Sauna Day 18:
It is almost time for me to get into the sauna. Sauna days blur together. I am ready to be out of this box. I haven’t reacted to the niacin at all. Meanwhile, I watch my fellow sauna gang react daily. I am not sure why they insist on keeping me in here when it is obvious I am never going to react to the niacin.
The other day I had a heroin nod that they deemed a turn on. It sucked. I could feel the nodding tendencies associated with heroin, but not the high at all. It was a complete tease and Madison made me get back in the box. It turned off rather quickly once back inside.
Bryce apologized for calling me immature, but the truth of his observation still stings. Hayden and Derek continue to pass notes back and forth with me being the middle woman. Adam Moon and Misty continue to pass notes as well. I am pretty sure that Justice is their middle woman.
It feels like I am living the same day over and over again. I am ready to move on with my program, if only to be doing something new. The holidays are nearing and the guilt of not being with my daughter is nagging at me. I can’t believe that every day is sunny. If I were back home, it would be gray skies and rain every single day. I never thought I would miss the Washington skies.
I have learned that Phoenix is the sauna case supervisor (C.S.). That means that he is the guy that signs off on when you get out of the box. He is tall and stocky with black hair and a big smile. I haven’t talked to him often, but he always says hello in passing. His girlfriend’s name is Brooklyn. She is a course supervisor that is currently training in the objectives course room with Makayla. She has long, curly hair. It’s a dirty blonde in color. She too, has a little extra weight on her, but she has a bright white smile. We haven’t spoken to each other at all, but that will change soon. Phoenix is heading in my direction.
“Hey Phoenix,” I call out. “I know you are the sauna C.S. buddy. It’s no secret. I need you to get me the hell out of that box!”
Phoenix laughs. “Is someone putting the word out about me? I can neither deny or confirm your allegations,” he continues to chuckle.
“Come on Phoenix. Help me!” I plead, laughing with him.
Once inside the sauna, it’s the same routine. Justice and Misty have Drake playing on the iPod speaker. Hayden is drawing. Bryce and a Russian kid that he’s nearly adopted play Cards Against Humanity and I blend into the background. The Russian kid’s name is Yury. He is only 18 years old. I haven’t spent any time getting to know him. Mostly because of the age difference.
I’ve begun to realize how I must come across here with all my inappropriate sexual banter and innuendos and I have toned it down. The idea of joking with a kid that way is unappealing to me. It’s sad that I can’t talk to him without having my guard up. It’s even sadder that having my guard up means using explicitly vile language and inappropriate humor. I don’t know how to talk to guys.
“Time for vegetables,” Kentucky informs us.
“Kentucky. I need to get out of this box,” I explain. “I don’t ever react to the niacin and it is a huge waste of time. Gavrill explained that my weird dreams were because I was eating peanut butter before bed. I checked out the ingredients. Did you know peanut butter has niacin in it? I think that something about taking this niacin for sauna is causing me to crave the peanut butter for it’s niacin. Please get me out of this box.”
“Liz. I will help you fill out the paperwork at the end of sauna, but right now you need to go eat your vegetables,” she replies.
I don’t know why it humors me, but I toss my broccoli over the pool towards students sitting at the smoking benches. I munch on my carrots sticks with ranch and eat a yogurt, before lighting my own cigarette.
“Get into the box,” Kentucky instructs.
Most of us comply. However, Bryce jumps into the pool first. The only people who ever get into the pool are sauna students. It is disgustingly filthy and cold. I jumped in once and regretted it the minute I got back into the sauna. The smell of the pool’s water heating up against my skin was nauseating.
After sauna is over, I race to Kentucky for instruction.
“Liz. I can’t tell you what to write, but you have to think about what they want to hear,” she says, while we all give her our weights, take our vitamins and fill out our paperwork.
As the rest of the sauna crew hands in their paperwork, I toss my Cal-Mag into the trash and linger.
“Kentucky. Come on. Tell me what I need to say. Should I say I don’t react to the niacin? Are they waiting for me to have some spiritual awakening? An origination? Should I tell them I drank the Kool-aid and it tastes great?” I ask, only halfway kidding.
Kentucky shoots me her notorious, “I hate bitches look,” before joining me in laughter.
“Liz. Liiiizzzzz. Come here. What has happened since you started sauna? Have you been sleeping better? Is your appetite healthy? Do you feel ready to move forward with your program?” She asks, followed by a wink.
“Oh. Yes. Absolutely. Let me go ahead and pencil that in,” I say, still laughing with her.
