I was floundering. Sober a few weeks, spending every day at the North Shores Alano Club in Pacific Beach, San Diego, but feeling frantic all the time, like body and soul were on the verge of blowing apart into a zillion pieces. I thought when I stopped drinking my life would get better. But it felt like when I gave up alcohol, I lost my mind and my ability to handle my life which was already reduced to doing odd job work and avoiding looking at my mail, most of which was late notices and collection letters.
Then a Higher Power (that I didn’t believe in) stepped in. A 20-something woman (who later became my roommate and one of my best friends) shared at a meeting that she was living in a recovery home. “What’s a recovery home?” I asked my new sponsor. “Great idea!” said she to my extreme dismay. And, for the first time in my life I turned my will over to whatever Higher Power appeared to be working for everyone else in AA. I just knew that my way wasn’t working. So I interviewed and got on the waiting list at three women’s recovery homes in the San Diego area, Crossroads, Serenity House, and Turning Point. I vowed to go wherever a bed opened first. When I interviewed at The Turning Point, I was told that I should go to the “7-Day Treatment Program” at Volunteers of America, connected to Detox in the skid row area of San Diego (now it’s a 10-day program). “Who me?!?” “I’m an educated, successful (well I had been at one time) woman; I don’t belong down there with those kind of people!” “You mean alcoholics?” “Oh…Yeah.”
So, away I went. The day before I was to exit the 7-day program. The Turning Point called with a bed available as soon as I was released; my new life at The Turning Point began. I remember my first few days at Turning Point feeling safe for the first time in eons. I was about 3 weeks sober by then and still physically detoxing. (I’d had what a doctor called early onset-DT’s, meaning no seizures but severe shaking and alcoholic hallucination nightmares.) I felt like I was in the process of exploding. I felt mentally, physically and emotionally broken. I had horrible pain in my bones. I was actually relieved to have someone tell me what time to get up, what chores to do, what meetings to attend, what time to go to bed. I couldn’t do much else, but I could follow those simple instructions. I’d shared a house with roommates for a number of years before, so living in a group home (20 women, YIKE!” was not that hard for me. It felt more like a huge family. I cried a lot my first six months at Turning Point. And over time, my heart and mind and soul began to heal. The wonderful women at Turning Point literally loved me back to health. And I will never, ever be able to say thank you enough. Today I’m still actively involved with The Turning Point helping with fundraisers and other activities. It’s part of how I give back some small part of what I was so freely given. God bless The Turning Point for saving me and so many other lucky women.