As my life was falling apart around me at almost 30 years of age I had once more “confessed” to my parents that I had a problem and needed rehab. Of course it was on the heels of consequences (another DUI). I could dress it up for you but the bottom line is that I was lazy and hated consequences. Paying consequences requires a lot of work for very little return. I hate that. When the consequences piled up enough and the pain of eking out one more day in my addiction was worse than the perceived pain of agreeing to get help, I would let go and go crawling to my parents. My mother would get emotional and hug me and then run around frantically trying to help me figure out where to go to rehab. As I laid on the couch watching my mother do ALL the work to save my life I would feel a fleeting sense of relief that at least the gig was up for now. Curiously in all my guilt, shame, remorse and fear my mind would start to accept that I was going to go somewhere and I would start to think what that might look like. Now, you would think , and I would have told you at the time that I was considering who had the best therapy, who had the best program, who had the best doctors, the best reputation etc. As we pretended to understand the hundreds of lines of offerings that rehabs would list on their archaic websites that stunk of “here are some fancy things we do that make us better than the one down the street” I would be on a different page in my head. As I lay on the couch guilt ridden and full of fear (but not enough to get me off the couch to help try to save my life) on the precipice of destruction I strangely wondered things like
“Do they allow cell phones so I can maintain my dysfunctional relationship with that really unhealthy girl that is also in the throes of addiction”
“Is it coed maybe I can meet a new girl who’s life is also falling apart and dump my emotional baggage on her”
“Am I going to get laid?”
“Do they have good food? I heard this one place service prime rib”
“Are the beds comfortable? Will I have my own room?”
“Can I smoke there?
“Is there a movie night?”
“I wonder if I will be able to graduate with high marks without being totally honest”
Later when I got a decent amount of sober time under my belt I reflected back and I was ashamed of these thoughts. I was even telling a fake story about why the rehab tech at my last stop brought me in a room after searching my bag and found a hidden cell phone and a pile of roughly 15 condoms.
The truth is that I was sick and part of my disease is that without help all the wrong things look attractive to me. However, I realize that a lot of people are in the same situation and its okay. What ever brought me to the last facility brought me there, those things are positive (and funny now) because they got me to the rehab where I was launched on a vigorous course of action that started my sober journey. (Hopefully the last time I have to start again)