I walked past the diner every day on my way to work. The diner was called Mr. Om-elette. It wasn’t fancy. A counter and tables. Breakfast and lunch. Smelled good outside. Lots of regulars. Everyone seemed happy.
I worked at McDonald’s. It was a job, and I was grateful to have one. Still, I wondered what it would be like to work at Mr. Omelette. Probably better hours. Nice to be around happy people. Some employees at McDonald’s were mean.
I was too intimidated to apply. They’d never hire someone like me. I was a recovering drug addict. I lived at a women’s shelter plus care program (supportive housing for people with substance abuse or other challenges) while I attended drug court. I had no car, no driver’s license. I’d lost custody of my kids a long time ago. This wasn’t my first arrest for drugs. I’d gotten caught with opiates this time, but I did lots of drugs—heroin, methamphetamines, crack cocaine, alcohol. Lots of other bad stuff too. Stealing. Prostitution. I sank about as low as you can go and then some.
I was sober now. Not for the first time. I started every day praying to stay sober. I went to outpatient drug treatment, attended support group meetings and always showed up to work on time. I really wanted to change my life. After more than a decade as a drug addict, I wanted so badly to make my kids proud. They were young adults now.
Let me tell you something. It is hard to stay cl