Tag Archives: addiction

One Year

I’m officially one year and 6 days sober.  A year ago I was in rehab– scared and completely miserable.  I didn’t want to get sober, I didn’t want to be there, but, on some level, I did want my life to change.  The last year of my addiction, even though I wasn’t ready to call it that yet, had been pretty messy.  I hurt a lot of people that I cared about and I stopped caring about myself.  For someone like me to make it to a year of sobriety– and not be miserable(!)– is kind of a miracle.

My life is so much better than it was a year ago, but that’s not to say that my life is easy today.  I still think about doing drugs and drinking on a regular basis.  The difference is that now I know that I don’t have to act on every impulse I get.  I know that no matter how bored or how bad I’m feeling, drugs and alcohol will not solve my problems.

The biggest difference in my life is that today I have hope and the capacity to be grateful.  I’m also reasonably happy most of the time.  Which, if you knew me before, is also a bit of a miracle.  There are friends that I lost in my addiction that I don’t think I’ll ever get back.  Losing people because of my bad behavior during my addiction still makes me sad.  There are two friends in particular that I really miss.  But getting sober doesn’t magically bring everyone back.  And that’s okay.

Getting sober has been my hardest won accomplishment and it’s the thing that’s most important to me today.  And for that I’m grateful.


Green

“Can we get some food?”

I’d been at the Werewolf’s house for two days.  It was mid-afternoon, my least favorite time of day, and the drugs were gone.

The house had seen better days.  The Werewolf lived in an old house painted hunter green with a substantial front porch.  We never spent much time outside when I was there, preferring instead to hide from daylight inside.  I always hated watching the first rays of dawn come in through the blinds in his bedroom.  Watching the early light creeping in through the cracks in the blinds always put an awful damper on our bender efforts.

Inside, the house was unassuming but functional.  There was no glamour to the place.  The wood floors were scuffed in some places but were a considerable upgrade from the ugly dark green carpet that used to rest atop them.  The walls were mostly bare, although there was a large map of the United State somewhere in the house.  The Werewolf never was much of a decorator.  There used to be two deep green vinyl couches in the living room, adding to the overall greenness of the place.  Those couches were replaced by a thoroughly comfortable neutral colored couch.  It was impossible to get comfortable on the old ones.  No matter how carefully you sprawled yourself on them your skin always stuck to that vinyl.

The dining room was empty except for a basic wooden table, compliments of Walmart. There was bench along one side of the table while chairs lined the other three sides, all equally uncomfortable.  At the beginning of a bender, the table was close to immaculate and bare.  By the end of the episode, it would be littered with ugly drawings, take out containers, dirty dishes and sticky cups.

The kitchen was never a good place to find yourself.  Cramped, cheap, and empty of a dishwasher, it was not a place I liked to be.  There was usually a mountain of dirty dishes in the sink, sometimes accompanied by a small army of fruit flies.  The peeling plastic linoleum had seen more sanitary days and the cupboards were generally empty of any kind of sustenance.  The fridge, however, was usually stocked with Gatorade, champagne, and leftovers with some kind of whiskey stored in the freezer.

We’d been up for a few days and I hadn’t really eaten since we started partying.  The drugs were gone, the sun was out, and it was a weekday.  I needed food and I needed to go home.

“I’m not getting any fucking food,” the Werewolf announced.

I was tired, cranky, and coming down.  I snapped and left.  And that was the last time I saw him.  I doubt I’ll see him again.  Our lives are moving in opposite directions in different parts of the country.  Without the drugs, we never had much to talk about. When I was using I had no interest in sober people. Now that I’m sober, I doubt that he’d have any interest in me.

When I got home I looked in the mirror.  I was green.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_writing_challenge/the-settings-the-thing/


A New Diagnosis

This update is long overdue but bear with me. It turns out that the most ironic thing about my time in rehab was probably the simple fact that the diagnosis that catapulted me into recovery– bipolar disorder– was removed after I transitioned into sobriety. I’m not bipolar, I’m an addict. After being clean for some time the psychiatrist decided that my mood disorder was drug induced and at almost six months sober I haven’t had any recurrence of symptoms.

Initially, I had mixed feelings about the change in diagnosis. Just when I started to accept that I was bipolar I had the rug pulled out from under me. Addiction hasn’t been any easier to manage and they don’t make pills to treat it. It’s a different diagnosis but one that I’ll nevertheless live with all my life.

