The One I’d Never Make – Grapevine Article March 2021 by Karen M.

This was how low my disease brought me. 

One night, I drank myself into a blackout and then I stabbed a cop. When I woke up, there was a woman police officer reading me my rights and I was handcuffed to a hospital bed. I explained that she had the wrong room, the wrong person and asked her to please leave.  She explained what I had done and that the police officer I stabbed was upstairs in the hospital. I asked her to prove it. I wanted to see with my own eyes.  

She unlocked me and took me to the elevator, which we rode to the third floor. I stood outside the doorway and looked into the room and saw a police officer. I knew this man!  I had no memory of the incident and no knowledge of why I had stabbed someone I knew. My heart dropped and I knew I was in big trouble.

The reason I’m sharing about stabbing this man now that I’m sober, is that I didn’t believe I would ever be able to make amends to him. Eventually, I moved to another state and in doing my Steps, I spent a great deal of time planning my amends.  My sponsor told me to just be willing and God would present the opportunity to make things right. I placed the policeman on my amends list and went about my business of sobriety.  

When I had three years sober, I made a trip to Minnesota to visit my family. While there, I walked into a country restaurant and literally ran into the man I had stabbed. I looked up at him and said to myself, Oh, crap. He asked me whether I was visiting or staying. I told him I was just visiting. Then he said we needed to talk, and I felt my heart flutter. I was so scared, but I knew this was my opportunity to make amends. “Yes, we need to talk,” I replied. 

We sat down to have a cup of coffee and he told me he needed to talk first, that he needed to thank me. Thank me? I was so confused. This is not how amends were supposed to go. He said he needed to thank me because the reason he came to my apartment that night is that he had received a call about a public disturbance. I had been blaring music and someone called in a noise complaint. He said he saw the address of the complaint and knew it was me making the noise, since we knew each other. He said he thought, Oh, it’s just Karen. I’ll tell her to turn her music down and everything will be fine. 

In my drunken state, I didn’t see a friendly cop coming to respond to my noise. What I saw was someone breaking into my apartment, so I lunged at him with a knife, stabbing him. Since I had left the door open and he knew me, he just walked in without any protection, no gun drawn, nothing. He could have lost his life. 

From that day, he said, he made the decision that no matter who was on the other end of a call, he would always go in prepared. He told me that since that day, he has lost count of how many times that decision had saved his life.  

What a surprise! I told him that I had wanted to make amends to him for stabbing him and here he was thanking me! He said I had nothing to make right, that I had taught him an important lesson. How could I respond to that? All I could do was to acknowledge that God and this program are great.

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