“When will I find out if I EP’d sauna?” I ask.
“I am going to get your folder together and send it down. You’ll know soon Liz. I am not saying that you are for sure going to be EP’d, but even if you’re not, continue to originate those statements,” she instructs.
“Thanks mama! I love you,” I say, before heading down to my room for a shower.
Things have been a little different with Hayden lately. She’s withdrawn a little and I can’t help but feel it is because of our near heroin experience. Part of me thinks it could be whatever is going on between her and Derek. I’m not sure what is going on, but I know she is acting distant.
“Hey girl hey,” I say, as I enter the room.
“Hey girl hey,” she replies with a meek voice.
“Is there something going on between us? Are you mad at me?” I ask.
“No. Not at all. Why do you think that?” She asks in return.
“I don’t know. You just seem distant and like you might be upset with me. Are you mad I gave my EBT card back?” I ask.
“No. Not at all Liz. I am happy we didn’t go through with that. I guess I am just homesick. I think it is bullshit that Derek and I are still on a no comm. and I am just in one of my moods,” she continues.
I know exactly what that means. I love Hayden to death, but she has ups and downs. I can’t bash her for it because I have ups and downs too. The only difference is her paranoia. She was hoping the sauna would clear that paranoia up, but she still battles with it a little. I laugh and try to make light of it when she is experiencing it about other people, but a couple of times she has been paranoid about my motives and that bothers me. I love her to death and wouldn’t betray her confidence.
We talk for a little while before it is time for the 3 o’clock break.
“Do you want to go up to the lodge?” I ask.
“I think I want to listen to some music and draw,” she replies.
“Okay. Love you,” I reply.
“Love you too,” she says.
I pull the door closed behind me. As I make my way to the lodge, I see Phoenix again.
“Phoenix. Dude what are you doing working out? I need you to EP my sauna folder,” I laugh.
Phoenix smiles, but doesn’t respond. Anthony and Rogue are working out, as well as Dominic and Reagan. There is talk about a softball game signup. Apparently this is supposed to be an activity offered every Sunday. However, with the vans never having gas to get us off the property, accompanied with the liability of students running, we haven’t played since I’ve been a student.
“Come on Liz. You know you want to play. Sign up,” Dominic says while approaching me with the signup sheet.
“Nope. Liz can’t play while she is still in sauna,” Anthony interjects.
“What? Why not?” I ask, irritably.
“It’s the rules. Students in sauna aren’t allowed to go,” he answers.
This is complete horse shit. I’ve always loved softball, and the idea of getting off the mountain sounds amazing. I’m done with the desert scenery of brown hills and cacti.
“It’s true. If a student is in sauna, they can’t go,” Phoenix chimes in. He puts an emphasis on the word, “If.”
My heart speeds up at the prospect of finding out that I have EP’d sauna. I race into the box to speak with Kentucky.
“Did my folder come back yet?” I ask.
Kentucky plays coy.
“Come on Kentucky. Tell me!” I say excitedly while shaking her.
“You EP’d bitch,” she says, sharing my enthusiasm.
“I did? What? Woohoo! Thank you! Thank you Kentucky!” I exclaim, before running circles around the pool announcing my EP.
“Come signup for softball Liz,” Dominic instructs.
“Hell yeah!” I exclaim, as I race over to him.
Keisha makes her way towards me. “What’s all the excitement about?”
“I am done with sauna!” I respond.
“Hell yeah! Does that mean you are moving over to the house?” She asks.
“I’m not sure. This literally just happened and no one has talked to me about it yet,” I reply.
Keisha and I jump up and down like school girls with excitement. I am thrilled to be moving on in my program.
“Do you know who your twin is going to be?” She asks.
“Not yet, but I can’t wait to be in the same room with you again, I am going through Keisha withdrawals,” I laugh.
“I know. Me too! The objectives course room is an entirely different world,” Keisha informs me.
Of course, I know this. From the brief time I spent over there doing my sauna hatting, I could tell that it was a complete Twilight zone. Still, I can’t wait to be doing something other than sweating in the sauna, smelling nasty feet, listening to Drake and being forced to be in the company of Vinny too Skinny…
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**DISCLAIMER: This is my personal experience at a Narconon Rehabilitation Center. This is not an expose or journalistic documentation. It is not meant to bash the program in any way, or suggest that it is the only rehab facility that works for recovery. I have been clean and sober since 09-27-13 and attribute much of that success to this program. All of the names in this series have been changed to protect the identity of my friends and sober family’s privacy! Thank you for reading!**