I finally got into Adult Day Hospital. It’s about 20 adults in the basement of a hospital doing 4 hours of different group therapies and one hour for lunch (unless you’re on half days – which happens when you’ve been there for a while.) The program is about 4 weeks give or take a week or two depending on what your insurance will pop for but if you really need to be there the staff will try to work with the insurance companies to keep you there. It’s my one week one day anniversary today and I’m feeling really positive. All the grieving over Chris I’ve done has NOT come to a halt or been in vein, but rather now I have a place to process my feelings and to help me mourn the loss. My case worker thinks it’s a good idea if I stay away from talking to him until he comes home in which case if I want to reconcile that sounds like an alright idea, but for now, keeping ‘clean’ of a toxic relationship is important. If it’s going to hurt me to talk to him then don’t talk to him.
It hurts, it really does, but it’s good to be in a supportive environment of people who may have different issues than you (some way worse). Brian, for instance, is an older gentleman probably my dads age (late 50’s) who just joined group last week. People trickle in and others trickle out. When they leave we have rock ceremonies for them. I’ll go through one the next time we get to one. Anyway, Brian.
He’s a dad of 1, step-dad of 1 (of whom he’s been in the kids life since he was 8 and he’s 23 now) and husband of (well, 1). He’s been an alcoholic 27 years, married 16, never tried to quit until now. He got thrown into the hospital when his wife wasn’t responding to his calls at work so he texted her pictures of him slitting his wrists in a drunken stooper. He’s never tried to quit alcohol before and now that he’s two and a half weeks sober, two weeks out of the hospital and into Day Hospital for depression, he’s doing really well. Unfortunately, his 23 year old stepson gave his mother an ultimatum that it was Brian coming home or the stepson moving out. Brian is currently living at a halfway house now while he works out his treatment and goes to AA meetings after Day Hospital. He’s starting to look at some of his anger right now in small group psychotherapy (He’s in my group), and today I had a gift for him.
Two years ago when I was there one of the alcoholics was giving up coins that he was going to give in an AA meeting which had a sailboat on one side and the words “We cannot control the wind but we can adjust our sails”. Just some crappy little brass or nickel coin, but a coin that was supposed to symbolize that you’re doing well, and remind yourself of what’s in your control. I took that coin out last night from my keepsake box and brought it this morning for Brian who fiddled with it in his fingers all day, twirling it and occasionally dropping it, you could hear him go “shit!” or “goddamnit!” He called me sweetheart and gave me a hug and kiss on the cheek though so overall I think it was a good investment giving it to him. I’m really sentimental and I lost my rock from my last rock ceremony there, so that was my replacement for it. However, I have a new rock coming up in a few weeks and I’ll just have to accept and mourn the loss of my rock, which is a common theme quite obviously here in my treatment.
Fangs, I mean, Daniel, has also got it worse off than me. I’m not 100% sure why he’s there other than “I’m really fucked up.” But the 37 year old with surgically implanted fangs, hot topic pants as well as black hoodies and tattoos of his bones over his skin (so it looks like the skin is inside out) always has a lot to say. His stories are all over the place. I don’t believe half of them unfortunately but even if they aren’t true, he’s got to have gone through some heavy shit to make him the way he is today even if it really was an abundance of alcohol or drugs. He’s claimed to have had three heart attacks, died twice on the operating table, had a girl die of heroin in his arms, been in jail 15 times, been shot, shot a gun, been in a gang, and move a guy who was dead of an OD out onto the patio from inside the kitchen because he thought he was just “really fucked up”.
Not everyone there was a user. There are NA and AA meetings for that. This is a swimming pool for the emotionally unfit. The people who tried committing suicide from clinical depression or had manic episodes for the first time in their lives at age 61, or whose anxiety is so bad they can’t work anymore and need help learning how to function again.
There’s plenty of stories left to tell, but for now you can chew on Brian and Daniel. I’m just happy that I was able to bring myself to blog again. It felt uncomfortable not having the concentration to be able to string words together for a week, but to be kind to myself, it was a really heavy week.