Sleep came quick, and morning was a lesson in anxiety. I did my chores, and everything else I was told, I also talked, a lot. To anyone who would stand still, it was a reflex, something to keep me from thinking, “Club Med” was a small rehab, we had a census of about 16-20 coed rehabbers during my stay, and we were NOT allowed to fraternize or really even talk to each other except for group feedback, the only communication permitted was to excuse yourself if you stepped on each other. I broke the rule today, not purpously, not to try to start shit, but to keep my mind quiet. I didn’t discuss my anxiety, or even my fears with my dads health, I bummed smokes I didn’t want, told stupid jokes, just a regular Chatty Cathy. About 3:30 in group I had an overwhelming sense of loss, I just stood up and walked out, we were in the pool house and I practically ran to the dorm, our rooms were locked from 6:30am-6:30pm weekdays without exception, I retreated to the ladies tiny “lounge”, favoring the cold tile floor to lay on rather than the threadbare sofa. I woke about half an hour later to our nurse asking what was up, I faked a migraine, she gave me a Tylenol and mentioned I had had a phone call a few hours earlier. This news caused a high pitched keening that it took me a second to realize was coming from my throat, shocked at my pale face and unusual behavior she blurted that my mother in law had called to find out my sizes to bring a few necessary items. I barely heard her I was bleating like a 4 year old, “daddy! No!” repeatedly, Tina rushed to get me a cold rag and ushered me into the office, making a hurried call, I guess to leave a message for a staff member, she closed the door to the tiny closet like tech/nursing station and asked me questions until I whispered my fears to her or to myself, Im not sure. She assured me that I was projecting and crying before I was even hurt. I was told that no phone call was a good sign, my mind was jumping to the worst case scenario, in an attempt to cause drama and unrest in my newly cleared mind. Addict/Alcoholics thrive on drama, pain, all things ugly, scary and unhealthy. When our minds are idle, bad thoughts, and panic inducing scenerios march past to try to convince us to medicate. I reluctantly accepted the phyco-babble and quieted down, meekly asking If, I could be permitted an emergency call, or if a staff member could call and check on his health, I was told that no exception would be made, We, us “addicts/alcoholics” were known to be manipulaters, always able to find a reason the rules should bend for them and their many crisises. To make an exception at this time would for sure lead me right back to dope, for example, should I find him hearty and hale, smoking and eating fries, I’d would likely manufacture an excuse to call back in a few hours to be sure he didn’t take a turn for the worse, and so on and so forth. It wasn’t that she thought I was OPENLEY trying to get one over, it was just the nature of my diseased mind. I knew when I was beat, sadly nodding my assent. I just stared woodenly ahead. Seeming pleased with her healthy decision she brightly tried to steer me back into the pool house to finish group. I planted my feet this time. (In truth, to pay her back for not making the call) I wanted escape, needed it, I wanted my daddy, I wanted my husband, I wanted dope, food, sleep, noise, anger, anything but the torture of knowing yet not knowing.” I was allowed into the group room to pace for the remaining 15 minuets before dinner time. I allowed myself to be herded into the dining area, but didn’t eat, After supper, every night ½ of us went to an outside AA meeting in the van, the following night, the other half went out, I had gone last night and welcomed the quiet time ahead to work my steps and untangle my nerves. I drug myself from the dining area to the back of the house, pulled by the cozy (IE Cramped)dimness of our group room. As I passed the Tech office I knew something was afoot, I FELT it, I turned and read the names of those going out tonight balked at my name hastily tacked onto the end of the list. DAMN!!! Was she somekind of british nanny in a former life? A masochist? Enough! HAD it been my regular night I would’ve quietly accepted my lot, but it wasn’t my night! ‘’Acceptance, is the answer to all of my problems today,” pg blab la in “THE BIG BOOK”, say it! She trilled happily, reminding me that I couldn’t manipulate her, as was my nature, due to my ILLNESS of course. I LOST IT! I WAS BEING MANIPULATED! WTF, I had to practice ACCEPTANCE, but she was allowed to be the exception? Fuck that! I