Tag Archives: counseling

Ramblings

I needed to psych myself up for my appointment today, so I thought I would come on here and write a little.  I had good intentions.  Then I decided drinking, pills, and generous doses of daytime & nighttime cold medicine (always an interesting variable to any buzz) might be more effective, so I tried that out.  It worked reasonably well, but once again, I went through my counseling session a little foggy.  Holy shit, it was a nightmare.  It didn’t go well at all.  I think we were on completely different pages.

Now I’m home, and I’m so down.  I’m not sure why.  A lot of things were brought up during the meeting that I never wanted brought up.  So maybe I’m weak, and unable to keep secrets, and vulnerable to things that are so far removed from my daily life that they might as well belong to someone living in an alternate universe.  I don’t maintain boundaries very well, and I violated a boundary within myself that I’ve viewed as sacrosanct for the majority of my life.  No one touches it.  I don’t even touch it.  But I breached it today, and now I’m waiting for something along the lines of a lightning bolt from heaven to knock me over.  What does this mean for the future?  Maybe nothing as far as the whole therapy thing, but maybe everything in my own life.  How many times when we were kids did adults tell us…don’t pick old scabs.  Let them heal.  They can scar.  Leave them alone.  My kindergarten teacher must have said that to kids twice a day.  The lesson hasn’t changed.

I realized today that there is a word I have never said.  I’ve never even typed it.  Does anyone else have a word like that?  I figure everyone must.  I knew its meaning even before I knew the word, but it has been off-limits.  Say it to my face, and I will say, “Fuck you.”  Well, probably not, but I might think it.  The counselor said it in passing, and I wasn’t going to say that to him, obviously.  But I wasn’t prepared.  Couldn’t we have just talked about Christmas for an hour?

Then there’s the issue of Benazir Bhutto’s assassination today.  Grr.  Nothing like an opposition leader being assassinated to put piddley things into perspective.  Ah, yes, her government warned her against gathering publicly after she complained about their insufficient attempts at security…but maybe those insufficient attempts were more deliberate than they seemed…okay, I’m trailing.  Time to sign off, as I don’t want my blog to turn into a drunken rambling.

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Fuuuck

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.

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Group Therapy

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I had my first group counseling session last night.  It was interesting.  There were six or seven other young women, and every one of them was so sweet and compassionate.  Their hearts are so enormous, but they’ve developed some heavily serrated edges to keep the world at bay.   These women would no doubt be tough scrappers if encountered outside the group setting, but inside, there was no limit to their empathy for each other.  It was great to witness. 

 

I think I was the only one not court-ordered to be there.  I wondered if it might seem odd to them, like they would think, “Why the fuck is she here voluntarily?”…but no such judgment was passed.  Although it lasted an hour and a half, it seems like very little talking was actually accomplished.  I mostly just said who I was and what I do.  I said more than some of the girls.  The time flew.  We were supposed to illustrate our lives (literally…with colored pencils; I would have picked crayons, but alas).  We briefly explained our artistic masterpieces, then everyone was standing up and hugging (something I’ll have to get used to) and out the door in a flash.

 

Group therapy is a new but fascinating realm for me.  Some of the women had no misgivings about baring every bit of their souls for the group, while others were more guarded.  I was categorically guarded.  It seems a bit foolhardy to entrust people with such individual and delicate knowledge if they’re mere blips on the radar of each other’s lives.  It’s a 12-week program.  No one is on the same schedule, so you start any time and “graduate” 12 weeks later.  People are constantly cycling in and out.  What is the value in spilling the contents of my personal life for everyone to see, pick through, and discard as they please?  That requires more trust than I’m ready for.  I’ve spent most of my life building a defensive stronghold brick by brick, and it’s not going to come down overnight because the girl next to me is comfortable taking a chance on the group.

 

The intake paperwork asked a lot of personal questions.  I wasn’t expecting it.  What do first sexual encounters and family history have to do with getting clean?  Granted I’m familiar with all the psychological assessment bullshit that probation and parole use because I see it all the time at work, and it’s not actually bullshit…it has a lot of value in a certain context.  Certainly, I’m the first to admit that my drug use started as a means to cope.  But I’m just looking to get clean, not stir up feelings or come to terms with my past.  Part of me is chastising myself as I write this, because I know my attitude is completely unreasonable and faulty.  The same memories that steered me toward drugs will be waiting for me when I’m sober.  During the two years I’ve numbed my brain, I’ve merely stalled myself in dealing with the inevitable.  I thought I had actually found a solution, but I just heaped a bigger problem on the pile, which appeared to make everything underneath it go away.  I’m scared of lifting that off and encountering what I’ve been neglecting for so long.  My biggest hope is that it won’t be so bad, that maybe drugs did serve a purpose in giving me a sense of detachment and distance. 

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Moving Toward Treatment

Yesterday I went to a counseling session.  It felt so good to do something positive for myself.  It lends a new perspective to have things evaluated through the eyes of another person, especially someone who is so clear-headed and objective.  It was quite sobering, and I left feeling both relieved and scared.  We worked on a plan to start moving toward sobriety, although our goals are different…I want to get back to where I’m in control of my using again; he wants me completely clean.  I know I’m deceiving myself if I think I can contain my habit, but the idea of living a chemical-free life for more than a week is alien and nerve-racking.   I have zero capacity for controlled use.

He talked about enabling.  He defined it as people who allow me to use without imposing any negative consequences.  When I think about it in those terms, I guess I know a lot of enablers.  He talked about building a support system of about four people to be a safety net when I’m feeling tempted to use.  I couldn’t give him four names.  We came up with two, but it was a stretch.  My habit has given me the courage and motive to burn bridges, sabotage healthy relationships, and withdraw from the world.  Two years ago I would have been able to name a host of people that I felt close enough to trust and reach out to for help.  Addiction is most efficient when it is safeguarded by isolation.  Over the last couple of years, I’ve consistently chosen addiction over relationships with family and friends.

He talked about methadone.  I’m not sure what to think.  I asked about potential for abuse, and he said there is potential, but distribution is regulated.  I didn’t ask what happens if you crush it up and shoot it with smack, because if it is another way to get fucked up, then I’m all for it.  I will have to learn more about it.  Therein lies my vice…I tend to abuse anything I can get my hands on.  I thought of asking about buprenorphine, since it supposedly has a lower potential for abuse, but I stopped myself because why on earth would I choose a treatment that can’t be milked for another high over one that can?  He did say it’s dangerous to be on heroin and methadone at the same time. 

I don’t know whether it’s wise to voluntarily consent to a government drug test (I assume it would be accessible to the government if it’s through a clinic) and have it become a part of my permanent medical history.  The thought of having my name next to a positive check is profoundly disconcerting.  It may never make a difference, but once I commit, I can’t undo it.  I would hate to clean up, put my life back together, try to get a job in the courts someday, and be denied because the information surfaces. Maybe I should stick to short-term goals and worry more about surviving now than about the far-off future, but I don’t want to dig a hole for myself that I can’t undo.

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