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Thursday, August 28, 2008

Sought through prayer and medication...

The guys at the Vet center pulled some strings and I was taken to the Regional Rehabilitation Center, adjacent to the small Hospital, outside of town. I hadn't had a drink in 24 hours so I was starting to think this whole idea was bullshit. My body thought differently.

I filled out paperwork, which because of the tremors in my hands was mostly scribble, and I answered health related questions. I was taken to a room with a large window overlooking a nurses station. The fishbowl. The repository for all new drunks so staff could monitor them for the first day of intake. My body had started to get panicked at the thought of no booze and I was starting to slide into terrible.

For the next two days I shook; threw up, dry heaved, cried, sweated, stank, hallucinated and did it all over again, sometimes in reverse order.

When I slept I dreamed of my daughter. Still a baby, but in this dark, cold wasteland, and she would hold her arms out to me and I would run to her. But I could never reach her. I heard a voice I imagined to be hers saying, "It's all right, Daddy, It's all right." I cried alot.

After two days of this, I ate an entire fried egg, and it stayed down. One for the home team.

I was moved to a shared room down the hall and heard the new occupant of the fishbowl go through his terrors. I wasn't that bad, was I? The cute little charge nurse told me I was worse.

I had a roommate and we struck a chord. A lot like friendships in situations of major crisis, we bonded through survival and shared experience. We both thought being sober blew, but were open to see what happened. He had a job in the kitchen. I was offered one but turned it down. My back was to the wall too much to attempt to try anything normal.

I began attending 12 step meetings and counseling sessions and started to journal.There was a group of about fifteen of us of varying ages, backgrounds and sex. I was informed I was a liar, a cheat and a thief and I could make no valid argument against it. After a while my vision cleared and I could read again.

I started to put a few days behind me. People from outside the facility could attend the meetings and they were viewed as minor celebrities. Two of them were alumnus of the hospital and had been sober six months. That gave them apostle status in our eyes. Six months? Without a drink, or a drug? Aint no way, baby. That's impossible. But it was possible, and I began to think it might be for me, as well.

Two of the more popular folks who had gotten to this stage in sobriety were a 24 year old ex-logger and a 19 year old Indian stripper. They were sponsoring people in our group and we all thought it too, too cool.

I figured they knew something we didn't and we unknowingly placed them on pedestals. We wanted to be just like them when we grew up. We got real spiritual, real fast, and a few of us had butterflies blowing out our ass...we made ourselves sick. We had not so much gotten sober as we had gotten good. And that, was just plain dangerous.

Within a year they were both dead. He was found on the side of a mountain in a tartan sleeping bag, a hole blown through his head. She was found hanging in her mother's attic, moonlight shining through the attic window, framing her face as she twirled gently from the rafter.

Sometimes the gorilla wants to dance, long after you're tired.

2 comments:

Raúl y Pablo said...

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Geoffrey Hill said...

Wow.

My new disclaimer...yeah I know.

Okay, the old disclaimer was tired. The ideas were outdated and keeping me stuck in a place I don't want to be anymore...so now for something more refreshing.

I have recently changed my views regarding women. Seems I had some issues with the fairer sex due to past pain and self- centered fear. (Yes...duh applies.)

I'm done with that.

Being in recovery has helped me change my entire life, perceptions and attitudes. I cannot change my history but I can change my today and my future.

I recently realized that the women I know in recovery are some of the strongest, bravest, most gentle and kind teachers I have ever had. You exemplify integrity and spiritual growth, and I hope you know who you are.

Some may know of my past marital and relationship history and been a participant in them as well. It's past and that's where it stays...in the past.

I own my part in those failures but claim no more responsibility in any misery you may be experiencing. I am sorry, but it's time to get off the cross. We need the wood.


Thank you all...