A family crisis had set my head spinning. And what was that ringing in my ears? I found the answer at Al-Anon. Recovery isn't always pretty. It's more a maze than a path. I invite you to join me on my search for serenity.
Saturday, February 20, 2010
Hard to Believe...
... but here it is... my prison ID.
I had begun to despair I would not ever see it. On the way to our land, my husband and I stopped by the prison for an appointment with the chaplain to take care of the photo, which was the only thing I had left to do.
I sat in the waiting room for an hour with my husband and my dog waiting in the truck. The chaplain never showed. Those of you who have been following this saga will know that this was my third trip to the prison, which is 50 miles from my home, to try to get fingerprinted and photographed. Every time something malfunctioned.
I left my number and the prison chaplain called me back with his apologies. I told him we could stop in again on our way home on Saturday. He said he'd be there. I called as we were leaving our property and again when we were nearly there to be sure he would be there. He met me at the door, and had even been back to check the equipment to make sure it was working.
I told him I was starting to think God didn't want me to do this. I said that in my experience, when I was doing what I was supposed to be doing, things went smoothly. When things seemed harder than they should, I could usually figure I was on the wrong path.
He said, "Maybe someone else (meaning the devil, I supposed) didn't want you to be here because you'd be doing some good." He said that whenever he was doing what God wanted him to, there were always obstacles.
I said I hadn't considered that possibility.
The photos are taken in the prisoner intake area. He joked that I had probably been there more than any of the inmates. I said God willing it would be the last time.
He took my photo, which wasn't bad for a mug shot, I thought. I told him he did better than some professionals I could think of. And that was it.
Everything worked. The camera, the printer. In a few minutes, my ID card popped out and I felt elated, way beyond what seemed appropriate.
The only thing remaining is my background check, but he saw nothing in my background that would disqualify me.
There were some volunteers that would not make it because they had sold drugs in the '80s. That was too bad, he said, because they were people he'd really like to have there.
So my first meeting is on March 8. I won't be working with Barbara and Barbara after all, but with Cyndi B, who is the Al-Anon prison volunteer coordinator.
We'll be holding meetings at a different minimum security facility. The meetings have been small, four to six girls and they are trying to grow the program there.
I'm looking forward to it.
The chaplain said I'd really enjoy it. He started working in the state prisons in 1982 and planned to be there for six months. He's still there, he said, because he loves it. He never knows what his day will hold.
Meanwhile, I'm happy to be home. And rested. I slept 10 hours the first night, and 11 the second. We took naps both days. I guess we were tired.
In Al-Anon, it's tradition to greet the newcomers by sharing a little of our story. Click on the link below to read my Al-Anon welcome to you. The Statement of Purpose describes my intentions for this blog.
I'm a journalist, wife, mother and, most recently, grandmother. I grew up in an alcoholic home and had heard people say that "alcoholism is a family disease," but never knew what that meant. I didn't believe I had been affected by other people's alcoholism. In Al-Anon, I learned differently. More importantly, I learned tools to deal with it.