I’m not quite sure of what I’m allowed and not allowed to talk about in regard to why I had abruptly stopped blogging about a month or so ago, so I’ll keep this as brief as possible. They tried to shut me down…they failed. So now I’m back and I’m going hard on this until I’m out of here…which just so happens to be pretty soon (sometime in 2012)…
Also, please try and bear with me on this blog topic specifically. Traveling down memory lane isn’t always easy, especially when it concerns me thinking back to my time spent in rehab. I was in a pretty fucked up place in my life at the time. I guess you could say I’m still pretty ashamed that my drug use and my actions ultimately landed me there for an extended stay. Until recently, I had kept my time spent there a secret from a lot of people for fear of being judged. Shit, most people had no idea that I even had a drug problem of any kind until I started this blog. But now I’m in prison…all the fear and embarrassment is out the window. I’m not too concerned with how others view me anymore. I am only focused on how I view myself. I realize I’ve done some crazy, stupid, and fucked up shit in my life…some of which I’m not too proud of. Rehab is the exception. I am proud to be able to say that I’ve been..that I made it through (and only once)…and managed to stay clean after. Not many in the position I was once in can truly say that. So follow me if you will. Down the long, lonely corridors of rehab, while I describe what it’s like to detox from drugs in a room full of complete strangers…what it’s like to be forced into group meetings to share feelings and experiences…and what it’s like to finally convince myself to give up the life that I was leading…the life of a hustler…the life of a drug addict…this is my moment of clarity……..
Walking into rehab (which for now will remain nameless) on that particularly sunny mid-September day back in ’09, I didn’t really know what to expect. For the most part, it was an entirely new experience for me. Sure, I’ve watched guilty pleasures such as Celebrity Rehab and Intervention before, who hasn’t, but going to rehab is sort of like prison–unless you’ve been there before and experienced it first hand, you truly don’t know what it’s like. All I did know for certain as I walked in there high (like I owned the place) was that I was a drug addict and I needed help. Supposedly, rehab was the place that could help me safely flush all the different shit I’d been slowly killing myself with out of my body for good.
I was originally going to write, while I was checking in at the front desk that day, I had all of these hopes that while I was there I could learn how to stay clean and sober once I left…how I was so eager to get my old life back and how I was ready to do everything and anything to make that happen…how I didn’t want to wind up a news clipping or a cautionary take…how from the moment I walked in I was a changed man who finally saw the light…I was going to sound righteous, profound and motivated…inspirational perhaps……it would have all been complete and utter bullshit. Sure, it would have sounded good, but not a single word of that would have been true.
Truth be told, I hadn’t changed…not even close. I walked in there high on pills and I was itchin’ for more. I certainly wasn’t concerned with staying sober. That didn’t even cross my mind at that point. I could not have cared any less if I was going to wind up as a cautionary tale. I just didn’t want to be there. It was nice out. I was high. I should have been enjoying my life, yet I was there, checking into a hotel that would take my high away for good. I was really only there to please my family and friends, to pacify my girl at the time, and for financial convenience. Sure, I was pretty sick of pills having my balls in a vice grip. I was sick of how my entire life revolved around drugs. I was sick of the mood swings, the ups and downs, the lies, and the lacking social life and family relationships that ensued. But to tell you the truth, I was REALLY sick of almost two grand a week going from my safe to right up my nose. That’s just not good business. That was my main motivation for going through with it. All those other reasons came in a distant second.
I had thoughts of pulling some Jason Bourne type shit and hopping over the counter, slipping past the guard at the entrance, and bolting through the door to freedom shortly after my mother left. However, I realized I had zero cash on me. Nor did I have my key fob or a phone…I forgot I had given them to my mom so conveniently a little while before. So in other words, I was fucked. Even if I made it to the parking lot, I wouldn’t have made it very far. Whether I liked it or not, I was going to go through with it. Rehab was going to be my residence until I was free from drugs.
Now it may seem that my blogs are a constant contradiction. In one blog I’m having epiphanies because I meet this little boy with cancer and I realize how bad I’m fucking up, so I vow to quit selling drugs and quit doing them. Then I’m talking about how I want to escape rehab to sniff pills and go back to hustlin’. It seems as if I’m all over the place. Welcome to the mind of a drug addict. I only write about how I felt at each particular time. If your confused, imagine how I must have been. I had a devil on one shoulder telling me, “Fuck rehab, go cop some more pills and let’s get this money.” Then I’d think of my family and how I had already put them through enough of my shit, and I’d snap out of it and realize I had to get my act together.
So, if at any point it sounds like I regret going that day, that is not the case. Going to rehab is BY FAR the BEST decision I’ve ever made. Shit, I wish it didn’t take me so long to get my ass there. Maybe I wouldn’t be sitting in Federal Prison right now. OK, where was I?
