Sunday, August 01, 2004

Back from the Desert after 21 days

Hi All!

Christ could handle 40 days, but things move a bit faster now. I ain't no Christ so I could claim to have had a harder experience. Of course, He was working to save all mankind and I was only working on me so, props to J.C. for showing that old Demon what's for, as that is what I need to tell my own personal Demon as well.

I will spend the next days describing my experience at the Fairview Medical Center inpatient program. formerly known as St. Mary's.

I need to peel off the onion in layers, and since I just got out today I need to gather my voluminous thoughts and figure out how to parse them out in digestible bits.

Since I've written down some stuff, I will try to pique your interest with my "Graduating Speech" delivered to the current 60-odd member group:

How to say goodbye?

When I left treatment here seven years ago, I would have screamed, 'So long, Suckas!'

But dammit, something happened this time. No shit.

This time I came in willingly, hopefully, desperately.

I wheeled in a shopping cart full of incentives, not the least of which is my doctor's prognosis of "End Stage cirrhosis" which means that if I can live through a handful of sober months, I MAY get on a liver transplant list which, if I'm lucky to live long enough after that, will go thru a fucking bitch of an operation followed by two years of painful, icky, iffy "recovery".

So, I was determined to accept this treatment for whatever I could suck out of it, and soldiered on through the good and the bad. Do you know what? Things clicked!

I fell in with a group blessed with incredible Karma. In our sessions, I peeled off so many layers of my personal onion that I could get grown men to cry just by sitting in the same room with me.

I began to feel that one of my strongest defenses, my cold, sarcastic, sardonic and very pointed wit was beginning to morph into warm, smarmy touchy-feelingness.

It didn't quite go that far, but if you pass me in the hall, don't come TOO close. I could go TF at any time, and then you would spend the rest of the day reeking of onion.

Everyone takes this chance to say goodbye and thank you to the counselors and fellow inmates and wish all the best as they are cast back into the roiling seas of the real world.

I would try something different.

Today, with apologies to Lennon and McCartney, let me leave for now with this thought:

You say goodbye to this recovering friend, but I say, HELLO!... HELLO HELLO!!

We're all on this ship together. 21-days don't mean shit. Let's stick together through aftercare and beyond.

Best of success to us all. Stomp on that demon and enjoy your new life. Give ourselves a great big hand!




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