This is a historical representation of a pond near where I grew up. Earlier times would find me ice skating on this and other ponds (and I shudder to consider the danger of that – I would never let my kids do something like that!). However on the night of the story I’m relaying, after I had drunkenly tried to drive home in a snow storm, stopped to call my sponsor (not Elli), and gone back to my car and passed out, someone from the program found me and took my to my sponsor’s home. She rented part of one of the houses represented here, and it bordered this pond.
It was a major, local character of the program who found me. Let’s call the sponsor I had at that time, who was not the same as my two previous sponsors I had had during my period of sobriety – let’s call this new one Marva. Marva was only five months ahead of my in sobriety. She was an ex model, and a nurse (so she said and we believed), and not the best sponsor material. But to be fair, I was not an easy, nice or ideal sponsee. For one thing, I kept drinking.
Marva lived with a guy, we’ll call him Ross. He was heir to a fortune, but he had been disowned by his family when the mother of his baby girl died from a heroine overdose that Ross had administered to her. He was clean and sober in AA as was Marva. He started a business, I forget if or where Marva worked, and they rented this house on the pond.
The local character (and isn’t AA full of them?) we’ll call Filippo. He was a Vietnam vet, and looking back, I don’t know if it was Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, or schizophrenia, or a combination of those, but he was nuts. He talked of UFOs at times, or miracles, or being influenced by astrology, but nothing dangerous. He trolled local bars for AA prospects, just like in the olden days, and he bought people who would listen to him drinks. He worked for Ross at the time all this took place.
Filippo took the company van and found me passed out in my snowy car in the alley between the gas station and a dry cleaners. I honestly think this is one of the times that I likely could have died from drinking, and that only luck saw me through. I could have crashed my car and taken others with me that day. Or I could have frozen to death there in that snow covered car. It happens.
But he found me and roused me and I have brief memories of being way high up in that van, driving through the snow to Marva’s house on the pond.
The rest of that night comes in flashes of memory. Among the things I remember is that many of the good folks of AA assembled there to babysit me. I can individually remember at least five other people, and there may have been more. I remember grabbing one of them to accompany me to the bathroom, figuring they wouldn’t let me go on my own. I remember one of the guys going through my purse, finding my lotion bottle full of alcohol, and remarking that this was an ingenious idea!
I looked for a picture of the pond because I also remember sitting there. At times, when I thought no one was paying any attention to me, I made dashes for the pond. There were sliding glass doors in the room where I was, and the pond beyond them. I was trying to kill myself by drowning myself in the pond. It was the only way I could think of to do it right then. Right then, living longer did not seem like something I could handle.