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 Post subject: I have a story to tell.
PostPosted: Fri Jun 05, 2015 3:06 pm 
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I have a story to tell. For those of you who travel or have seen Planes, Trains, & Automobiles with John Candy, it may be an interesting story. But the story is not only about traveling. I thought it was only about traveling at first, but in retrospect I know it is also about my road back from addiction and what it's done to me. The reason I don't want to tell the story is because I do something nice and that seems very braggy to me. I grew up in Vermont. Vermonters don't brag. But Happyg1961 urged me to share the story and I want to keep my members happy. I wrote this out to my dad over several emails to, so that's how it reads:

Chapter 1

Last night I complained that my flight was pushed back to 12:48 am from O'Hare to Denver. I didn't get a chance to report that the flight got pushed back to 1:10 am, then cancelled. The only thing Spirit Airlines would do was either refund that segment of the flight or rebook people for Thursday at 9pm. No hotel vouchers, nothing. What became of me? Did I make it back to Denver?? Read the next installment of Days of Our Airlines... coming soon...

Chapter 2

Flight cancelled. Entire airport closed up for the night. There are some things I like about O'Hare, but hanging out at 2am is not one of them. And I had an extra person to think about! I met 78 year old Alice on the flight from PA to O'Hare. Delightful woman traveling to CO to see her son! A pleasure to converse with. I have told Alice that I won't leave her behind. Wherever I go, whatever I do to get home, I will make sure she is right by my side. But getting two people to Denver is a little more complicated than just myself. An entire line full of people is trying to rebook to Denver. Alice has some trouble seeing and has lost most of the use of her right arm. We definitely did not make it to the ticket counter first. There was a long line ahead of us...

Chapter 3

While speaking to the rude, stony-faced, manager of Spirit, who was not authorized to be helpful in any way, Alice was urging me to check Southwest for options. Oh yay! There is a Southwest flight at 5:45 am with 2 last seats available! I knew we were running out of time so I booked Alice and I in the last two seats available on that flight. Do any of you fly Southwest through O'hare? No, of course you don't! Because Southwest doesn't fly from O'hare!! Miguel, the only helpful gate agent told us that the cheapest way to get to Midway Airport, from which our SW flight would originate, was by their train system. Can we do it, Alice? Yes we can! So Alice and I made it to the train station at O'hare. Her bag, was much heavier than mine, so we switched bags during the long walk there. Of the few helpful people Alice and I ran into on our adventure, I would like to give a nod to the night shift workers at the train station! Without their knowledge, we would not have known that the Orange Line, a crucial component of our trip, stopped running trains at 2:30 am. It was 2:24 am. How would we make it to Midway Airport now in time for our 5:45 am flight?

Chapter 4

Well, we had to rely on an insanely expensive taxi ride, of course! I was just grateful to get Alice and me off our feet! That half hour ride to Midway Airport felt like luxury at that point. We got in line around 3:30 am and the Southwest ticket counter opened up around 4 am. When we got to the front of the line and I expressed negativity about our Spirit Air, the nice lady behind the counter lectured me on how the Houston flooding made all the condescension, endless delays, and Spirit's inability to cancel our flight until 1:30 am after telling us our plane and flight crew were already on their way for hours, not Spirit's fault. I wasn't about to jeopardize mine and Alice's ability to make it to CO by losing it!! But that was a nice layer of icing on the cake. Alice was beginning to make less sense when she spoke, which wasn't often, but we got through security, found our gate and gratefully sat down. Since I had bought the last two tickets on the flight, I knew the flight would be full. We had positions C 3 and C 4, which meant that we were headed to the back of the plane. Well, I'm sorry! I know it was ridiculous to pay $40 per ticket to put Alice and me at A1 and A2, but what the heck! Other than a couple of pre-boards, Alice was the first person down the jetway and we sat in the second row. I was a little worried about her as she obviously had very little oomph left. Up next, the conclusion of the worst traveling experience I've ever had and the best friend I've ever made while traveling.

Chapter 5 (Conclusion)

As soon as Alice and I were settled in the second row, she fell sound asleep! She didn't wake up until we hit the tarmac at Denver International Airport, but she was back to her perky self after her nap. She was trying to get in touch with her son to make sure he knew how the plans had worked out. Alice's daughter-in-law was waiting at the top of the escalator at the terminal. Success! Alice and I swapped cell numbers and we went our separate way.
smile emoticon
Made it home around 9am this morning. I was glad to be in Pittsburgh last weekend to celebrate with my cousin and her (relatively) new husband, but if I had to do it over again, I think I may have skipped this trip. I will NEVER fly Spirit Air again! End of story!

P.S. To my suboxforum members: I realized at some point the next day that I had spent that 15 hours of traveling advocating for myself and a bunch of other people, keeping the rest of the boarding area laughing with my one liners about our situation, mothering a woman old enough to be my mother, taking charge, planning our next move, and successfully moving a person besides myself from point A to point B. Some of you have probably seen where I've written about my inability to leave my safety zone, my difficulty in being around a solid wall of people for too long at a time. My addiction left me a person who felt like an agoraphobic, which was not my normal in earlier years. I realized that for those 15 hours I felt like myself again without having to take a mental health break! I realized that I can handle life a lot more without needing the crutch of cacooning. I exceeded my own expectations about myself. And it felt good.

Amy

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 05, 2015 8:28 pm 
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Congratulations on finding out just how stroug you can be...again This is what I got from the story. Every step of the way reading it I became more nervous.
I was a type A, full of life fellow myself. Today, I am not. Not sure why but your story was great on several different levels for me.
And you made a new friend outside the world of recovery we're all in..
Thats for sharing Amy..welcome home...raz..

Oh and the next time your in the "Burg" let me know. Im an hour down the road.lol....


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 05, 2015 9:08 pm 
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Will do Razor! I try to make it there at least once every couple years. This summer I'm going to a family reunion in Ohio, so I'll probably make a stop at Pittsburgh. It's the city where I was born!

Amy

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 07, 2015 9:35 am 
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Hey, I found it!!!
That is a great story. I wished I had sat behind you flicking your ears! lol
I guess it just goes to show you, we can do a lot more than we think we can! Even when we are addicts.
Wonderful story Amy


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 07, 2015 9:46 am 
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Amy

I am glad you posted and looking back realized what a changed person you are. Comfort zones are so hard to break out of! Sometimes we don't see how far we have come until something like that happens.

Very glad you got home safely and Alice was taken care of by a kind, compassionate person!


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 07, 2015 2:04 pm 
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Thanks, friends!

It means a lot to me to have responses to my story. Otherwise I start thinking that nobody was interested or that the story portrayed me as some kind of idiot in some way. It's quite possible that members here think that I don't have vulnerabilities, but I do. It's just as hard for me to lay myself bare as it is everyone else. So thanks to those who respond.

Amy

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2015 2:01 pm 
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I followed this story on facebook and loved it! Thanks for sharing, Amy!


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2015 1:04 pm 
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Just an update!

I'm driving to Colorado Springs today to meet with Alice and her CO family! Then I'm staying (partially) overnight and I'm driving her back to the Denver airport (DIA) for her 6:30 am flight! I have to drive back anyway, and this is a cool way of coming full circle! I have no doubt that Alice and I will remain friends forever. She is a good lady. :)

Amy

P.S. She sent me a lovely thank you card this week.

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