cause and effect.

Day -19 | Hammered Every Night | Snickers and Green Mountain Tortilla Chips & Guac Rule | Change-of-Life Baby?

Faulkner didn’t return my call.

Husband dismissed the notion; it probably scared him a bit.

Detox.

But I felt compelled to call again.

Admitting answered this time.

I-am-about-to-speak-to-a-person-at-a-hospital-where-alcoholics-dry-out.

Given meds for withdrawal.

Withdrawal.

I think of a time when I was partying in college, two years after a nasty car wreck when my mother broke up my boyfriend Michael and I because he had been behind the wheel and walked away unscathed as I fought with massive injuries to survive, and lamenting the loss of him, I fell off an open deck to the asphalt below. I got up, brushed myself off and headed back upstairs to the kitchen for another brew. My friends were gathered there, talking and kidding around.

They quieted, staring at my front, jaws gaping.

I chuckled, said, what’s up.

Blood was soaking the front of my shirt. The fall had split my chin open.

Two of my friends, neither one of them sober enough to drive, got me to nearby Mount Auburn Hospital. As the doc sewed up my chin, tears rolled down the side of my face. He said, “Am I hurting you, do you feel pain?”

“No,” I told him. “I’m just ashamed of myself.”

I remember using that word.

“Ashamed.”

And, yes, I did feel pain. But no the physical kind. I was so drunk I wouldn’t have been able to articulate it—the emotional pain—my loss of him [the unresolved grief, the root of my so-called pain of living].

“Hello? Medical Detox.”

Faulkner. The woman on the line.

I hear my voice. I hadn’t told it to speak. “I’d like a bed.”

That’s what the social worker told me to say.

“We’re at capacity,” she said, “but call back after 8:00 tonight. If we have a free bed, a doctor will speak with you and ask you a number of questions relating to your substance intake. If you qualify for the program, he’ll ask you to come in and we’ll admit you.”

I tell her I’ll call back after 8:00.

But I don’t.

I can’t have Detox as part of my medical history.

Fractured bones, a broken heart, and amputated innards is fine.

The stigma associated with detox and being a recovering alcoholic, isn’t.

 

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