Sobriety...Keep Your 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 every time I get behind the wheel? While I still don’t understand the “doing physical damage” aspect of road rage, I fully understand the “wanting to scream at the top of your lungs” aspect. I've had much practice.
I am a recovering alcoholic, have been for 3+ years now. I work many hours during the week, therefore (and I know this is not a good excuse) I usually only make it to the Saturday morning AA 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 about a half hour to get there. But don’t ask my sister because she’ll tell you that it takes her 45 minutes to an hour to get here, coming from the opposite direction! Ya...sure it does!
I am lucky enough to have that same sister in recovery with me...she's got ten years on me. So on those rare, infuriating, days, she is the lucky person who gets to sit on the phone and listen to my rant. Unless, of course, it’s about her….then it’s Mom who gets blessed with those seemingly endless phone calls .
So, for the most part, I usually drive over her way on Saturdays because I want to, not because I need to. There are meetings closer to home, but that is my home group, the place where I got sober, which quite literally feels like "Home" to me.
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 my heart happy and makes me smile. That is…until life/reality kicks in! I should’ve known the trip was going to turn into an fiasco the minute I pulled out of my driveway. For some unknown reason (I’m thinking my Higher Power made me do it) 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 in the 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 from that Post Office than it would have from the other 3 that were right on my way. There was nobody on the road when I first set out.
Now I'm ready for my journey. 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 because 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 (just about where I pass my driveway which I had taken the right out of), 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 happens to be on this long windy part of the 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 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. Yeeha...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, NOT, it's a coffee establishment??) 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 house, 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 a “Wow does my higher power have a twisted sense of humor or what?” trip.
Needless to say…I needed that meeting! And I still can’t for the life of me, even after 3+ years, manage to focus on 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????”
Update: I've been sober over twelve years now. As it says in my mini-bio, I have been through hell and back during those many years. But I eventually learned to focus more on that Serenity Prayer, lean on my higher power a bit more, and ask for help when I need it. Otherwise I wouldn't be writing this little update. Let God and Let Go!