Tents Moments, But I Saw the Sunrise

Written on June 4, 2008

Who woulda thunk?

On June 3rd at 1am, I was driving to New Brunswick, after being sick of Ontario, but realized that my feeling of isolation, rejection, and lack of support would not only exist there, but I wouldn't have any of the people who might be supportive around.

So one town's as good as another.

Embrun, Ontario? Never heard of it? Well it's a booming metropolis compared to where I turned off the 417 highway, at the (?)town(?) of Russell.

More correctly, I ended up at St. Albert's. Well actually the woods of St. Albert:

Yep, my plan was to sleep in the car. It's not that spending the night on Sally's sofa was so bad; it wasn't. But Sal's an AA newcomer, and even though she's been my friend for 3 years, and has had a pretty good chunk of sobriety at one time, I don't want to make her life even more stressed... I had to chuckle (inwardly) at her anxiety level -- I mean in general -- not just her anxiety due to me. I can see myself in that -- everything in early sobriety is a crisis.

Anyhoo, so when I arrived in St. Albert woods, I drove my car down this cowpath of a road... just one lane. And grass would have ripped off my muffler, if my muffler hadn't already been gone. I planned on sleeping in the car, but I swear, since I have my entire life's possessions in it, it has about as much room as an airline seat. (Meals were about the same too, but I DID get peanuts!)

But I figgered that my never-before-opened tent would work. So in the pitch dark, in the middle of nowhere, I started to put it together. I found it was similar to the tent that Donna and I used at last year's AA camping Roundup in Maniwaki; so I was familiar with it. I used my headlights eventually, and I had a sleeping bag (sorta), and blankies (along with everything else in the car).

In any case, it was bound to be more comfy than the cockpit of my portable house. I slept well. One weird thing... there are STARS in the sky!!! I'm sure more than I've even seen in Antigonish, NS at night. And it was nice to be away from the city and no idiot roommate next to me.

I think St. Albert is where they make all the cheese.

I saw lotsa farms anyway.

Today, June 4th.
Last night I went to my depression support group at 6:30pm, and it was mostly about one of the girls there wanting to do a role-playing. We all learned something. At the beginning of group, I stated my mood as "overwhelmed". At the end it was "calm", I think.

I was in good form during the group, making jokes, and adding to the world's knowledge base ;)

And Trina and I were exchanging notes; I wrote her that I liked her sweater, coz I did. One week she said something about how ending her relationship kinda cut into her esteem, but I'd say that she doesn't lack anything in the looks department. And she's very kind and always giving a supportive word to everyone.

One of the guys there came during break to say "You are very well-educated". Well I said thank-you, and did the actions that a normal person would do, but I'm not well-educated. Perhaps his chosen words weren't consistent with his thoughts; I dunno. I read a lot, and I get most of my BS from AA meetings. I never claimed it was mine... I'm sharing my experience, and stating stuff I learned from the members in AA.

I was there until almost 9p.m; I don't know what for; whether it was chatting with Trina, or borrowing a copy of "Grieving Mental Illness" or chatting with our two facilitators; probably all three.

From there I drove to an AA meeting in Orleans. I didn't expect Donna to be there coz she had said in the hospital that she's probably going to avoid AA meetings for now because of her possibly lowered immunity. One of the group said however that she's in good spirits, as he'd gone to visit her that same day at home.

FYI, Donna went in to a doctor on March 31st of this year for some quitting smoking patch thing, and the next day, after tests, she was found to have cancer. Initially I heard it was in the lungs and kidneys, but she's got it in the brain, and lymph too. The guy at the group said she's home for now, until she hasta go back for further treatment.... He said "chemo" but most people say chemo when they sometimes mean radiation. She had 5 treatments of radiation ending almost 2 weeks ago now... one each day.

But I digress. It was cool at the AA meeting to sit with a table of older newcomers. Most of the table was new to me. Apparently some of them have six or nine months of sobriety! So I spewed out my brilliant wisdom.

Afterward, I hopped on the 174 highway, and went to find the place to camp in Rockland that Janet told me about. I parked my car discretely by some big things which could hide it, then I looked around. I did find the path that she referred to, and I walked the entire thing in the dark. Then I went back to haul my tent and blankies over to almost the end of it. It had an obstructed view of the water, but was good enough to see the SUN RISE at 5:15 over the water!!! That was an unexpected bonus. I didn' t know it was that early either, because it sure seemed light out, and I'd been lollygagging in "bed" for quite awhile before getting out.

Camping there was OK; not quite as many stars as the middle of nowhere, but it did have its own charms. I got there I suppose at 10:30 and left at 5:45a.m. to write a note on Janet's windshield:

The Hotel Rockland Pres-du-Lac's room service informed me that they didn't have shower facilities, and they didn't even have room service! However the brochure didn't mention the awesome sunrise at 5:15. :)

Then, since I was lacking a shower, I came to my AA volunteer commitment and "showered" there in the sink. I felt much better. So my commitment is from 9am till 4pm, but I started closer to 7:30a.m. It's now 2:20pm.

I haven't heard from my new roommate, Ellen, considering that I parked my car by her house this morning at 715. I put some of my wet tent and sleeping bag on her back deck and I left her a note stating she can phone me at the office. My cell phone's battery needs charging, so it's not contactable, and my charger is somewhere in the car . who knows?