Ha!  I blew it.  I debated about whether to post this, but I figure why not.  I won’t get it off my mind until I do.

Today was not a good day.  I was through withdrawals, and today was a counseling session, so I thought I was in like flint.  However, I got messed up beforehand on a brew of booze and substances…no heroin though.  No opiates of any kind.  Therefore, I thought I was doing quite well.  Never mind the fact that mentally, I was in a really dark place.  I was drowning, actually.  But I hadn’t relapsed, so I thought I was coasting on some grand path to realization.  I did, however, have a fantastic stash just sitting in the apartment tempting me with all of hell’s wrath.  I couldn’t bring myself to just get rid of it.  No way.  I might need it.

Round two: I got a ride to the counselor, feeling airy and blithe and indifferent to everything.  The counselor asked questions, and wouldn’t you know, I’m an easy target for straightforwardness when I get loopy.  I was candid and maybe a little frank, or maybe not.  It’s a little blurry.  I didn’t really care because I couldn’t be touched.  I was far removed from the earth, in a celestial realm called who-the-fuck-cares. 

Round three: I guess I could be touched.  Moments passed; my counselor was out of the room, then back with another counselor…both really sweet, genuine guys…and I nodded and agreed with everything they said.  I wasn’t just agreeing to be agreeable…I really saw things the same way.  At least, I think I did.  I had a hard time keeping my train of thought.  I watched their lips move to assist my brain in processing words and deciphering sentences.  Wait…did the second one just say he called the authorities?  Hmm.  Yep, my counselor’s expression seemed to verify what I had heard.  They were speaking quite clearly, but whether due to chemicals or shock (my guess is chemicals), it just wasn’t registering…I would have to go with them when they came?  Like now??  Surely they would give me an hour or two, maybe let me run home to take a shower and down a few beers and grab a six-pack for the journey.  I mean, that’s logical.

The Man came to escort me to the ER.  One of them explained standard procedure: handcuffs go on before departing the building, unless he could talk his partner into waiting until after we were out of the building.  Luckily, his partner was more benevolent, and perhaps after sizing up my 100 lbs, she said no handcuffs today.  I even sweet-talked them into letting me have a cigarette (a vice I succumb to during times of withdrawal), and I could tell their decision to indulge me was a begruding one.  That gave me some satisfaction.  I was still traveling in style through who-the-fuck-cares land, and I was feeling tremendous indifference to the whole situation.  I was being called a danger to myself, and I couldn’t disagree, but my more pressing concern was how I would succeed in maintaining my buzz for 72 hours.  Impossible.  Come on, how could they be so unfair as to deny me such a sacrosanct entitlement?

The ‘KO’ [thanks to Kevin Olsen for that one] came a few hours later, when I crashed.  I was in the guarded section of the ER, shivering and shaking, desperately trying to figure out how I could ask the guard to let me sneak out for a cigarette if I promised not to run.  I would even wear the breezy hospital gown as surety.  Maybe I could order a beer from the cafeteria.  I needed alcohol.  Surely between the two younger guards who were flirting with me, one of them would be willing to slip me some potent drugs.  There had to be a way around this…the reality of the situation grew beyond unsettling as it was compounded by increasing sobriety.  I tried various tactics on the nurses.  First I tried charm.  Then I tried reason.  Then I tried arguing my rights, which were apparently none at the moment.  These nurses were hardened veterans.

My primary goal was to convince the doctor and social worker that all was well, and I was safe to leave.  Unbelievably, I talked my way out of the 72-hour hold.  It took a healthy amount of deception and dishonesty.  However, I didn’t realize the social worker would call my counselor.  For this, I feel genuinely guilty.  I have no hard feelings, and it didn’t affect my trust.  However, I’ve worked hard to be honest with him, and now I’ve broken that.  I value honesty, but more importantly, my release from the hold was an implication that he either made a miscalculation or had the wrong idea.  It doesn’t sit well with me that I put him in a bad light.  If I could just be honest, I would tell him he did the right thing.  I’ll have to ponder that one.  However…for now, I’m just happy to be home.



Filed under Drinking, Drugs

11 responses to “Fuuuck

  1. papa_rod

    Have you gone to a meeting? You need to…you are in my prayers.

  2. Joe

    Your style of writing is so freely open and gripping… I appreciate it. We fall down, but we get up…alas, today is a new day. Wishing you the best.

  3. Nusku

    Good luck Rhea – wish you every strength.

  4. Wow.

    I’ve had days like that.

    Listen: a few weeks ago I was taken in hand-cuffs to the ER for my own protection. Long story; the upshot was that I’ve been homeless for 3 years, hadn’t slept for a couple nights, and was deep enough into an OC binge that it scared me — since I’ve somehow managed to never get too far gone on opiates before.

