kali pornia

i want to be more like the ocean. no talking and all action.

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

miss amanda jones (not her real name)

i can't solve all of amanda's problems. shit i can't even comprehend most of them.

i'd like to just take her through the steps, like the rest of my sponsees, but i'm not sure that's possible given her state of mind.

i'm not a doctor. i'm not a banker. i'm not a relationship counselor. i'm just a drunk. a recovered drunk who has taken other drunks through the steps the way that i was taken through the steps by another drunk.

she needs a doctor. she needs relationship counseling. she has outside issues. and she needs to treat them with outside help.

my sponsor told me that if i treat my alcoholism that 99% of the rest of my problems would die from lack of attention. she didn't lie. it happened for me.

but i can't even begin to help her treat her alcoholism. i can't keep her attention for more than 30 seconds. she refuses to follow directions. but she wants to recover. she wants it so badly.

last night ended like all of our meetings. she was mad at me. she told me i was too hard on her. at some point she suggested i help her find another sponsor. i told her that if she wasn't willing to follow my suggestions, that she did need to find another sponsor. one whose suggestions she was willing to take. but that it was not my responsibility to find her another sponsor.

"you hate me"

"i don't hate you, sweetie."

"yes you do. you and christina hate me."

and she walks off with her wife-beating husband. he's sick too. an alcoholic with outside issues. he lives on the streets, she's in a glamorous "rehab" downtown, two blocks from skid row. the real skid row.

and then, this morning, the same thing that always happens.

she calls to check in. (the only direction that she's followed with any regularity.) she tells me she loves me.

she says she's scared because a detective is coming to talk with her today. probably about the charges she filed against her husband. who beats her. who she loves. who she was with last night, like all nights.

"if that's the way he's got to learn his lesson, that's what i'll do," she says without meaning a word of it.

i tell her to be honest. and that i'll say a prayer for her. she tells me she loves me.

every night when we part she's mad at me. mad at me for treating her like a child. she's 41 years old. she's taken care of herself for that long. who am i to tell her what to do.

every morning she calls to tell me she loves me. that she knows i'm trying to help. that she asked me for help. and that she's willing to follow directions.