Christmas is nearing and I am having a difficult time with being stuck on this mountain. I am away from my family. I am not with my daughter. The ethics department has hung Christmas lights throughout all of the trees. It is really pretty when it is dark outside, but I can’t bring myself to delight in their twinkle. Back home, I would have a strand of lights strung up around every door frame and every window. I turn my head from their beauty.
“What’s going on?” Asks Dirk, before planting himself on the bench beside me.
Dirk and I haven’t spent much time talking to each other. Maybe it’s because he was hanging around with Jo, but she is gone now. Maybe it’s because he is so much farther along in his program and didn’t want to be around my newbie drug talk phase. For whatever reason, he senses my need to talk now.
“Not much,” I respond.
He takes out a can of snuff and pulls out a pouch of chew before placing it in his lip.
“You want one?” he offers. We both laugh, as I opt to light a cigarette instead.
“You’re looking a little down Liz. What’s going on?” He inquires. He tilts his head down and flashes his cheesy grin. His eyes wide open.
“I miss my daughter. You have no idea how badly it sucks to not be with her at Christmas time. I can’t even send her a present. I can’t delight in her excitement as she searches for the Elf on the Shelf every morning. I won’t be there to snuggle up by the cozy fire, while all the other Washingtonians freak out over a mere half inch of snow. I won’t get to snap 3000 pictures of her opening up a mound of gifts that”Santa” has placed carefully under the tree. This is just a difficult time to be away from home,” I confess.
“Half inch of snow?” He laughs. “I understand,” he replies. “I have a little girl.”
“You do?” I ask. My voice resonated with shock.
“Yeah. Why do you seem so surprised by this?” He asks.
“I don’t know. I guess we get so caught up in behaving like high school kids, joking and goofing around so much that we don’t really take the time to sit with each other and get to know anything about anyone,” I respond.
“It’s rehab. We make the most of it. It sucks being here. I hate being away from Jadeyn too. She’s the love of my life, but we’re here to get better, right? If you were home with her right now, would you be there doing all of those things with your daughter? Or would you be off getting high and forgetting about all else?” He asks.
There is no need to respond because we both know the answer to his question. We’ve been lost for so long, consumed by this demon that won’t let us out of its grip.
“I hate this demon. It possesses you. It completely robs you of the ability to think or see clearly. It numbs your ability to feel anything, but its torturous pain and aching withdrawal. It’s relentless with its torment. Why is it so hard to break free from its possession? Even as I speak of how much I hate it, I would love to succumb to its intoxication one last time,” I admit. “How can I say I love my daughter when I still want to love the demon that tears me away from her too?”
“Don’t look at it like that. Liz, you can’t. Just because you battle this demon, as you say, doesn’t mean that you don’t love your daughter, your mom, your dad, your sister, your best friends. You do. My daughter taught me love. What did your daughter teach you?” He asks.
“Love,” I reply. “Unconditional love. The love that God has for us. I feel that from her. No matter how many times I have fucked up. Despite all my failed attempts, she loves me. She still tells me I am the best mommy in the whole world. I’m not Dirk, I’m not.”
“My Jadeyn loves me too and believe me, I have fucked up. Liz, you love her. We are fucked up. You didn’t go out and dance with the devil to fuck your daughter or your family over. The temptation was just too great. I love my daughter and I did the same stupid shit. It doesn’t mean I don’t love her. It doesn’t mean you don’t love your daughter. It’s the power of the dope. It grabs on and doesn’t let go of you. But you’re here now. You can do it,” he encourages. “You just got to get through this fucked up program. Look at that tree, good,” he laughs, mocking Light Objectives.
“Thanks,” I reply, turning my head in hopes of concealing my teary eyes.
To lighten the mood, he kicks at my foot with his boots.
“You good?” He asks.
I laugh before kicking him back, “Yeah.”
“I have to ask you something,” I insist. “What the hell is up with this Wu-Tang Clan obsession?” I ask while pointing to the Wu-Tang Tee he is wearing underneath his flannel shirt.
These must be lyrics, as he sings the words of his response. I laugh. There is more to the response, but I forget how it goes.
“I am from generation Tupac. West coast versus East coast. I can honestly say I have never listened to a single Wu-Tang Clan song,” I admit.
His eyes widen and this silly grin he wears often, spreads across his face.
“We can’t be friends anymore! What? Wu-Tang Clan for life,” he laughs, before spitting from the chew pouch marinating in his lip.
“I’m serious,” I laugh. “I was so obsessed with Tupac that I refused to listen to any East coast rappers. I’ve never really heard Jay-Z or Biggie Smalls either, with the exception of their radio tracks, but I don’t think Washington ever played Wu-Tang on the radio.”
Dirk just stares at me. Still wide eyed and wearing his silly grinning expression. Seconds that feel like minutes go by, and he still says nothing.
“What?” I laugh.
He continues to stare. There is no change in his expression.
“What?” I laugh again. “Stop, you’re freaking me out dude,” I say while kicking at his boot again.
We both laugh. Another day at good ole Narconon has passed and it is time for us to load onto the vans and go to the houses. I survived running Objective 3. Dirk is well into his O-dubs (Book 6). I’m not sure how much more I can take of Buster though. He continues to fuck off the paperwork, write down the cogs he believes are the EP’s and insists that if I would just manifest a blow, that we would pass the Objective. I really think he expects me to blow every time and I am not sure that he fully grasps that I wasn’t faking the blow I manifested, I legit manifested a fucking blow. While I still miss my daughter, Dirk’s unexpected conversation tonight, really helped to ease the pain and sadness I had in my heart. I’ll always remember him for that….In Loving Memory
Today’s Theme Song- Wu-Tang Clan Ain’t Nuthin To Fuck Wit- Wu-Tang Clan
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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!**