I shook his hand, and looked back out through the window frame into the world of what my never be again and thought,
“welcome home, indeed” and bowed my head and sighed.
Part 4 begins….
They wanted me to go to rehab, I said “
No No No”if it will keep me out of prison, I will give it a shot.”
The rehab I attended was very structured.
-up at 6 am
-breakfast at 6:30 am
-treatment till noon
-lunch at 12:30 pm
-treatment till 6pm
-dinner till 6:30pm
-treatment till 10pm
15 hours a day of treatment for the length of my stay, which was 45 days. For a guy whose normal treatment was being drunk and high for most of the day, I deemed this excessive.
But the last time I checked, I had never run or been near a treatment center in my life. So basically I knew squatola.
The 8 hours of sleep at night was a welcome change. Usually when dawn was coming around, I was crawling into whatever dark corner I could find to attempt rest, like a roach waiting for scraps.
I was a sponge for knowledge upon arrival. I felt safe….for once. I had no responsibilities outside the walls of the center and it was calming.
I learned about my addiction. I asked questions. I got plausible answers. I looked forward to facing my demons.
I got tested for the AIDS virus. Negative
I got tested for hepatitis. Negative
I did not get tested for attempting to fake my way through the rehab process. It would have been positive.
You see, after the first 2 weeks, the information was recycled. So I received the two week plan…3 times.
By the end of week 4, I was quite certain that I could counsel everyone who walked through the door of the center much better than the paid staff could. My head got so big that the other clients cleared a path for me to walk down the center of the corridors
to make room for my superiority.
My enormous hot air balloon of a head began to deflate when I got a new roommate. He had been in my situation before, and was back as a client because he left with a huge ego and no plan to change.
For the next 14 days he would become my “Drill Sergeant of Truth”. I would attempt to justify my reasoning and he would counter with plain facts about the similarities of our past…..and what would be my future without change.
These were some of his words-
“If you leave this rehab and return to your so called friends, you will either go to prison or you will die. No question. If you want a shot at something different, move down where I am going. At least then you won’t be totally alone and might stand a chance. I’m moving to a town in the middle of nowhere Texas. A guy runs a halfway house down there. He will give you a place to stay for a reasonable amount of rent money. He has been in recovery for years and this is how he gives back.”
I needed to think about it. My friends wouldn’t do me wrong. What business did I have going to a place I never heard of to live with a bunch of other trying to be sober ex junkies. I wasn’t like them……..
Yeah, ok, so I was like them and I needed to give it a try. I obtained a day pass the day before I was to leave for Nowheresville, Texas. I needed the very few things I still had left. I called my friend and asked him to pick me up at 8am. He and another buddy showed up but were so loaded on coke n booze that I insisted on driving.
My tried and true friends. I thought they would be behind me getting better…..
The next afternoon, I boarded a bus en route to my future. No more excuses. No more drugs. No more booze. Time to grow up and act like a man, not a wanna be teenager again who thinks he can party “like a man”.
During the 4 hour trip, I vowed to leave the past behind and start anew.
The bus stopped. The doors opened. I walked off the steps into a place where no one knew anything about me. I got my bags looked around for my ride and said,
“So, this is what square 1 looks like. What on Earth have I gotten myself into?”