    Right. So I snapped. Ended up in the emergency room. Now, I cannot emphasize strongly enough that the #1 underlying factor to all this was the 3 years of homelessness. The solution, for me, was simply to be able to go home & sleep in my own bed. I realize that’s different from the root of your own troubles, but I mention it because when they asked me to voluntarily commit myself to the loony bin I agreed.

    Not because I was a genuine threat to myself. I wasn’t suicidal. Or psychotic. Well…yeah I was a bit psycho. But only temporarily. My mental instability that morning was nothing that some serious sleep couldn’t cure. Which is why I agreed to the loony bin. Because I needed to sleep somewhere and the loony bin was somewhere to go.

    I got some sleep there. Felt much better. But my point to all this is that, besides 3 hots & a cot, I got absolutely nothing out of the 6 days that I spent there.

    Not that I regret going…it was an Experience, and I am a writer who wants to sell an article to a magazine — an article about homelessness. And no article about homelessness would be complete without a trip to the loony bin. Which happened to cost the taxpayers $10,000 — about exactly what it’ll cost to put my life back together and make it human again.

    It was worth it for the irony.

    Other than that, though, the loony bin blew donkey balls. I’m relieved that you didn’t end up in one! Really. I’m not sure what you need to make your own life human again, of course — only you could know. But I’ll bet money — another of my bad habits — that they don’t have whatever your mysterious It is at wherever they wanted to lock you up for 72 hours for your own protection.

    And I think you knew that too. Why else would you talk your way out of it? Surely that was no small feat.

    But it worked because you were right. You were right to begin with! What did you want to do? Kick dope. What did you do? You kicked dope. And it sounds like you were proud of yourself for it — which you should be.

    It’s not your fault if your therapist proud of you. For what it’s worth I am; your’s is a rare kind of honesty.

    Good therapists are hard to find…

    All I’m saying is trust yourself, Rhea. I believe you alone happens to know precisely what is best for you.

    You say you’re happy to be home, right? Well there you go.

    You did the right thing.

  5. Oops, typo! Meant to say: It’s not your fault if your therapist wasn’t proud of you.

    Keep On, and thanks for your the sweet things you wrote about my blog.

  6. Papa Rod…I promised the social worker I would give NA another shot, and it’s a promise I intend to keep. I’m headed to an all-women’s meeting next week. Thanks….

  7. Joe, thanks for the kind thoughts. I was so happy make it to today and think, “today is a new day.” It’s the definite truth.

  8. Hi Nusku, I’ll stop by soon. Thank you for the lucky thoughts. :) Hope you’re doing well….


  9. Mike!! You stopped by. :) How are you?

    Your reply really touched me. I appreciate the sincerity. I’m glad you were able to get the sleep you needed…I haven’t been in your shoes, but it makes sense that after 3 years, a bed is a blessed and therapeutic reprieve. The hospital lectured me on “good” vs. “bad” (self) medication, and I figure healing medicine comes in many forms, including thread count.

    You have a way with words and cutting through the bullshit. I appreciate it tremendously. I have absolutely zero connections in journalism, but if I do make any, I will pull all possible strings to see that you get your article published. You have a lot to offer, and I know the world could really benefit from hearing what you have to say.

  10. bottlecappie

    Wow, Rhea – Are you really as ok about this as you sound? Not that you shouldn’t be, but I wonder if you put on a braver face than what you really feel, for the sake of self-preservation, yanno?

    I think it’s hard to make a 72 hour hold stick, unless you’re very obviously dangerous. I’ve done my time in the bin, and even the sickest of the sick seemed to walk on a regular basis. I agree that you seem way too coherent to be inpatient.

    Keep us posted, ok? I’m a little worried about you. Quitting opiates made me the opposite of numb for a while, and that was hard to take. And I wasn’t even completely abstinent, because suboxone is definitely a pain-killer. But I know how raw it feels to be without, and how that feeling will send you searching for anything to tone reality down a notch or ten. Please be careful, you’ve come so far and you’re so close now.

  11. Hi bottlecappie. :) Quitting is definitely screwing with my emotions. I think that was part of what happened the other day…opiates made me numb, and I was going haywire feeling again. I went to my session loopy in order to tone it down a notch and allow myself a buffer, since I didn’t know what to expect from myself in sober land.

    I’m still clean from opiates. Part of me feels like it’s a game just to see how long I will last, and part of me feels like I can make this a clean break for good. If nothing else, the hospital experience was a good wake-up call and reminder that control is a delicate thing.

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