smiled a cold smile and bolted for my room to change for the outing.bulldozing my 5 ft roommate, I hurled the contents of my closet to the floor cursing under my breath, I really was trying to calm myself, I knew that I was giving the know it alls exactly what they expected. I grabbed my journal and angrily scribbled nonsense, counting to one hundred in my head, trying to willfully calm my nerves, At the sound of my name being sweetly screamed to board the van first, I wrenched a wayward pair of scissors Id spied on the upper bunk, I considered whaciking my hair, gouging my eyes, stabbing my roommate all in a 5 second span. In the end, I did accept and flung my weapon into the closet on my way out, giving in to the urge to release the flow of hot shameful tears as I exited. ACCEPTING, that’s what I was doing, what choice did I have, however it was too little too late, my snitch roomie had ran to staff, and I was to stay on the dorm after all, in exile, punishment, I was livid a wild wounded animal, what was the point? To force me to accept, then quickly change direction when I did? I was hurt, scared, ashamed and pissed off. What could I do? I accepted my punishment, “scribes”, first grade caliber torture, I was given a “BIG BOOK” (of alcoholics anon) and a notebook and told to copy word for word until lights out and most probably through the day tomorrow, no smoke breaks, no group, solitary meals spent alone in the group room with my fork held awkwardly in my left hand as I continued to copy with my right. I began with a suppressed smile, HA! This was perfect, exactly what I wanted, isolation, with the added bonus of a mind too set on a boring task to fret. I began with Page 1, I think it was, Bill’s Story, In treatment, the big book is your bible, Bill W. our personal Jesus, Lord and savior, the first story is as expected, the story of creation, I don’t think the program took 7 whole days to create though, in the tradition of all drunks and junkies and generally dysfunctional folks, the “program” and its steps are meant to be quick and easy, sort of instantly gratifying. I kind of smiled to myself, I could relate, once you’ve found relief from your personal demons through a substance, you cannot let go. Anyway, I wrote and wrote, absorbing the stories, hoping I too would be swept up in the fanatic miricale of recovery! 3 hours later, (Im sure she stayed for the pleasure of my pain), my harsh mistress looked over my labors, took the papers in her small evil hands and ripped them to shreds, no, she said, you start with the forward, the copyright etc, pg x, NOT page one, start over. She actually seemed to swallow my frustration, grow taller and pinker with the energy of it! My head began to buzz, my ears ringing, my hands shook, I took the pencil and snapped it, then began to rip the book to bits, quietly, slowly, I tore, throwing wildly, I think I even used my teeth. Tears burned my eyes, I came here to learn, to purge my soul of wickedness, I knew treatment was a mere 28-30 days, and who knew if the judicial system would snatch me back early, I wanted to LEARN, I wanted to build healthy habits! I didn’t come here to copy a fucking book! Shit! That I could do in jail! I was outraged! This place was costing my in-laws a few thousand, I was here on scholarship and if I didn’t learn all there was this time, I wouldn’t get another chance. Unh-unh. After my silent fit, I was pretty sure I would be carted back to jail post haste, so, I did the only thing I could, I picked up the mess gathered my notebook, and faced my tormenter with downcast eyes. I apologized, asked if I could have a second chance, Id do whatever foolish task they laid before me with out question, but please allow me to complete the whole program, learn everything there was about living with out substance. If my fate was going directly from here to a 5 year prison term, id accept it, quietly, I would pass the time saying a rosary of 12 steps, anointing myself with the balm of sobriety, that I might be spared….I was desperate, I knew many who had tried, none who had succeeded, my own brother came close, he spent 5 years sober! From crack, alcohol, he lived among the “grown ups”, had a job, went to church and was accepted into society. Then BAM! He shoots his girlfriend in the forehead, goes outside wanders into traffic, barefoot, no shirt in a Midwest winter, my brother sat on a curb made certain he would NEVER use again. He was 39. His was the only success story I knew. I figured it would probably get me in the end too, the dope, but I planned to go down fighting. I would be my own hero!