Sober and Grateful

Thank you for writing this article regarding cutting the funding for the Sobering Center [“Parade of Pain Begins,” 4/27/10].

On July 25, 2003, after a day of nonstop drinking and ending up in the ER at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, I came out of a blackout in the back seat of a police car. I had no idea what had happened or where I was going. The policeman drove up to the Faulding Hotel and escorted me into the Center. He told me that I was to stay here and “sleep it off” until the morning. I was asked by the attendant to lie down. I soon “came to” as more people kept coming in and lying down, obviously drunk and lost. That was almost seven years ago. I have been sober since and a member of Alcoholics Anonymous. The Sobering Center that night was the “threshold” for me and my sobriety today. I will never forget that night. I know that budget cuts have to happen, but please keep the Center open. True, it is “not Motel 6,” as [the Center’s director] Bob Trimble was quoted as saying. But there are good reasons for that, and I am grateful. — Susan D. Sulitz

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