Slowly, I creep over to the window looking down at the living room where the man on the night shift is posted on the couch. This house is old and even as I tip toe, you can hear the creek of the floorboards beneath me. There is a single blind missing from the set and I can easily see, that this man is asleep on the couch.
Perfect. I might be able to sneak down the stairs and just walk right out the front door. I turn back towards the bed. I am going to get dressed and toss some makeup on. If I look cute enough, surely, someone will at least smoke me out. I really want to bang that shit, but at this stage of withdrawal, I am not overly particular.
As I turn to walk towards the dresser, a framed picture of my daughter that I brought along, stares back at me. My heart sinks. Am I really contemplating this right now? How can I even begin to think about throwing the towel in this quickly? That’s not fair to her at all. I can’t do it.
Instead, I walk downstairs. I need to shake this restlessness out of my legs.
“Hi there,” a man’s voice greets me.
Apparently my walking down the stairs has alerted the night shift guy from his sleep.
“Hello,” I reply.
“My name is Derick. I am the night WD specialist. Did you need something?” He asks.
“Oh, my legs are restless and I am tossing and turning. I came down to shake it out and smoke a cigarette,” I reply.
“Did you want an assist?” He asks.
“Oh, no, that’s not necessary. I know it is late,” I politely decline.
“That’s okay. It is my job. Come on and hop on the table. An assist might relax the restless feeling in your legs and help you fall back asleep,” he suggests. “First, how about you take these night vitamins to help you sleep?”
At this point, I am willing to try anything. This withdrawal is reminiscent of being miserable and alone in my bed at home. The dope sick demon would taunt me. My eyes would be so heavy and all I would want to do is sleep, but the spasm in my back prohibited my ability to do so.
I hop up onto the table after my cigarette.
“I am going to talk to you while I perform the assist. If at any time you are uncomfortable with anything I am doing, or any place I am touching, let me know and I will stop assisting to those areas,” he insists.
Derick elaborates, “I’d rather you tell me now, that you were uncomfortable with something, rather than wait until later and complain to someone else.”
What does he mean by that, I wonder? Has he been in trouble before? Did someone complain about him before?
“Okay, I will,” I respond.
After the assist is over, Derick rushes me back upstairs to bed. I wish I could go straight to sleep, but unfortunately, I am still feeling like absolute shit. At some point, however, I manage to drift off for the night.
“Good morning sunshine,” I am awakened by Little One.
Even when I am not in withdrawal, I am not a morning person. The good morning sunshine statement, made me want to slam my head into the wall. Oh no, cheerfulness first thing! The clock reads 8:00 a.m. Oh hell no!
“Are you ready for breakfast?” She asks, as she begins to vacuum the floor in my room.
What the actual fuck? Oh my God! Why is she vacuuming? I could scream right now. I’ve managed to kick both sheets off onto the floor beside the bed. My elbow is sore and I am certain that I have bumped it into the wall multiple times throughout the night, due to opiate spasms.
“I don’t eat breakfast,” I begin to explain, but am abruptly interrupted.
“Well, breakfast is the most important meal of the day sweetheart. Go on downstairs and get a little something to eat. Our chef, Tom, is awesome and he will whip you up some eggs or pancakes,” she says excitedly.
“Can I sleep longer?” I ask, already knowing her response.
“No, honey. This part of your program, keeps you very busy. It’s not like med detox. You can’t sleep all day,” she informs me.
“I am going to be your WD specialist today,” she elaborates.
Slowly, I crawl out of bed. She is very nice and I try hard, not to grunt in her direction. This part of the program prohibits me from having sugar and caffeine. You have got to be kidding me?
What’s worse. I can smell the coffee the staff has brewed for themselves. There is another drug bomb and a big ass glass of Cal-mag on the table ready for my consumption (The Cal-mag waters the plants again later). That last drug bomb turned my urine orange and I swear to God that it actually smelt like it did going in me. The memory of this, causes a shutter to permeate down my spine.
“Good morning,” Tom expresses. “How would you like your eggs?”
“I’ll take two, over easy,” I reply.
There is a deliciously, delightful spread of pancakes, bacon and fruit on the counter. There are also a variety of breakfast cereals available. Despite the fact that I don’t typically eat breakfast, the house smells amazing and tempts my stomach to start.
After breakfast, Little One allows for me to shower and get ready for the day. There is this cute marine dude, named Sean downstairs and I find that I’m dolling myself up to be around him. He is an intern and I have teased him with inappropriate sexual banter already. Wow, why are my hormones going so crazy right now? I wonder if the suppression of sexual drive from opiate use, turns into full on out of control hornball during sobriety?
Little One starts our day off with an assist. She rotates between three different assists. One was extremely off putting. It was called a Touch Assist:
“Feel my finger?” She asked, while poking me with her finger.
“Yes,” I’d reply.
“Good,” she’d acknowledge my response.
That went on for at least 20 minutes. Apparently it is meant to put your brain back into communication with your body and extremities, or some weirdness like that. The only thing I can say about that assist was, it made the other assist much more tolerable and welcomed. I hope we don’t have to do the Touch Assist anymore!
