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Sober Living. Part One. 2018.

Updated: Feb 12, 2023

The Arches

Daddy and I left Blue Ridge, GA. My mama came into town to get the kids for a few days. My daddy drove toward Auburn, GA to Charlene’s house where they were at. As we pulled in the driveway, I was filled with anxiety and excitement. They were in the yard as I ran up to them and gave them all the biggest hug! Huge crocodile tears running down my face, as I held them. I did not want to let them go. I was happy my mama was getting them. At least for a few days, their little minds would be re-directed and have fun at their Nana’s house. The confusion on their faces to why I was not going to be around every day and why I had been away depressed me. I felt like I had failed Bentley, Everett, and Cooper. I devoted myself to my children and tried to be the best mother I could be. Obviously, while under the influence; I was not. But when you have to face the pain and sadness head on sober, it was dissipating. Cooper was a little bit distant towards me than the other two. He was a mommy’s boy. They were all hurting. They all expressed it in a different manner; trying to cope with the new change of life. I kept myself together as best as I could. Before, leaving Charlene’s house, I got the rest of my belongings she had. As I picked up the trash bags they were in, countless bottles of vodka that I hid were stuffed down in my clothes. It was sickening. After helping my daddy load his truck, we went to Zasby’s to eat lunch. Afterwards, I had to be on my way to Roswell, GA. The sober living administrator was meeting us at the apartment and I had to stop by Walmart to gather what I needed. Although, I never voiced it, it was incredibility hard to face the fuck up I had become. It was hard to accept my life had come to this. At the age of 29, my daddy was buying my groceries and toiletries to drop me off at a sober-living. My self-esteem was very low. I needed an escape. I needed Jack.

As we pulled into the apartment complex, I did not know what to expect. It was a new city, new people, new program, new temporary home, and new network of meetings. I wanted so badly to get my feet grounded so I could take care of myself and my children. I called Erin (women’s director) to let her know I was there. Erin greeted my Daddy and I with a friendly smile. She showed the apartment to me, talked about the rules, and I signed the Arches agreement. We began unloading all of my belongings and groceries. I had a lot. My daddy bought enough groceries to last me a month. He said, “This will last you until you get a job. Getting a job, Jill, is top priority.” In my daddy’s eyes if I had a job, and could support myself it would solve all my problems. He had no idea the treatment I needed to get well. During this time, I had no vehicle. Transporation was a major concern of mine. I did not want to ride a bus. To this day, I have never taken a bus as means for transportation. Erin said,” I could ride the bus. A lot of girls use it to go to work or they car pool and use Uber. If you want to pay extra money, we can provide transportation.” Erin assured us that I would get to where I needed to go for my meetings, and my outpatient program that I was setup to attend three days a week. My daddy gave me one-hundred dollars and said, “use it wisely.” I gave him a hug and thanked him for everything. I can still see the disappointment on his face. I don’t know if that image will ever go away in my head.

I had a room to myself for the time being, and I was super grateful. I wanted privacy. I had been sharing my personal space for thirty days. I had never lived in such close proximity to other girls in my life. Not even in college, did I have to share dorm room space. I had my own apartment and when I had roommates’, they had their own room! All of the new changes were overwhelming. I had been a stay-at-home mother taking care of my own home to sleeping on a twin bed sharing an apartment with variant ladies. All I kept thinking was...this too shall pass. My roommates were not at home yet. I unpacked all of my clothes. I secretly could not wait to call Jack. We were finally in the free world together. It felt dangerous.

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