (it says so on your car) I GET TO DRIVE BEHIND YOU WHILE YOU NAP?”
UPALLNT finally took a left off of the main road, but not until after we puttered through the first town I had to tackle, at 15 MPH. Then I managed to hit every red light from that point on…patience (what very little I have) almost gone. I made it through the next town without having to scream again, but then came upon the next parade.
I live in New Hampshire; so again, I’m stuck on another long, windy, also very narrow road, behind a trail of cars, following a tow truck attempting to maneuver a tractor trailer. This was a very long, irritating ride, but I finally made it to the bypass…yeah, I get to drive 60 MPH. I only had about 20 minutes left now to get over to “Dunkin Donuts”, pick up my sister and make it to the meeting on time. I was cutting it close, but not a problem.
You know how there are some fast food chain stores that are very fast and very efficient? Well this wasn’t one of them! I went to the drive-thru and placed my order for 3 different kinds of coffee (so I can understand the confusion…especially when coffee is their specialty) and 1 donut. Got to the window and the woman had managed to get every piece of my order wrong, all the way down to the 1 (PLAIN) donut!
I finally made it to my sister’s…practically threw her husband’s coffee at him, told her that her coffee was still in the car…and LET’S GO! I drove, like a bat out of hell, across town and managed to get us to the meeting about 10 minutes late. What should have been a nice leisurely, peaceful ride to an AA Meeting turned into “wow does God have a twisted sense of humor” trip!
So needless to say…Boy did I need that meeting! And I still can’t for the life of me, even after 3+ years, manage to remember the “Serenity Prayer.” I always seem to need that swift kick in the butt (by my Higher Power), and my butt planted in that seat, to remember to say “God grant me the serenity….please????”