Recollections from a Rehab – Part three


Continued from ‘recollections from a rehab – part two…

Ted and I gradually met all the other residents over the first few days. My memory is pretty shocking these days, for obvious reasons I suppose, but if I can remember correctly our little crew consisted of a couple of native Americans, (unconnected – both there for alcohol addiction) one guy from central Africa who had only recently joined his family in the US and who was without a doubt the single most arrogant piece of shit I have ever had the misfortune to hold a conversation with!

There were four or five younger residents, who between them, including the girls, produced unending amounts of saliva, which they either liberally sprayed around or dribbled onto the ground to form a small lake between their feet.

One of the young ones was called Hunter, who immediately touched my heart and brought to the surface a real parental concern due to him being so damn small, vulnerable and like a little eager puppy, all excitable and bubbly. He was only eighteen and we listened to him as he described his relief at finally being allowed entry into an adult facility. He had been in juvenile facilities several times before, beginning at age thirteen due to his substance misuse and related offending but I learned that where he was, they didn’t really have ‘chemical dependency programmes’ as such for young people such as him; addicts were just thrown onto a locked psychiatric ward along with other young people suffering from a wide range of mental illnesses and told to get on with it.

“Get on with what?” I enquired..

“Exactly!”…he replied…

”They just throw you on the ward in your pyjamas and that is essentially it. You get very little interaction from the staff and they fill you full of all kinds of medication. Last time I was there, they had me on Largactil…Haloperidol and amitriptyline and all I did was shuffle around the ward all day, dribbling”.

He then went on to describe not one, but several, suicides and incidents of severe self-harm that he had witnessed during his stays on the ward, which were most disturbing to hear, especially from the mouth of one so young. I kept having to remind myself that he was only just eighteen, as the experiences he described and his general demeanour were that of someone considerably older.

Hunter had been named after one of my personal literary heroes Hunter S. Thompson, although he had yet to read any of his works. I then of course spent a long time with him, enthusing about Hunter Thompson, attempting to explain what made him so important to me, trying to get him interested, for all that Hunter knew about him was that he was a writer who had taken a hell of a lot of drugs, which of course he was, but he was also an incredibly unique and brave individual, with an intellect equal to any of the great thinkers through the ages; all I cared about was that by the time Hunter and i parted, he would know just a little bit more about his namesake other than his gargantuan chemical intake, as this fact alone seemed to be a great source of pride to him; something I found profoundly sad.

Hunter was in treatment for abusing fucking bath salts amongst other things! There are a hell of a lot more ‘designer’ drugs out there now that the kids are getting into, which were never around during my years of using and from what I’m reading and hearing, there is some pretty scary shit available, with bath salts being just one of them.

The main problem is the legality of these drugs because what has been happening is when one of them is outlawed, the rogue chemists out there who are synthesising these drugs, then change just one of the molecules ever so slightly, meaning it is in effect a completely different chemical and therefore legal once more and some of them are just diabolical!

Not long ago in Miami, a homeless man endured having a large portion of his face eaten off by I guy who was high on bath salts!….Get the picture?…if, God forbid, I use again for whatever reason, I reckon I’ll stick to the safe drugs…crack and heroin and similar…you know things have gone all weird when you make a statement like that.

Absolutely everything about addiction, in whatever form, is just fucking insane as your brain tricks itself again and again into justifying you behaving in ever more disturbing ways…to the point where Hunter’s had talked him into being completely ok with taking a substance crammed with chemicals he couldn’t even pronounce or spell…which the evidence suggested, could quite reasonably cause you to eat your friends’ face off before the evening news came on TV.

Right then…moving swiftly along…!

We also had a police officer with us who had managed to get himself a rather debilitating crystal meth habit, which he was finding most inconvenient because they wouldn’t let him have a gun anymore, which he seemed to find terribly unreasonable and caused him to sulk a lot.

I mentioned earlier that I came here via South Africa (Durban) and would like to expand on that a little more here if I may, before I introduce you to the remaining few members of our weird little clan, all clean and sober and awkward, hidden away amongst the vineyards and highly aromatic Marijuana plantations of northern California.

Only a couple of months prior to this, I had been uncomfortably ensconced amongst the sugarcane plantations slightly south of Durban, South Africa.
I had decided on that particular location upon the recommendation of a friend, whose ex-husband owned a treatment centre there, so there was that connection; also the prices were pretty reasonable, so I thought to myself…”Why the fuck not?”

I’ll get to the reasons…”Why the fuck not?”…in a minute…because there turned out to be plenty!

The first problem I encountered, concerning this particular little journey was my seeming inability to get on the plane…to firstly get to the airport…and then board…the plane…and to be even more precise…I was unable to do this…three times.

Whenever presented with the options of:

1. Treatment for addiction.

2. Death.

I have, up until now at least, always prided myself in my genius ability to always go for the first option. It’s quite uncanny really, this sixth sense I possess which has seen me continuously come up trumps…every fucking time!

Anyway, I had once again made the correct decision, placed the relevant phone call, given the relevant information to the lovely, helpful people, received the relevant instructions re getting there and checking in, repeated all the instructions back to them, told them that I couldn’t wait to meet them, as they cheerily said the same and with a final comforting flourish, they wished me Bon Voyage and Godspeed.

Then i made one other phone call…

Then I went all asleep and pointless…for a few…days…

…and missed the first flight, which was the day after the phone call and which I have no recollection of having booked, it’s just that people kept phoning me and annoying me and I didn’t know what they wanted and was quite short with them, as I drifted in and out of awareness, until it had been firmly established that I had indeed missed some flight to South Africa, that I had paid for and which wasn’t refundable, yet was rather expensive.

Here’s the problem you see…I was right in the middle of the pre-rehab fucking ridiculously large and reckless drug binge, which all addicts engage in, the second they hang up the phone call which has committed them to treatment; it’s almost as if that final phone call uses up any remaining ability to be a responsible adult and from that moment on they relinquish all control…passing it first to the dealer…then to the rehab…trusting fully that between them both they will somehow conspire to, over a specific time period, create a fully functioning and upstanding citizen of the realm…dust him down and send the fucker back to work…no questions asked…thank you very much…I hope I never see you again…

you cunts!

 

…to be continued

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