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[ Personal Narratives ]


Eyes open, pissed off, drenched in sweat and shivering cold in a bed that is not my own. Some lady is coughing and gagging next to me in another bed. Yesterday I admitted myself to this rehab for the first time and today I’m regretting this stupid decision. I wonder if the bastards in the room have any dope? What a dumbass I am for coming to rehab with no drugs hidden in a crevice of my body. My roommates will have some I’m sure. My belly is twisting itself in tighter knots so I pull my legs up close to my stomach and sink under the covers. Detox makes sleep a hot commodity, except that you can never truly get a hold of it. It is the only escape from the nightmare of reality but my eyes won’t go there.

A lady opens the door and shines a flashlight. “Breakfast!” she says cheerfully. I’d like to punch her in the face. In the hopes that a fellow roommate has some dope, I sit upright. My eyes lock with a woman who is pale as hell and skinny as a rail. Her eyes protrude far from the sockets and I get up quick. I know if she gets to the bathroom before I do, I’ll probably shit my pants while waiting. I’ll never understand why detox gave me the shits so bad. It’s not like I ate very much and when I did, it was maybe a cracker or a portion of a Mcdonald’s hamburger. Anyway, there I sat on the toilet, feeling dizzy. Crazy eye lady is crying that she needs to go to the bathroom. I really don’t care because I feel like shit.

I leave the room shaking and shivering with my pajamas still on. The cafeteria is full of people I don’t really want to know. The food looks terrible and looking at it too long makes me want to puke so I just get some coffee. A guy warns me that it is decaf. What a bummer, no caffeine. I am horribly thirsty so it will have to do. Some people are writing in notebooks, some are eating, and I am gazing out the window at the road, plotting my departure.

I got stuck at rehab. Not really stuck, I was just too lazy to leave on foot. No one in my family would rescue me so I told them not to visit me on visiting day. Physically I felt better. By the fourth day, I was able to fall asleep and successfully sleep through the night. My body was not cramped and sore anymore. I was beginning to feel human again.

I had a pile of paperwork the rehab provided on the disease of addiction and info about the 12 steps. My mind couldn’t comprehend it so I did as little paperwork as possible. It’s a good thing you can flunk out of rehab, due to lack of effort, because I would have failed miserably.

I left rehab AMA (against medical advice) within the first 10 days of treatment. I thought I had the addiction beat. Unfortunately the obsession to use was greater than my desire to stay clean. I was high within 24 hours. I was in jail within six months. I lost my kids within a year. In hindsight, rehab could have been a great help. But it couldn’t help me. I wasn’t ready to go to any length to stay clean. Therefore my consequences were grave.