But there is some hope. People do recover from addiction. And I’m not a slave to my medications anymore. It’s been almost five months since I’ve taken any kind of mood stabilizing medicine and it feels good to be back to myself. That’s not to say that taking psychiatric medicine is bad– if I was really was bipolar I would certainly need to be on my meds and there’s no shame in that.

Shame is a funny thing and it runs across both diseases– addiction and bipolar disorder. And I’ve been learning that one of the most powerful ways for me to eradicate my own shame is to be open about my recovery instead of hiding behind it. Silence in addiction is deadly. By sharing my struggles and showing that recovery is possible I can spread the message of hope and try to help other people find the recovery that I was so lucky to receive.


One Year Later

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A year ago I was back in the psych ward.  Fifty one pills of Lorazepam taken during a blurry three hour window and a 911 call from my roommate at the time effectuated my return.  And I was angry.  Angry to be back there less than six months after my first stint, angry because I felt like no one was listening to me, and angry because I felt like no one believed me.  And even though I wouldn’t admit it, I was probably angry at myself.

Looking back, it’s amazing how near-sighted I was.  The 911 call that my roommate placed probably saved my life.  But that was the last thing I was going to admit back in April of 2013.  Kicking and screaming all the way to the hospital, I was convinced she was the crazy one.  But in the year that’s elapsed since I took that ambulance ride, a lot of details about that night have come into a sharper focus.  A few months ago, when I was still in rehab, I remembered a detail about that night that night that my denial had conveniently suppressed.  When the cops came into my apartment to escort me to the ambulance I was in my bedroom, ready to call it a night.  My roommate and I had gotten into a screaming fight and I was ready to surrender to sleep and forget about it all.  On my nightstand there was a bottle of Nyquil waiting for me.  Not my preferred brand of cough syrup at the time, I preferred Robitussin because, unlike Nyquil, there usually wasn’t any alcohol added to it.  But that night all I had was the Nyquil.

When the police walked in I was sitting up in bed, in the dark, with the bottle in my hand.  And had I drained that bottle, as was my habit at the time, I probably wouldn’t be here today to write about it.  The dose of Lorazepam I took, fifty one milligrams, is pretty close to lethal by itself.  But add alcohol to the mix, like the alcohol in the Nyquil, and I probably never would have woken up.

Thank God my roommate cared enough about me to make that call.  She told me that she had decided she’d rather lose my friendship than lose me.  There’s no doubt in my mind that I’m where I am today because of the courage and strength of the people in my life that cared enough about me to save my life even if it hurt my feelings.  A relationship can always be mended in the light of day but I might not have made it to dawn if she hadn’t picked up the phone to make one the hardest phone calls of her life.

It’s strange to be able to look back on this night with the clarity of five months sobriety.  So many things in my life have changed, a lot of things didn’t turn out the way I wanted them to, and I lost a lot of good friends along the way.  But now I can look back on that night and be grateful for all the ways that I was saved. 

Looking back is certainly bittersweet, like a lot of things that have come with my sobriety.  The year between April 15, 2013 and April 15, 2014 hasn’t been an easy one.  And there are still a lot of things in my life that I have to make right.  For now, all I can do is pay it forward, and thank the people in my life who were stronger than me, by staying sober—one day at a time.

 

 


Sluggish

As it turns out, my life didn’t become magically wonderful as soon as I got out of rehab.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s great being out and a lot of things are better now that I’m sober.  But being sober is not easy.  They say that getting sober is the easy part– it’s staying sober that’s hard.  Well, for me, both are pretty fucking hard.  Getting sober was miserable.  I went to rehab kicking and screaming, counting the days until freedom.  But freedom’s not so easy either.

Cravings are such a bitch.  Thankfully, I’m being drug tested by the Bar which really takes away a lot of the temptation to actually go out there and use.  But the thoughts are still there, tormenting me until I wrap my brain around something else to try to rid myself of the obsession.  And work has been painful without the Vyvanse.  Ironically, when I was in rehab all I wanted to do was go back to work.  And now that I’m back, I’m miserable.  The hours drag by and my ability to focus without the Vyvanse is compromised.  I spend the day fantasizing about leaving early and dreaming up excuses to go home.

And when I actually do leave early, I just laze around at home, griping about not have anything to do.  My brain is sluggish.  I struggle to summon the motivation to do anything creative or even just to get out of the house.  I’m constantly resolving to exercise but I lack the drive to put on my running shoes and walk out of the front door.

