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My Saving Grace. Part Five.

I was extremely relieved when I checked my account and seen two-hundred dollars. I ordered Marlboro Reds, roll up paper, tobacco, ramen noodles, shampoo and conditioner. I knew I had to preserve what money I had. I was not eating very much so snacks were not on my agenda on my first store day. I paid back the couple of girls that 'had my back'. I gave them the ramen noodles, tobacco, and roll up paper. Now, I was the girl to befriend because I had "money" and the good cigarettes.

I called Maverick and told him thank you for the support. His response was, "Hey Jessie James (the nickname he had given me), how are you holding up?" I expressed my frustration and anger about the situation that I had placed myself in. Maverick was always very frank with me. He said, "Maybe this is what you need. It takes what it takes. You know the solution and you keep going back. I am happy you are alive, Hope. Next time you may not be so lucky." Maverick never sugarcoated what I needed to hear. He had been down a similar road and spoke from his own experience. Maverick and I carried a unique friendship. Even when I would ramble on, curse, and act like a rebel; he knew my heart and always saw through my own bullshit. He was one of the very few people besides family that had walked by my side through sobriety and active addiction.

After the Librium doses stopped, I felt myself slowly wanting to give-up. I would try to think of ways to take my own life. I felt like if I tried to hang myself or suffocate myself in a pillow, I would fail and spend the remaining time in the psych unit. Then, I thought, "well, I will starve myself to death." I had basically already had a jumpstart to it. It had been two weeks and I had dropped major weight. I was dehydrated, suicidal, and starving myself. I was staying to myself gracing other inmates with my presence only when I felt like smoking. I did not have much time outside my cell anyways. We remained in lockdown a majority of the day. The food was given at my door that I never ate. There I laid-helpless and hopeless until I received a roommate. My roommate's name was Amanda. She was tall, long auburn hair, high cheek bones, mid-forties with a gentler voice than mine. She was beautiful but also looked like she could slit your throat if you crossed her the wrong way. Luckily for me, she referred to me as her angel. Her and I talked a lot about God. As much as I was angry at God, I lifted her up by telling her of God's love and how he never leaves or forsakes us. She told me her story and for a brief moment in time- my story did not seem so bad. It made me thankful because someone always has it worse. I also was aware I had a drug hook-up for life if I wanted to go that route.

Finally, I had a visitor. My court appointed attorney had finally blessed me with his presence and I was not impressed. I was another inmate on the docket who he was going through the motions with. Nor did he seem pro-active. I asked him questions such as how he could orchestrate me having a bail set. He said he would work on it, but it was not looking good. The meeting was short and sweet. I left the meeting and knew if I had any kind of chance of release- I would have to get my own lawyer. I walked back to my cell and "word vomited" all of my concerns to Amanda. She listened, and reassured me, "Angel, God is going to work it all out." I cried as I curled up in fetal position for comfort and because I was freezing all of the time. My whole body ached.

A couple of days later, I was called for a skype meeting with my lawyer. I thought, "great." I was surprised when a woman appeared on the screen stating her name, Ms. Wise. She had taken over my case. The portal carried poor connection the entire thirty second conversation we had-enough only for introduction and the screen went black. I walked back to my cell not caring anymore. I had taken on the is what it is. It was out of my control. Two days later, Ms. Wise visited me. She was a short-Brunnett lady that looked like a real firecracker. Her voice was kind, and her demeanor was very welcoming.

She sat across from me with only glass separating us and said, "Jillian, how are you holding up in here? I am taking over your case. I looked you up on Facebook. What is going on? You are a beautiful girl with beautiful kids and your entire life ahead of you. You are smart, educated, and not like other cases I see all the time. I am going to tell you; it does not look good on paper. You have accumulated many charges in a very short amount of time, but I am going to help you. I already spoke to your mom, and she told me the history of you and your husband. He seems like a real winner. A real asshole. How long have you been married?" Seven years. I know. We are very toxic...I cannot believe he has turned his back on me like this. He was drinking with me. I do not care about anything but my kids. I want my babies.

Ms. Wise: First things first: Jillian you have to get help. I will help you work out the legal issues. Your mom said you were in rehab. If you are willing to go back to treatment I will speak to the judge about release. The district attorney is against your release. You currently have three DUI's pending amongst all the other charges. I believe in you, but you have to want to stay sober. Do you remember anything about your other arrests?

Me: I want to be sober. I do not want this life. This is not me. It is not who I am as a person. I will fight for my children. And I vaguely remember...I was very intoxicated.

Ms. Wise: I know. I have the police reports. You could have easily been dead or someone else. You are very lucky to be here, and I want to help you get sober so you can have the life you deserve.

She began reading the reports out loud. I wept. To hear the other side of the story from the officer's encounter was a wakeup call. From the bloodshot eyes, slurred speech to the very detailed scene arrests. I broke down. That was exactly what I needed to hear. It was my saving grace. You see, there is not a shadow of doubt, God did not orchestrate for Ms. Wise to come into my life. She not only was my lawyer, but she was also my cheerleader when I needed it most. When I felt like everyone had turned their back on me as a 'lost cause' and when I was envisioning my own death- she came as a beacon of hope. After the meeting, I felt like maybe I had another fight left in me.

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John Bucciarelli
John Bucciarelli
22 mai 2023

You’re awesome Hope. God loves you so much and He’s always got your back. We overcome by the Blood of the Lamb and the WORD of our testimony. You are doing well.

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Thank you, John!

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