Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Graduation Day

So my insurance company decided that I am both sane and not an addict anymore, I didn't realize that shit had a cut off date.

I "graduated" from my intensive outpatient program yesterday and have finally finished up almost two months of treatment.  I don't really know what to say about it, I don't feel any different but maybe that is the point.  I went to a meeting tonight at the hospital where I did my treatment and the staff brought up a bunch of the "no shoe crew" (inpatients) to join the meeting.  They said the typical shit that most newcomers have to say at a meeting.

"I did this this and this and the cops did this this and this and now I know I have a problem."

"I feel like this is the beginning of something new for me, I am never going to get high again."

"I had just hit such a bad rock bottom that I knew I had to change."

I guess you should probably pardon me for being such a pessimist, but that sure as fuck wasn't the way I felt when I was inpatient.  It was more like, "When the fuck can I get out of this fucking place and smoke a goddamn cigarette?"  I don't know maybe that was just me, but I always wonder how many of them are being forced to go to these meetings and have some sort of "awakening" while there and then go back and plan out how they are gonna buy a bag when they get out.  Again, call me a pessimist or an asshole if you must...I never claimed to be anything else.

The thing is, I truly do want to see them at meetings.  I want them to get their lives in order and realize all the things that the program can do for you when it is properly followed.  I sure as hell ain't perfect and I've had my fair share of fuck ups, but I know I want it...I just hope they do too.  I hope they realize that it is going to get so much worse if they go out and conduct more "research and development."

The time came at the meeting to share.  I had honestly gotten quite fucking sick of hearing the, "I had a gram in my pocket and a bunch of rigs in my glove box," stories when I decided to say something.  I figured I would talk about graduation.

"I graduated from the inpatient program here just yesterday."

They clapped for a second before I told them to hold it.  I got the usual "what is wrong with this asshole" looks I get from time to time.

"So like I said, I graduated.  All the people in the group told me what they liked about me and wished me good luck and all that shit before they gave me a little coin with the Serenity Prayer written on the back of it.  I'm not gonna lie, it felt good to hear them say these things about me, that they see the strength I can't see in myself and so on.  The thing is, I left there feeling vulnerable."

They looked at me kind of strangely. 

"The truth of the matter is there is no such thing as a 'graduation day.'  You don't graduate from addiction, you don't graduate from sneaking around and you sure as hell don't graduate from being a liar.  The real fight begins when they don't have you pissing in a cup every day and you don't have the structure of a forced recovery program.  This shit is on you now.  You don't graduate from addiction, you can only fight it, study it and learn about it.  Know your enemy.  Know that you can not fight this disease unless you understand it and recognize how it shows itself in your life.  Know that you very well might fail but know that you can't give up so easily.  Did you give up when your first guy didn't have the shit you needed to get high?  No, you went on to the next one.  Just will always be fighting this battle.  We only protect what we have through vigilance."

"Thank you Patrick," they said before continuing on with the war stories.

My sponsor came up to me at the meeting and said something along the lines of, "Well didn't you learn it all overnight?"  I told him that wasn't the case, just that I saw a bunch of people in the room who wanted to want it but didn't truly want it yet.  The newcomer doesn't need a bunch of bullshit thrown at them, they need someone to be honest and brutally so if necessary.  They need to know the truth: you aren't gonna be normal ever again. will fight this battle until the day we die.

We only protect what we have through vigilance.

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