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The only lost soul you can save is your own

Friday, July 26, 2013

If you were looking for a happy cheerful Friday kind of blog, well, these aren't the words you're looking for. Move along.

Last night, my husband went fishing and I was working out in my garage. I had the garage door open because my machinery runs hot and the fumes can be pretty nasty. It was not a bad night here in Texas, especially for late July. I think it was 93 degrees, which is downright frosty here in Dallas this time of year. There was a cool breeze blowing, and I was in a good work groove, which was nice because I am way behind schedule in everything. Yep. It was a peaceful evening.

That's usually when the trouble starts.

This particular time, I heard someone call to me. I looked up from my work and saw this woman standing at the foot of my driveway saying she needed help. She wasn't wearing any shoes, and she was smoking a cigarette. Y'all, I'm sorry, but I've seen enough to know that when someone walks down your back alley claiming to need help, something's not right. I asked her what was wrong and she started coming up to the garage and babbling something about a car accident and somebody stole her credit cards and she didn't have a driver's licence. She seemed pretty shaky, so my first thought was that she had a head injury, but in the back of my mind that little voice that keeps me out of trouble was saying "something ain't right. Don't help her. Don't take her in the house."

She kept on babbling about this accident and kept trying to nudge her way in to my back door. Had it been a man, I would have grabbed my steel mallet and beaten him. No question. However, this was a 4'11" very confused woman who may have weighed 100 pounds soaking wet. So I managed to keep her at my garage door and I called 911. She was pretty agitated by this time and just really talking out of her head. The dispatcher told me to give the phone to her and the dispatcher talked to her for a little bit, and then I got the phone back. The dispatcher told me to try and keep her there until the police arrived. So I did.

She reeked of alcohol, and she was shaking and she kept clinging to me, and part of me wanted to sit her down and get her a glass of water and tell her the error of her ways, but the look in her eyes told me that she wouldn't hear me. I'm sure she's heard those words before, but she was so far gone, she couldn't listen to them and didn't want to. So I managed to keep her from wandering off, and eventually the police arrived. They gave her a lengthy field sobriety test which she couldn't even manage to take, let alone pass. They eventually arrested her and put her in handcuffs and took her away. One of the officers gave me a police report to fill out. There were police cars all over the neighborhood, because apparently she had hit two cars before her car stopped working, and that's when she wandered off down our back alley.

All this would have been pretty funny, this being on an unfilmed episode of "Cops", except that I felt bad for the woman. She was so deep in drink (and probably pills) that she wasn't herself anymore. I've been around high-functioning alcoholics and other addicts all my life, but I've never seen someone that far gone, and it made me really sad. I wished that there was something I could do for her, but you know what? The only person who could save her was herself.

I had these feelings of helplessness and guilt when I found out my sister was doing drugs and drinking her weight in whiskey before she even got into high school. I thought somehow it was my fault, that I was a bad big sister. The thing that helped me get past that was the realization that everyone makes a choice, and you can't make choices for other people. You can only make choices for yourself. I hope that woman makes a choice to live again some day, because I don't think what she's doing now is living, and I fear for her safety and everyone else's.

And that's really all I have to say about that.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    what a scary experience & yes everyone makes their choices & cant do anything to help unless they want it
    1521 days ago
    As a caring person it's very difficult to watch someone destroying their life - even when they're doing it slowly. You are so right in your realization that everyone makes their own choice, and you cannot make choices for other people. Often when we try we actually make it easier for that person to continue making unhealthy choices. Know that you did the caring thing by calling the police.
    1521 days ago
    Very thoughtful blog, and what a scary experience. It is true that there is nothing else you could have done. I had a drunk woman park in my driveway one time and pass out, I did feel sorry for her (she was probably in her 70s) but even sorrier when I realized WOW she was driving that drunk. I called the cops because I worried that she would drive away drunk and kill someone.
    1521 days ago
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