Monday, February 21, 2011

Sorry for not responding to your very awesome email

Bored: 22 days

I'm sure I'm not the only one who has received a great, lengthy email from a friend. It's such a good email that you re-read it three times when you could have been composing a reply, but you realize you only have 15 minutes or something and you feel like it deserves a really great, lengthy response (an aside: I am currently reading "A Confederacy of Dunces" for the first time and am now wondering if, instead, friends dread my lengthy responses. You'd tell me if I had spinach in my teeth or if I was starting to act like Ignatius J Reilly, right?).

Later, during the time in which you have still failed to respond, something significant happens in your life and you want to tell your friend, but you haven't responded to their great email yet. Somehow you feel the expiration date on that email has passed, but then you feel weird telling them your dog just barked "I love you" or whatever when you haven't responded to them yet. The result is that the person who most deserved to hear from you, your great email friend, is cheated out of both a reply to their email, and the fascinating news that you have had a stroke and now believe that your dog is communicating with you like a human. Maybe they could have sent for help before you lost the hearing in your right ear. Now your nickname is "Def-Jam" and you have only yourself to blame.

So much has happened in the last 21 days, and more keeps happening, and I keep waiting for the right time to sit down and get it all out there (the counselor says journaling is critical). But I'm feeling the same stresses associated with the email situation illustrated above and so I'm just going to take a chronological word dump and sort things out later. Here goes. Ahem.

On the morning of January 29th D, who had a massive hand in organizing the intervention, explained to my friends the following: "I know this sounds fucked up, but what we have to do is bring B in shitfaced drunk, so that they take him more seriously". That's what I heard he said, anyway. I wasn't there. I didn't know that my friends were meeting for clandestine coffee without me, or that my friend A, with whom I am currently living, had sneaked out of the house while I was in the shower. "Where art thou?", I texted, when I didn't see her in her bedroom. Figuring she must be in the basement without her phone, I cracked and slammed a PBR tallboy in preparation for my friends arriving. I'd been out drinking heavily with an old friend the night before and was starting to get extremely anxious and shaky now that I'd been out of bed for a few minutes, a common enough occurrence over the last two years or so. I followed that up with another when I failed to hear from her minutes later.

Then IT happened, and I've already gone on about that (below).

That night, after a very weird day, it was time to have the most uncomfortable drinks in the world. Except we didn't get to the liquor store in time, so E and B kindly procured 24 cans of Budweiser for me.

I said something like, "Well? Let's get this party started, I suppose", and cracked the first beer.

Nobody else was imbibing and everybody just looked at me, sad. Cheers!

B said, after I'd cracked my fourth or fifth, "You don't HAVE to drink ALL of those". I didn't want to tell them that there was no way I could get shitfaced off of 24 cans of beer, that it could not get me drunk in the time it takes for me to drink it. For me, beer works as a supplement to booze, if you want to continue drinking after the bars have closed. It also works to calm the shakes and anxiety that accompany the very first withdrawal symptoms the next morning. But when they came in the early hours Sunday, around six, five or six hours after they'd left me with my sea of brew, I was still irritatingly coherent after having stayed up the whole night chugging each of them down. Amanda revealed a secret cabinet of high-end liquor that she'd been hiding from me after I'd apologized for not being "drunker". A few shots of fancy tequila and... there we go. Mission accomplished.

What I wanted to have was a screen shot of the paperwork I filled out when I arrived at the detox center to post here. I didn't see or remember it until days later, when it fell out of my file as a nurse was reviewing it in front of me. In the approximate location of the field "ADDRESS: _______", I'd written A's address in magnificent, childlike block letters, about one inch in height, the house number beginning in the upper left quadrant of the page and terminating with "AVE" somewhere in the lower right hand quadrant.

I don't remember much from the following few days except being shaken awake to get a tray of food from the cafeteria or being shaken awake to take my next dose of Librium, which I consumed liberally for the next several days every two hours.

(Spoiler alert!), even though I am typing this at 3:30 in the morning (disruptions in sleep patterns are to be expected, they say!), I'm doing better than I have in a long, long time. The weeks in detox, my foray into freedom, and my first week settling into the new place are all all things I'll be posting about here shortly. In the meantime, though, I'm going to try and get some rest. Night!

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