So, I've told you about when I went to rehab, and how I landed at a half way house. Are you ready to hear more?
Well, hold onto your horses. Here comes the ride of a lifetime.
I woke up one day, safe and sound in Rehab, and was advised that I was being discharged that day because my insurance company didn't want to pay any further. They suggested I stay, but I would have to pay out of pocket, as this was a private facility, not a state run type at the county hospital. Back then, the cost of rehab was over 12,00.00 a day and I was a junkie. I couldn't come up with that kind of money. Not for the amount of time they wanted me to stay there. So the decision was made that I would be dismissed into a halfway house, still taking detox medications. One of the rules at the house was to go to a 12 step meeting every day. No matter what. So the day my friend from rehab and I arrived at the house, we were ushered directly to an AA meeting. It was an upstairs meeting and I was still doped up on the detox medication (Phenobarbital) to try to keep me from having withdrawal seizures as well as my other meds for normal control of everything from anxiety to depression and seizures. I went to that house loaded. Leaving that AA meeting that night I was an hour late for my evening dose and already getting pretty loopy and shaky. I missed a step and WHAM! Down I went. It was just the last two or three steps that I tumbled down…and oddly enough, I really didn't feel a thing. I scraped my knees and elbows up but all in all, I was simply disoriented. I was a 23 year old, drug addict, loser.
The first few days at the house it was just my rehab buddy, me and another girl who had been living in the house for several months already. Those days were great. Then more girls started moving in. And more. And more. Soon I found myself living with five other recovering addicts/alcoholic women of varying ages and varying backgrounds. We had the future soccer mom, the artsy photographer, the country girl trying to come out of the closet, me the GAY AND PROUD DYKE and REBEL ( I know, funny how we change as we age, huh?) We had the Yuppie and the ex prostitute. Think Facts of Life, on crack.
Needless to say, many a personality conflict occurred in that house. Needless to say, there were many a tear shed in that house. Needless to say, there were very close bonds formed in that house too.
I was a twisted, messed up kid when I left that house. I was mean, resentful, and scornful to the owner/manager. I blamed her for my mistakes. I would see her five years later when I entered rehab for my second time, she worked at the facility, and I would avoid conversation with her, opting to glare and condemn her with my piercing stares instead. It took a long time for me to realize that she helped me more than almost anyone in my path at that time.
We had good times and rough times in that halfway house. I both loved it and hated it and I still do. But I can look back at my time there, and both honestly and gratefully say that it helped form who I am today, and that is nothing to be regretful about by any means.
When you are in a period like that in your life, everything is new. Emotions are raw and buried forgotten stuff is festering up to the surface. It's really not the best time to try to engage in meaningful relationships. Not romantic ones, for sure. So like the good student I was, I fell in love right away.
I couldn't help it. I'd met the most wonderful woman. She was independent, exotic, in recovery, and best of all, she was a chef. She was unlike anything I had ever seen or known at that time.
It was complicated, as those situations always are. So when I inevitably relapsed and subsequently got myself evicted from the halfway house, I first moved in with the soccer mom, who had also recently left the halfway house, but I found her there in a less than sober scene, and since I truly was trying to get myself right, I didn't stay long at all.
I moved out of there and into my girlfriend's apartment. We had only been dating a couple of months, and I was moving in because we simply couldn't think of another option (yeah, right!). I did promise to look for my own apartment, though, and I held true to my promise. I really wanted to live in my own space. I'd decided not to go back to where I had been before entering rehab…they (they being those in the recovery world) say you can never go back to old playgrounds, and I surely did not need to.
I stayed with that girlfriend, the chef, for a few months while I saved up some money and eventually found an apartment just down the street from her. It was walking distance, even. Not that you'd want to walk it in that neighborhood, but theoretically, it was possible.
It didn't take long for me to find myself moving further and further away from the desire to keep on the positive path I had started and leaning more and more toward my old ways.
Funny how that happens, like a tiny little weed, growing in your garden. You notice it creeping up and you think "One of these days, I'm gonna need to do something about that." Then all of a sudden, it's the very next day and that scrawny weed has taken root and engulfed the flower bed.
That's how addiction takes over, and over, and over…
I think the key is catching it early, just like that weed. Don't say "I'll deal with it tomorrow." Tomorrow's too late. Grab it by the root as soon as you see that sucker poke its nasty little head out of the ground.
But that's just my thought…
Anyways, back to the chef. She was the first love of my life. Not in that whole and completely passionate way, but in that newly found "what's this all about?" kind of way. She was quite a bit older than I was and that was a huge hindrance in our ability to effectively communicate with each other. That relationship ended and I moved on to the next, and the next which landed me in the spot of moving to California and I've already told you that story.
Later, when I'm up to it, and if you want it, I'll give you the story of going to rehab for my last time.