From the December 2015 magazine.

Not the Day to Be in Jail

My husband had just served me with divorce papers. It was December 2002, and we had been married 20 years. I was not allowed to see my three sons, ages 11, 12 and 15. I could not take the grief, so I rented a cheap motel room and decided that the only way to get through this was to drink. I checked into the motel and drank until I passed out, then woke up and drank some more.

Finally the front desk called me on Christmas morning and said I had to go. Had to go? I could pay; what was the problem? But they wanted me out. So out in the snow I went—noon, Christmas morning. I got in my car, and needless to say I did not get very far before I was arrested. Because it was Christmas, the local jail was closed (we lived in a tiny New England town), so they had to send me to a nearby womens' prison. When I arrived, I was sick, shaky, crying and hoping someone would come get me. But no one did. I spent a very worthwhile Christmas in jail.

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