I suppose I’m getting a little dose of reality.  Rehab doesn’t magically change your life, you have to change and that change takes time.  There are a lot of things I’m working on but constantly working on myself gets tiresome.  I have a lot to be grateful for and I try to remember that during my low moments.

These days, I’m just feeling sluggish.


The Upswing

I feel like I’m on the upswing.  I’m over 60 days into rehab (finally!) and things are starting to get easier.  Sort of.  I spent the weekend at home on a therapeutic leave from treatment, which was absolutely divine.  Once you’re about two-thirds of the way done with rehab you’re eligible for one of these leaves.  Some people are crazy and don’t take one.  I’m crazy but not that crazy — I was ready to get the fuck out of dodge, even for two days.  

Unfortunately, I’ve now reacquired the itch to leave.  During my first few weeks here I was (almost) literally itching to leave.  My life outside of rehab was all I could think about and was the only place I wanted to be.  After awhile, however, Stockholm Syndrome set in.  Things got easier, and institutionalization started to feel normal.  I got used to the fact that I was going to gain at least 15 pounds.  I got used to travelling everywhere in a white 15 passenger van.  I got used to spending my days cooped up in a big old house with 20 other women, crying and talking about our feelings.  

But with that little taste of freedom, 48 hours at home with my family, I reacquired that itch.  It’s not unbearable — I know that the end is in sight — but it’s enough to make me malcontent.  I just want to fast forward through the next month of my life.  I’m ready to get back out there, armed with the tools I’ve acquired in rehab.  Because rehab has killed my desire to use.  I’m ready to end that chapter of my life.  I’m tired of feeling crazy, of numbing myself to anything painful, and of missing out on life.  I’ve been living in a fog these last few years and I’m realizing that I like what sobriety feels like.  

So I’m trucking along.  I came in kicking and screaming but I’m finally starting to reach a place of acceptance.  I’m just ready to get my freedom back and start living my life again on the outside.  I’ve still got some time left here though.  And even though I’m starting to get that itch, I can tell I’m on the upswing.  


The Same Old Fear

Running over

the same old ground

But have we found

the same old fear?

Wish you were here

— “Wish you were here” Pink Floyd

 

It comes in waves.  These waves, tall and violent, crash into my brain like it’s a rock.  My brain takes the hit but unlike the rocks that waves usually crash against, my brain absorbs their force.  However, there’s a price for this flexibility — my brain avoids the damage of a direct hit but my thoughts do not.  They are flooded with this fear, this fear that comes to me in waves.  My thoughts are the ones that are in danger of drowning.  They are the ones that have to swim.  

So, in my thoughts, I swim through this crashing fear, this fear that comes in violent waves.  The crash of the impact reverberates through my body and I know my thoughts are in danger.  I start to sweat.  And then it comes, that physical feeling of fear.  

As my thoughts try to swim, I catch the glimpses of the substance of the fear.  I’m 18, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25.  I’m deep into the past but then I crash close to the present.  The places change, the people change, I change — but that feeling, the fear, remains.

I’m not paralyzed but I’m not free.  I’m back in purgatory, where I live my life.  Stuck between heaven and hell, happiness and pain, life and death.  The fear remains.  My thoughts start to take shape, to solidify and tell me what’s wrong, tell me what I’m afraid of.  But they’re beaten back with the crash of yet another wave.  

I want to learn to float, to ride out the waves and look the fear in the face.  I want to identify it, classify it, analyze it and tuck it away.  I want my mind back.  I want control.  Control floats to the top.  And control starts to build a wall, a seawall, to the waves at bay.  

Control and it’s wall protect my thoughts.  I recover my bearings and connect with my mind.  The flashes stop coming, the feeling leaves me, and the fear goes away.  

Control jealously guards the walls, keeping fear at bay.  That’s what the fear, always the same, always different, that’s what the fear runs from.  I don’t have to swim anymore, I can walk freely beyond the seawall.  I stay away from the sea and that same old fear.  

But I see now what I didn’t see then.  I traded the chaos for control.  I built a wall to escape the fear.  But in doing so I fashioned myself a cage of my own design — a cage of control.

So here I remain.  But in the calm I remember the fear — the same old fear.  Unnamed, unformed, violent and wild.  

I don’t know which is worse — the calm or the chaos?

Is the chaos worth the cage?


