“I’ve been court-ordered to do it six times. I could write the book on rehab. Constantly sending me to rehab is pointless. The first few times I was court-ordered to rehab it was like a joke, like killing time.”–Lindsay Lohan in a pre-rehab interview with Piers Morgan last week
I’m about to check out of my Palm Springs/Desert villa (thank you, Marriott employee rate) after some much needed R&R these last few days clearing my head, taking it easy, and doing my best to take care of my spirit, body, mind, and soul. According to Googlemaps, Lohan is about 4.8 miles away at Betty Ford. This is assuming, of course, that she’s not run away overnight or gotten in a fight with a nurse like the last time she was there, etc. etc. etc.
All this to say that I’ve been on some medicine for about a month and a half to keep me from drinking. The people closest to me know this; there’s some side effects that are laughable at times, but as long as I take the pills the cravings for alcohol are non-existent. The key is to take the pills, much like the key to staying sober is to not drink. Here’s the point in writing this blog entry where I realize I sound like a broken record, or like I’m explaining sobriety to a second grader
or to myself. Those of you who’ve been reading for awhile are thinking, “This all sounds familiar.” And as I type it, I realize the same thing. But hear me out. Or quit reading, I honestly don’t care; this is therapeutic for me.
Addiction is a fiery hell filled with demons that no one would willingly trudge through. But those struggling with it can’t seem to find the way out, even with all the people and resources in their life trying to help them out and pointing to the fire exit doors. I’ve thought so many times over the last three years that I found the way out; that I was out; that I wasn’t going back in! Then one drink led to five led to fill-in-the-blank. My doctor told me that as great as this medicine is, I still have to face my demons (her exact words). And here I thought it was a magic little pill that would keep me sober. Then I realized I’m back at square
one two, dealing with the whole “dry drunk” phenomenon all over again (I wrote a *whole blog* on that, which also referenced Lohan, fittingly enough). My bright idea the last several months that I could be a “social drinker” was laughable, and I knew it all along. But it was a good excuse to drink again, even if I still didn’t drink much at all when I was out with my friends. Because drinking has always been my dirty little secret that I did alone. I didn’t want to share it with anyone else. It was something I had control over when I had control over nothing else; when all the plates were spinning out of control, as I blogged about last week.
The point I’m at right now is realizing, quite frankly, how important my sanity is to me. If I indeed don’t want to end up alone–and no one is ever going to put up with a crazy alcoholic–then I need to get my act together. And there’s no time like the present, and I have all the tools I need. I’ve been meeting with my pastor, as I also blogged about last week. He refuses to let me call him my therapist, so I’m referring to him as my mentor. Between him and the medicine, I’m all set. And God, of course, whose grace is just beyond my comprehension. I’m my own worst enemy, hence the medicine as a safety net. I don’t trust myself not to drink, and believe me that I’ve skipped doses of meds to do just that, only to vomit profusely once I take a pill again. I’ve thrown up more in the last month and a half than in the last 10 years. I think they actually give this stuff to patients in rehab and make them drink a shot to make them not want to drink when they get out. Or perhaps that’s Antabuse, I’m not sure. Either way, I’m living and learning and I feel like I’m getting towards the fire exit again. Instead of two steps forward and one step back, hopefully I can be taking three steps forward. (Is that even humanly possible? Maybe I shouldn’t try to overdo it.)
I wish Lohan well on her 90-day journey at nearby Betty Ford. I know three days is a drop in the bucket, but I don’t have $50K+ to spend on “real rehab,” so this bootleg version will suffice. I’ve held it together this long, so God willing and by his grace I’ll continue to do so. To end with a chuckle, here’s a GIF from ‘Veep’ which seems semi-fitting. Thanks for reading, and those of you whom offered all the free therapy the last several days. You all know who you all, and you’re all great friends. It shouldn’t surprise me at this point, but the support touches me every single time I’ve sobered up. I realize I’m the
boy man who cries “Wolf!” But for now, I’m headed towards the exit door again. I wish myself well.