Bored: 20 days
I did not succumb to darkness this week. I did, however, have to complete 20 hours of community service so as not to go back to jail for three days. I completed exactly 20, down to the quarter-hour, exactly 12 hours before I was to report back to my cell. I do my best work under pressure.
Not that jail was so bad. And, it was only a day. My cellmate who could speak English, I think he liked me before he found that out. After that, we watched Shark Week on the Discovery Channel in our itchy uniforms on top of uncomfortable beds, and that we did in silence. Cable TV, sleeping for hours on end, taking shower after shower for lack of anything better to do, and a steady stream of resentment and silent spite. Not too different from a typical Saturday.
But the Greyhound ride to get there is unbearable. No thank you. I'm happy to do almost anything for free for as long as you want to avoid being the captive audience for a busload of meth-mouths in the throes of acute withdrawal symptoms. Someone says "my tooth!" and you're checking your trail mix under inadequate lighting, thinking better of it and deciding to get a Snickers at the next gas station instead.
So there has been no time to post, and there hasn't been much to write home about anyway.
Horny girl was absent Monday but back on Friday with a black eye and flat-ironed hair, and though he threatened to toss her out of the program if she didn't shape up, Bob went pretty easy on her. Interesting.
Ty Pennington is about to graduate to a more "high functioning" group. Good for him. I never did befriend him, but I did find out that he's only one year older than me which, weird. Anyway, congratulations, TP.
Schlumpy and I are still not friends.
Otherwise, we're still discussing the same concepts, and I'm still writing the same damn thing every day on my feedback forms. "I'm having trouble relating to the concepts we discussed and am eager to speak with somebody one on one regarding this". It's finally about to happen, so that ought to be interesting.
I'm beginning to understand that the first "phase" of this treatment is the one that's supposed to get the people who don't want to be here, who will lose their kids or go to prison and that's the only reason they show up every day, it's to make those people understand that they really belong here. So I'm backwards in thinking that I belonged here on day one, and believing that less so as the program continues. For example:
Bob was talking on Friday about denial again. You all do it. You are all denialists. You should probably start saving big today for all your friends' birthdays, and for all the Mother's and Father's days you might be so lucky to live to see, because you owe everybody BIG TIME because all of you are assholes, manipulative users, and full-up to the brim with denial so rich, thick, and real that it nearly has an atomic structure.
So Ty Pennington says "Actually, I think that was true of me years ago, but I've known I've been sitting at rock bottom for years, and I knew exactly why the whole time". And just when I was relieved that someone had said something I could relate to, Bob sets down the blue and picks up the reddest dry erase marker he can find. With the same righteous fervor a teacher might employ when shaming a dunce by writing "F MINUS MINUS MINUS MINUS" across the board, he writes, "THE PERVASIVE EXCEPTIONALIST". Bob asks, punching the air with the angry red tip of an Expo-brand dry erase marker, "What does this mean?!"
Someone says "That he's perverted?" so he immediately relents and explains.
Apparently, Ty (and I, by proxy) is the most offensive kind of denier, because no matter the situation, It Doesn't Apply To Him (or Me). This is more of a discussion we started Monday but didn't finish about "types", like "the popular me" and the "charismatic user". It was a discussion that left me thinking about the personality quizzes I would take from my sister's Glamour magazine, when eleven-year-old-me would go up to my mom later and announce to her that I was a "dating perfectionist".
Anyway, on the form Friday I wrote "Not to be all pervasively exceptional, but I'm still having trouble relating to the denial concepts we have been discussing and I'm VERY EAGER TO SPEAK TO SOMEBODY ONE ON ONE ABOUT THIS".
So, I see my counselor before class tomorrow. Finally.
Here's this: now that my community service is done and I'm not going back to jail, I'm considerably less stressed, and *that* seems to trigger the urge to drink. Last night after a very early workday and dinner and a movie with a friend, I found myself at home at six obsessing about the Makers and Coke available at the gastro-pub around the corner. It became so hard to bear after 40 minutes that I actually agreed to go to a hockey game to get myself out of the house. And even though we lost, I had a great time at the game. I wonder how many hockey games and other awesome, unlikely events I've missed over the years in favor of staying home and getting drunk watching HGTV.