Release: A Temporary Victory

“You’ll never be able to quit doing drugs. No matter how smart you think you are, the drugs will always have an IQ ten points higher.”

That’s what Dr. X told me Monday morning, the fourth day of my first hospitalization.

I was dying to get out. I had already missed classes and a deadline on a project for work. I couldn’t tell the firm the real reason I was late on the assignment– what was I supposed to say? “Sorry I missed the deadline, I was in the crazy house over the weekend.” Not an option.

I had to get out. And to get out, I had to convince Dr. X to sign off on my sanity. The hospital didn’t release people on the weekends, so my Monday morning consultation with my treating psychiatrist, Dr. X, was my first opportunity to plead my case.

I was going to have to clear a high hurdle to get myself out. I knew that Dr. X didn’t like me and that he thought I had a substance abuse problem. And I knew that it would be a tough sell to convince him otherwise.

I spent Sunday night wrestling with overwhelming anxiety and planning my speech. I knew what I had to say to get out; I just didn’t know if Dr. X would believe me. I had been playing the game: smiling at the nurses, interacting with the other patients, taking my meds without complaint, and– most of all– pretending that nothing was wrong. Nevermind the fact that the overwhelming depression that had brought me to the hospital in the first place had not subsided but had, in fact, intensified. On top of that, I had developed an anxiety that spread throughout my body with reckless abandon and grew stronger as my appointment with Dr. X drew nearer. By Sunday night sleep was nearly impossible. I had no appetite but I forced myself to choke down some breakfast on Monday morning to avoid attracting the attention of the nurses.

My speech was ready. I would tell Dr. X that I had seen the error of my ways, that I would stop using, that my depression was gone, and, above all, that I was fit for release. I was prepared to plead my case, armed with the argument that keeping me locked up would cause my studies to suffer, which would compound any emotional distress I may be dealing with. I knew that I would have to explain myself calmly, hiding the unbearable desperation lurking just below the surface of the artificial calm I would have to create to trick Dr. X into thinking that I was sane.

While I waited for my name to be called, I silently agonized and tried not to think about what would happen if Dr. X said no. If things took a turn for the worse, I was prepared to threaten to check myself out– court order be damned. I knew that there was a very real risk that Dr. X would file for a 72 hour involuntary commitment if I checked myself out without his blessing. So I waited in incredible discomfort as the minutes crawled by.

Finally he called me into the little room with no windows. I was greeted with the usual condescension and grim severity that animated Dr. X’s humorless disposition. I returned his greeting with a bright smile and a freshly washed face. He listened quietly as I performed my speech and made my appeal.

But as I finished my monologue I realized that it wasn’t enough– he wasn’t convinced. He knew I was just saying what he wanted to hear and he voiced this to me in his usual grave and condescending voice. He asked me why he should believe me. And then he told me I would never be able to quit doing drugs.

This made me mad. I was shocked– although I should have known better– that he would express such a deep lack of faith in me. He explained his concern that I would go back to using as soon as I walked out of the door and listed off the drugs he thought I was using: marijuana, DXM, xanax, ecstasy, molly, vicodin, and heroin. Heroin. Even though the rest of the list was right, I was horrified. I quickly objected with self righteous indignation and explained that I had never– NEVER– used heroin.

He quickly backtracked and said that I was using morphine, reasoning that the two were the same. I firmly protested– shooting up heroin and popping oral morphine are not the same, not by any stretch of my imagination. I renewed my appeal, whining– but without tears– that I was missing school and that I was ready to get clean. I relayed the story of my friends’ visit and explained that it had been a turning point in my decision to get sober.

By the grace of God, eventually he gave in. But he wanted reassurances that I wouldn’t go back to my old, evil ways. I quickly offered up a release of information, allowing him to talk to my therapist– who I always tried to tell the truth to– to monitor my behavior. It was a big concession. I didn’t want him to be involved in my life on any level whatsoever. But I knew I had to offer him something if I wanted to walk out of that door. And that was enough. He reluctantly agreed to let me go.

Relief is not a strong enough word to express how I felt when he said that he would approve me for discharge. There may be words to describe how I felt but– if there are– they are beyond my descriptive capacities.

I was free.

I was victorious.

And I was ready to change.

I walked out of that hospital into a bright, brisk October morning and swore that I would never go back. I was wrong– and that part comes later. But on that morning in October I thought I had reached my happy ending. I thought the story was over. And I thought I had seen the last of the hospital.

