One Man's Journey: Part 4
I asked one of the staff if they would pull up the picture they took when I was admitted. I told her JFK should give all patients a before and after
pair of photos. She agreed. Now my mission is to convince administration to incorporate it as S.O.P. I’ve enclosed my intake photo. My caption is, “Just another Piece of the Puzzle Looked Down Upon.” This is probably the most residentially-challenged looking photo of me ever taken that isn’t a mug shot.
Remember when I said I don’t like usable things going to the landfill? I was rooting
around our craft closet and discovered some wallpaper sample books. Seems like someone else (Recreation Therapy Coordinator?) realized the mixed media artists’ gold mine hiding between the corners of these big-ass books. I liked the way the light reflected, the pattern, and colors of one sample. Reminded me of holographs. If I had walls, I’d push pin a piece up on one of them.
I’ve been thinking about what mental benefits I’ll take with me when I leave rehab. I’ve already heard all the education information – many times. This round of rehab, I’ve really looked deeper and been more mindful of everything
and everyone around me. When it comes to this rehab, facts, figures, and especially statistics ran on me like water off a duck’s back, only because
I am looking for the deepest meaning I can take away from here. I’ve found some hiding in plain sight: acceptance, honesty, and fear have to be the top ten. I’ve come to the conclusion that no one needs to be an addict to find [that] information gained here is very useful, almost required, to live a richer and fuller life.
“Realistically, I’m a very abstract person.”— My take on a similar quote that’s attributed to many different people, “Superficially, I’m a very deep person.”
The package was a multi-faceted surprise. I was elated to get anything in the mail. I have been so disconnected to the outside world, I probably would have been glad to receive a hospital bill, so you can imagine my giddiness when I saw it was Speak Up on the return address. I’ll try to get my thoughts and emotions on a timeline. Surprised to get mail from Speak Up. Shocked (happily) to see my in the magazine. In awe at the $25 paid for my article. Very, very pleased to see the words you put in ink. Especially the, “keep sending.” I felt a
whole lot less alone after getting it. Funny thing, because I hadn’t realized that loneliness was even on my agenda of things I need to work on.
Bridging the Gap is going to pick me up and give me a ride to a meeting. I don’t know what in the hell I’ll do next. LensCrafters, hospital to find out what’s actually wrong with my knee, attorney’s office if not satisfied with hospital treatment, risk management at the hospital, stashing a bag of clothes somewhere, say “Hi!” to Doug – a friend who oversees Pack Square, and, unfortunately, a beer thought will pop in my head. Sad but true. How I act after that thought is completely up to me.
In the right here, right now, I’d give that thought about a 30% chance of developing into insanity again. Not good odds, I know. I’m really going to keep H.A.L.T. at bay...being Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired is fertilizer for insanity
to grow. Having one [symptom] of HALT is not good. Having two means it’s time to get inside myself and think; having three is time to hit the brakes and call someone; having four...I’ll put it this way, I’ll go to jail or I’ll die or I’ll end up back
in another/same mental institution. Never fails. If I let all four happen, it’s on.
Addiction’s a bitch. It’s like walking around always knowing, feeling, sensing death that’s as close to you as your own shadow.
Outside, picnic table, 8:30am, not a cloud in the sky, country pop in the background, guys playing corn hole, and sun warming my back. The air
is sweet, and the mountains seem to grow taller every day.
My counselor was the one to suggest another week’s extension; not for more work on my addiction but to try and confirm some type
of housing—to fill in that blank place on my discharge summary. Guess what? It’s blank and will probably remain so. Also need glasses. 20/60 in one, 20/80 in the other. Add to that partial
paralysis in right eye due to damage to the 6th optic nerve. And most of all, I need to find out what’s really wrong with my left knee. If I walk fast, it feels like someone’s wiggling an ice pick under my kneecap. I don’t walk fast.
There is no sense in moving into a halfway house if I am unable to work [or do] physical labor. I need to get my Career Readiness Certificate sent to me from Goldsboro before attempting to get a job from a company not requiring grunt work. I was one point away from receiving a platinum certificate. I only took the test to satisfy a company in Goldsboro. They didn’t care if I got a bronze, silver, gold, or platinum. They just wanted to see if I could get one. Maybe I should add it to my curriculum vitae. Maybe one day I’ll hang it on my bragging wall. Ha ha.
So as it stands right now, I’ll be sleeping rough again. For the time being at least. I’ll get glasses, my C.R.C. and hopefully my leg fixed.
I will be on my Chromebook by Thursday evening. Maybe I’ll send you before and after photos of me. I obtained a copy of the one
taken upon admission. I’ll do a selfie for your comparison. You’re going to be amazed at the difference. Too bad you won’t see the 24 pounds I put on. I don’t do belly selfies.
Asheville again. Just went to the courthouse to check on my court date status. Shortly after I got here initially, I set out to break any records for getting the most tickets in the shortest amount of time. I got six tickets in eleven days.
Walk a mile in my shoes and you’ll want yours back after the first ten steps.