“Are you ready to go for a walk?” She asks.
“I am so tired. Can’t I sleep a little longer today? I was up half the night!” I exclaim.
Of course, the end result of the conversation is, I am grabbing my smokes and we are walking towards the beach. I am excited to see the beach. However, the walk seems long and arduous. As we are walking, Little One, points out a bird on the fence. Soon after, she directs my attention to a palm tree. She continues to have me “Notice” things along the way.
She is a sweetheart and I don’t want to be rude, but I don’t feel like noticing anything. I hope when we get to the beach, she at least allows for me to sit on it for a while and take in God’s creation.
“What do you realize about all of these interesting things you have been noticing Liz?” She asks.
Oh, I get it now. We are running a freaking light objective, only she was sneaky and didn’t explain it or downplay its purpose or technique, like Shelly had. My mind races with what I should say. What am I supposed to realize?
“I realize California is full of plants, trees and animals that are foreign to me. It is interesting seeing all these new species,” I reply.
“Good,” she replies. “So, are you suggesting that you realize there are things in your life you have yet to discover?”
“Yup! That’s exactly what I am realizing. Thank you for putting it so eloquently,” I giggle, but with the utmost sincerity. Okay, maybe this won’t be all bad.
I can smell the beach, as we draw nearer to it. My head hurts and I ask if I can buy a soda at the store, before crossing the street. Little One has my cash. We are not allowed to hold our money. It doesn’t matter,
“I’m sorry Liz, but I cannot allow for you to have any caffeine,” she replies, with a sympathetic frown. “Did you want to get a water?”
I politely decline. The beach is breathtaking. The salt of the sea, tickles my senses. The sound of the waves in their slight roar, entices a desire within me to go and dance in them. The sun glistening on the surf, produces a diamond like sparkle across the deep blue. The ocean is heaven to me.
The sand is hot beneath my feet. In Washington, we do not have sand. We have rocks. You can’t lay a blanket out on the beach because it is rocky and miserable. I could get used to this.
“I am sorry you are so tired sweetie,” Little One apologizes.
“I think I am withdrawing from the Valium,” I suggest. “I refused Valium my final day there because I couldn’t keep my eyes open.”
We are not on the beach long, before Little One suggests we need to keep moving. My eyes are heavy and I sense a legitimate concern emanating from her. We head back to the Huntington house and I complain every step of the way. This poor lady. I am certain I sound like a miserable, broken record. Along the way, I am touching crap again and not loving it.
“I don’t want to touch any more trees, or rocks, or anything else for that matter!” I exclaim. “This is so stupid! I am in fucking withdrawal right now and you are having me touching dumb ass trees again! What is the point? I am sorry. You are very kind, but I need a nap. This is too much and I am not touching anything else. I am fresh out of realizations today!”
Little One says nothing, as we continue to walk.
“I realize that I feel like shit and you are making me do shit that I don’t want to do,” I express with an angered tone.
Instantly, I feel bad for being disrespectful, but I am a drug addict and have stopped respecting everyone and everything some time ago, myself included. Still, my conscious beckons,
“I realize I shouldn’t take out my anger and frustrations out on other people. I am sorry Little One,” I say, as my eyes divert to the sidewalk beneath me, in an attempt to conceal my shame and embarrassment.
“You’re allowed to feel your feelings. Thank you for apologizing, but this is my job and you are mild tempered compared to many that have come in before you. It is quite alright,” she assures me, with a warm smile and soft touch to my shoulder.
Wow. She must really care. How does she put up with whiny, bitchy drug addicts everyday? Especially, considering all of her students are in withdrawal! Her job, is an admirable one.
Little One tells me a story of a former student on the way back to the house. Apparently, she ran from her, through four lanes of traffic and all! Little One has me laughing, as she elaborates how difficult it was for her to run after her, with her short, midget like, little legs.
“Moral of the story, please don’t run away from me and we will be just fine,” she giggles.
I laugh with her, “I won’t,” I promise. Of course, I make no mention of the escape plot I had brewing in the back of my mind last night.
Once back at the house, Little One excuses herself into Don’s office. I retreat to the back patio for a cigarette. The office is all windows, so I can see the exchange of conversation between the two of them. I wish I could hear them.
Her arms flail about and it is obvious, she is concerned or upset. Oh no, is this because of my rudeness? Don turns his head back to the papers on his desk, as she makes her way out of the office and towards me.
“Well, it took a little convincing, but I was able to authorize a nap. We don’t usually allow for this, but it is obvious that you are still under sedation from that Valium. Go ahead and go lay down upstairs. You have one hour and then I need you up and alert,” she informs me.
“Oh my God, thank you!” I exclaim, before embracing her in a bear type hug.
She doesn’t have to tell me twice. I put my cigarette out and run upstairs. We are not allowed to have our music with us for this portion of the program, so I will have to dose off with a song I can play in my head.
For whatever reason, I find myself singing a delightful diddy, best known as The Golden Girls Theme Song, in gratitude for Little One and her ability to secure me a nap….