Unfortunately, I was wrong. My story was far from over.


Three Strikes

I did not belong there. At least that’s what I thought as I was sitting at the long table for breakfast, my first meal at what I, perhaps rudely, call the crazy house. I know it’s terribly politically incorrect, but it’s the label that makes the most sense to me. “Inpatient treatment” is probably more accurate but it subtly masks the truth, the truth about how awful it is to really be in one of those places. And being there is awful. “Inpatient treatment” sounds like something you get after major surgery, not somewhere you go when you get majorly crazy– which is what it really is. So I call it the “crazy house.” Mental institution works too but I prefer crazy house, political correctness be damned.

Unfortunately, I did belong there. Looking down the table, I tried to assess the damage. Scanning the faces of the others who actually got up for breakfast at the ungodly hour of 7 a.m.– an ungodly hour for a student anyway, especially one who hadn’t been to class before 10 a.m. in a year– I tried to evaluate their level of craziness. Some of them were in blue hospital scrubs. Not necessarily a full set: some wore only the top; others, only the bottom. There was one old man in a hospital dressing gown, the kind that ties in the back but not tightly enough hide what should be hidden. I made a point not to find out whether he was wearing anything underneath the gown. There were others, like me, wearing sweats or normal clothes. Upon closer inspection, some of them looked quite ordinary, though sad.

I found out that the old man in the gown — who looked 70 but was probably somwhere is in his early sixties– was an alcoholic who’d tried to kill himself. It was not his first time in treatment. It seemed, based on the snippets he revealed in “group”, that he had been scraped off the cold floor of his rock bottom and brought into treatment, maybe as an alternative to jail. The circumstances were unclear. But, of the group of us, he seemed to be in the worst shape, at least phsyically. He joined our ward–the depression ward– after first being admitted to the substance abuse ward and was still going through the alcohol withdrawal symptoms and was usually ill. Despite this, he had a simple but surprisingly cooperative and somewhat positive attitude. It seemed like he’d gone through all this before and he might have known that this was going to be one of his last chances to get it right and get himself together.

There were a few other patients that appeared to be about the same vintage of the old man, and from there the ages were scattered from middle age to, what appeared to be, sixteen. I later found out that the girl I thought was sixteen was, in fact, twenty nine and married with two kids. Other than a twenty year old boy, I was the youngest on the ward.

The twenty year old boy was from Mexico and had only been in the States for a few years. His English wasn’t great but he was very chatty and always smiling. He was always at the coloring table with me and was not content to color in silence, which is what I preferred. He told me he’d tried to kill himself by overdosing on his cousin’s Valium. He arrived about the same time that I did. After they let him out of the hospital he was immediately transferred to our ward in the crazy house. Aside from that bump in the road he was very positive about his future– and his odds of getting out once the weekend was over.

I was determined to leave as soon I saw the psychiatrist I was assigned to, Dr. X. Breakfast had been enough to scare me straight and I was certain I was ready to leave, the sooner the better.

After we’d all picked at our breakfasts and returned our bland trays to the bland beige carts they’d arrived in, I was informed that it was time for “group.” I didn’t know exactly what that meant but I suspected that it would be lame and useless. It was not useless, as I later found out. The nurses, always watching our behavior and taking notes to report back to our psychiatrists, took group seriously and our responses and behavior during group were a factor in the formula that determined our release.

“Group” happened after breakfast and then once more after the last “snack time” of the night, around 9 p.m. (Yes, snack time. Complete with graham crackers, pudding cups, and applesauce.) During group we filled out a worksheet, the same worksheet, morning and night.

In the morning, we used the front of the worksheet which predictably asked us to desribe “how we were feeling”. The front page also required us to list our “goal” for the day. After that, we had to list three specific actions we would take to help ourselves accomplish that goal. There was a place at the bottom of the front page of the worksheet where we were supposed to list any “issues” we had in the previous 24 hours, describe any discharge plans we had, and write down any concerns we’d like our doctor/nurses to be aware of.

At night we filled in the other side of the worksheet, stating whether we had met our goal and how we felt about achieving/not achieving it. And then we went around the table and “shared”, the nurses watching, ever vigilant.

After we’d completed the morning portion of worksheet, we went around the table and shared. Meaning we went around the table and, one by one, read off what we had written. There was a tad too much oversharing in the realm of GI troubles for my taste. We read our goals and issues for all to hear while the nurses watched closely and took notes. My goal was to leave as soon as I’d met with my doctor. I didn’t make it through my sheet without crying. Not a good move with the eyes of nurse-hawks on me, pens in hand and scribbling notes in my chart. Strike One.

