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.