Once I finally convinced myself that I was indeed stuck there, I was commanded by the ever so pleasant woman checking me in that I had to hand over my luggage so it could be searched for drugs and other contraband. This still baffles me to this day. Sure, I can see maybe smuggling in a cell phone or an iPod for recreational purposes, but c’mon, who the fuck would bring drugs INTO rehab? You would have to be a real idiot…or better yet…a real asshole to pull that kind of move. I mean isn’t that counterproductive? That’s like smuggling fudge brownies into a Weight Watchers meeting. It kind of defeats the whole purpose. But, as I would later learn, there are more idiots out there than one would guess…and I’m one of them.
While my luggage was being thoroughly searched, I was given an interview and a piss test from the same pleasant woman who had checked me in. The interview was pretty basic. They wanted to evaluate how bad of a drug addict I was, what drugs I was then using, how much and for how long. The whole time I was secretly praying that I didn’t have any loose blueberries or god knows what else floating around in my luggage. That’s ALL I needed…to get kicked out of rehab before I even made it to my room. The piss test went pretty smoothly, no pun intended. I studied really hard for that test and it showed. I had three different drugs in my system. The fucking trifecta. Yippie! Well, not really. All that meant was that they wouldn’t start helping me detox with medication until withdrawals from the shit I was on started to happen. You remember…the sweats, chills, aches, pains, nausea…yeah, all that good stuff I mentioned before. In other words, since I sniffed and swallowed a handful of pills a mere half hour before that intake interview and piss test, I wouldn’t start to withdraw for 24-48 hours…I was fucked yet again. The first two days I had to spend there would be for nothing…I was already batting a thousand.
When the whole intake ordeal was through and my luggage was cleared by security, I was given a fresh bed roll and pointed toward my room down the hall. I can still remember that moment as clear as day. I passed a few nurses as I walked down the white walled corridor alone…all of which were blatantly staring at me…or at least it felt that way. It was almost eerie. I mean I know I’m devilishly handsome…lol…but this was different. I almost felt as if I was being judged as I walked by dragging my suitcase. I remember feeling my face start to flush with embarrassment. All my confidence, my ego, my male bravado…out the window. I must have left it in my car. I was nervous. No, it was more than mere nerves. It was a cross between a panic attack and shame…if that makes sense. Like I had some sort of sign on me that read, “I am a drug addict”. It almost felt like a walk of shame or what I would imagine that would feel like. I remember thinking, “Now I know how my one night stands must have felt…leaving my apartment the next morning as I walked them quickly to their car, my car, or to their awaiting cab…wearing their clothes from the previous night, usually something provocative, hair all over the place, shades on, barefoot, carrying their heels so they could keep up with me as I hurried them along…as we passed neighbors who greeted me and smiled at my guest as if to say (without saying) that she’s not the first and certainly not the last woman they’ve seen do that very same walk from my place, but yet they were still trying to be somewhat polite.”…yeah…I felt like that when I did my lil’ walk of shame by those nurses that day. I felt low. It was brutal. Quite possibly the longest walk of my life….
I was hoping for a single room with my own private bathroom, TV, and possibly a window with a nice view. Something to perhaps make detoxing a little more comfortable for me. What I got was an eight man room with a bunch of single beds evenly arranged along the walls. There was a bathroom, but it certainly wasn’t private by any means. There was no TV and the only window appeared to be sealed shut with a view of the parking lot. If I had one word to describe the ambiance of the room I stayed in, I’d say miserable works nicely. The walls were bare, off white. The floors were tile, dirty beige. The beds were small, metal, with mattresses that didn’t appear too cozy, lumpy. It almost looked like what I would picture a mental ward to look like, minus the padded walls. It would have been a perfect setting for a horror film and I was there to get off drugs, just great. The only upside to the misery of the room upon me entering…there was no one there. That pleased me. I took that as a chance to make my bed and unpack some of my shit without being bothered by anyone. After I did all of that, I remember lying there…high, still feeling judged, staring at the ceiling thinking…“So this is where my life has ended up? I’m in fucking rehab? Like really Matty…rehab??” I vividly remember yearning for another blueberry, anything for that matter, to help take my mind off the fact that I had fucked up my life to the point where I was in some dingy room at an overpriced understaffed rehab trying to get off of drugs. I never felt so disgusted with myself as I did at that moment. I almost teared up, but I held back. I think the drugs I was on played a small part in that, or maybe I didn’t want one of my new roommates to walk in on me crying on my first day. Tears or not, I was sad. I felt like a complete failure. I felt like history repeated itself. I ended up just like my deceased father……addicted to drugs….
(To be continued)…