After we’d all “shared” we were free to go. Free to go back to sleep, to lay in bed, to wait to be seen by the doctor (although I would soon find out that the doctors didn’t deign to visit with their patients on the weekends, leaving the unpleasant task to their nurse practioners), or to engage in one of the few “recreational activities” that were available to us. (Click here for details of how few activities there really were).

I anxiously asked the nurse 20 questions. When would I been seen by my doctor? How long until the doctors arrived? What if I wanted to take a nap, would they wake me up when it was my turn? Should I just wait in one the armchairs in case they forgot to wake me up? When could I go home?!? I was not a happy camper and I was nearly bursting with anxiety and nervous energy while I sat quietly and waited for my name to be called.

I didn’t like the doctor they’d assigned me to, Dr. X. He was the university’s psychiatrist– the only one. He thought I was a drug addict and at the beginning of my third year of law school he, and my counselor at the school’s counseling center, had decided I needed “more help” than the university’s counseling center could provide. And so they farmed me out to a community provider. Luckily for me: 1) I was on my Dad’s insurance and could afford to see someone outside of the univeristy and, 2) the therapist I was referred to was by far the best therapist I’ve ever had. (Unfortunately, when I graduated and moved back down South I couldn’t take her with me…still searching for someone to replace her, which will be very difficult.)

I was apprehensive about seeing Dr. X. When I checked in, he had me put on a low dose of Norco because he thought I’d be in opiate withdrawal. Once I found out that this was why I was being given those pills I started refusing them. I was not, in fact, going through opiate withdrawals because I was not, much to Dr. X’s surprise, a heroin user. This man had been my psychiatrist for a year, had been told about all the drugs I’d done or been doing– and heroin was never on the list– but he nevertheless pegged me for a heroin junkie. (Nothing against heroin junkies, I just know I would never last on that stuff. Because I would die. I like opiates too much, have very little self control, and so I suspect that I wouldn’t last long.) To cut him some slack, which I am loathe to do, the man is the sole psychiatrist for a university of ~12,000 students, including grad students like me, AND he was in charge of the facility that I had checked into– which was not affiliated with the university. Again, this speaks volumes about the inadequacy of the university’s counseling center. (For more on that delight, click here)

I sat in one of the almost-comfortable arm chairs in the common area and jangled my legs until my name was finally called. But I was not greeted by the familiar, smug face of Dr. X. I didn’t recognize the man who guided me into the little room with no windows. Apparantely patient-doctor conferences happened in this little room, just big enough to fit the round table and four chairs surrounding it. The man explained to me that he was a nurse practitioner and that Dr. X didn’t come in on the weekends.

I didn’t know whether this was good or bad news for me. I didn’t like Dr. X and I suspected he didn’t particularly like me either. So I thought I might have a better shot with the nurse practitioner.

I was wrong. I instantly told him that I was ready to check out and go home. He did not agree. He informed me that they usually don’t do “releases” on the weekends. And even if they did, he said he didn’t think I would get cleared to leave because of “substance abuse” concerns.

I started to panic. I absolutely, positively, had to get myself out of that place. I’d been there for a little over 12 hours and that was all I needed. I had been scared straight. I would stop doing drugs forever if they would just let me out. I had to get out of there.

I started to beg. Not a good move. He didn’t budge and took my desperation as a sign of weakness, indicating that I was not fit for release. When I saw that my efforts were unavailing, I lost it. Strike Two.

I started crying and told him that if they didn’t let me out that day then they had better pump me full of Xanax if they wanted me to make it through the weekend. Another bad move. He dug in and told me to calm myself down. I was informed that if I threw a full tantrum I would have to get “a shot”, i.e. being forcibly sedated, and then my chances of getting out by Monday would be nil.

I couldn’t handle this information so I got up and left without saying anything else, but sobbing hysterically as I went. I ran straight to my room to cry my eyes out. On my way there I walked right through the middle of lunch, crying hysterically in front of everyone in the ward, trying to get back to my room so I could throw my tantrum in the semi-privacy afforded to me by a room with a door that shut but would not lock. One of the nurses called out to me as I went streaking by, “don’t you want your lunch?”

No. I did not want my lunch.

Strike Three.

It was going to be a long weekend.


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