Disclaimer: I apologize to anyone offended by the expletives in my posts. But my mom raised me to swear like a sailor, so you can blame her (Hi, Mom!).
I’m a little pissed off lately. Do you want to know why? I don’t care, I’ll tell you anyway:
Let’s backtrack. Let me start with a gratitude. I feel overwhelmingly grateful to have gotten the chance to go to treatment, especially this last round. Listen, it didn’t start out that way. My team all but had to drag me by the hair to the Tarmac just to get me on my flight to Denver. But 4 months later, I sobbed my eyes out when I left. Why? Well for starters, the 47,000 milkshakes they made me drink went straight to my ass, and I had to go face the real world…larger ass included. But I digress. MOST of the tears trickled out of my eyes because I met some of the most beautiful people in Denver.
When I first got there, I remember being on the phone with my Mom, hiding from my roommates on the balcony, and chain-smoking like a damn chimney; telling her I’d be in and out. I would not pass go, I would not collect 200 dollars, nor would I make ANY connection with these people. Eat my food, keep my head down and get the hell out of this joint. Ha. Trying to avoid connection with people you are with, literally 24 hours a day is like…ugh, my analogy bank is tapped today. At any rate.. it’s impossible. On my first day, my new roommate and I were in a van together about to move our suitcases into our rooms. She was so sweet and talkative, and I barely said 3 words. It’s funny because her first impression of me in her own words, months later: “Tattoos, piercings, antisocial and a heavy smoker. Welp, won’t be friends with this girl.” Okay, maybe she didn’t say I was antisocial. Ironically though, we became so close during treatment that we were given a celebrity couple name. For anonymity purposes, I won’t reveal that name here. She is one of the many beautiful people I became close with in treatment, both patients and staff alike. Some of the most compassionate, intelligent, insightful human beings I’ve ever met. These people become your family during your stay. You share a common struggle. They get it, when most of the outside world doesn’t. All different backgrounds, struggles, ages, races, sexualities – but you are all climbing the same mountain. And that bond is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced.
Sorry, that tangent was way longer than I planned. The reason I’m mad is because we all know we are on the fast track to death, so we voluntarily check ourselves into a program, we work so fucking hard. We cry, kick, scream, and laugh through all of it. We do everything we can to slay the beast. And then we leave and real life bitch slaps us across the face. And maybe it doesn’t happen like that for everyone, but more often than not, it happens. And as I have said in the past, it’s not a linear process…it’s like a big, ugly tumor that sometimes grows back. We have to accept that. But we can accept it AND still be pissed about it. Why is this so hard? It hurts my heart to see the beautiful people struggling. When I slip in my own process, it’s hard not to get in my own head about it. Oh, what a lovely surprise, here we are. Treatment has become a revolving door.– I’m laughing as I write this because I imagine us looking at a table covered in a bunch of treatment brochures, with our fingers stroking our chins – like we’re trying to pick a vacation spot. Hmm. Where to go, so many options (by the way, it’s nothing like that. Treatment is no vacation)– How many fucking times do I have to go to treatment just to come out and be in the same headspace in a matter of time? Why. Won’t. This. End?). Personally, I get a case of the “fuck its” at this point, accept my fate – that this is how I’ll go out…no point in trying. It’s heavy and the end of the tunnel is pitch black. And if the beautiful people who have been plagued by this for years are anything like me, I imagine they come to this place too – in some form or another. And it kills me. I don’t want any of them to have to think like this. More importantly, I don’t want any of them to think they’re alone in thinking like this.
I wish there was an easier way. Unless we go back to offering lobotomies (I’ve asked my team for one many a time, they’re never amused), there’s simply not a cure. There’s no saying how many more treatments are ahead of us and that’s okay. We can’t plan for relapse, it just happens – both slowly and quickly and all at once. We feel like we are sinking and hope is lost quicker than we can blink. So we have to find floaties (you know, those orange, inflatable things for swimming). And the floaties will gradually lose air- so we’re going to need someone outside of the pool with big breaths of air on standby. We don’t have to drown. It’s okay to be here. We’ve been here before. We all lose some air through the journey. Floaties deflate all the time. But someone is standing outside the pool. We can ask for air. We have someone. We always have someone.