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Sober Living. Part Six. 2018.

Updated: Jan 27, 2023

I religiously attended my 6:15 AA meeting. It was quite a surprise that I had come to enjoy my meetings and working with my sponsor. Every morning I saw the same faces, occasionally new ones. I loved the earlier meetings because it was an older crowd with years of experience and sobriety. The crowd was serious about their recovery and genuinely nice people. During this period of my life, I invested in my recovery. I worked the 12 steps. I was eager to get my life back on track. I started to listen, but I was not ready to take suggestions.

Eric and I were good at 'sweeping things under the rug.' We kept things as normal as possible. If I was not working, or attending meetings, I was with them. I was hunger for my old normalcy. It is said," You have to make a new life. You cannot go back to the same people, places, and things." Although, I had wanted to create a new life without Eric; I thought I could fix the old one. I loved Eric. Even through all the pain I had endured...I was crazy about him. I did not want my children to endure any more confusion. They were happiest having Eric and I together. I did not want my children to come from a broken home. We both knew what it was like. In the past, I felt like I did not have a choice. It was sink or swim. Run and hide. Live or die. This time would be different. I was sober. Back to myself and Eric was staying sober as far as I could tell. We would have our white picket fence. I just knew it.


One day in July, I had court for violating the restraining order. I violated it three times. Eric met me at the courthouse. He had already called the clerk's office asking if the charge could be dismissed. The state of Georgia had taken over the case. The judge would make the decision.

I was nervous and pissed at Eric as we both walked in the courthouse. I was furious that he had stooped to this level, but happy he stuck by my side, sort of. I had relapsed with him. He originally bought the vodka and shared his prescribed pain pills. I was dysfunctional and he was not. He knew when to stop and I did not.

I met my court appointed attorney outside the court room. She was a middle-aged black lady. Very down-to-earth and wanted to help me resolve the case.

"Ms. Mims." (Gwinnett county court has always referred to me by my maiden' name; for reasons I am still unsure of.)

"Yes Ma'am."

"Can I speak to you in private?"

"Of course. Eric, you can go sit in the courtroom and wait for me."

"Okay, Jillian."

"Sorry, I go by Hope. My middle name."

"Hope, I want to get the facts. Your husband, who is with you today, is the one who took out the restraining order

and called the police on the documents."

"Yes. It is a long story. We had a fallen out. I relapsed. I went to a treatment center in Florida. I left early. I came home. Him and the kids were not at the house. The very next morning he had officers come to arrest me. I kept going back to the house. He called every time I did."

"Wow. Okay. I am going to talk to the district attorney. Given the circumstances, I think I can get a pretrial diversion. "

"What exactly is that?"

"A supervised probation. Basically, you will report monthly, take drug screens, and pay your fines. It is an alternative for a trial. In this case, you are guilty for breaking FVO. Best scenario, if you complete the qualifications without any hiccups, I will ask if it can be removed from your legal record. Do you think you can handle that? You have to remain sober."

"Thank you so much. That will be awesome. I do not want this on my record. It should have never happened."

Eric and I walked out of the courtroom relieved. I knew I needed to let the past go. It was so hard not to re-live the trauma when I was still dealing with the consequences.


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