People of Rehab Trip One

I had no idea what to expect when it came to the people inside the rehab facility.  After all, it’s also the psychiatric ward.  I had visions of several horror movies that involve insane asylums and definitely was preparing for the worst…

people of rehab

People of Rehab

There was only one horror-like person that was moaning and screaming non-stop in his room.  He would yell for the nurse constantly and call her every nasty name you can imagine, and some you probably have never even thought of.  At first it scared the hell out of me, but then it just made me really sad.  I felt horrible for the man.  I never found out what his illness was, but I can only imagine he was living in his own personal hell.

There was also one younger girl who was a cutter.  I remember one night coming out of my room because I couldn’t sleep and seeing her bleeding in the hall.  Even with the strict “no sharp things” policy, she still found ways to harm herself, like using her fingernails and/or biting her skin.  This reminded me that things can always be worse.

As I mentioned before, I did not want to be admitted into rehab.  I was in no mood for making friends.  However, the staff strongly encourages socialization.  It’s actually part of the treatment program.  So, who should I hang out with?  The 70+ group who’s blankly staring at the TV?  Or the teenagers who are goofing off and getting yelled at every five minutes or so?  Here I was at 25 years old, feeling like death warmed over from withdrawals, and I wanted nothing to do with this scenario.  I opted to hang out in the senior area where it was at least somewhat quiet.  Turns out there was one other man around my age who had the same idea.  I think he was in his thirties.  He was a hardcore alcoholic and drug abuser and having the same anti-social feelings as me.  Feeling some sort of bond because we were the only two “middle aged” people, we started talking.  He was hilarious and we shared the same sarcastic sense of humor.  We eventually got booted out of the geriatric area because we were interrupting the stories.  Off to the teenager section it was then.

Most of the kids were in there for smoking too much weed and their parents just didn’t know what to do with them.  A few of them had graduated to stronger drugs, but no one seemed that horrible.  I remember the one girl who was probably about 17.  She was a gorgeous, tall, thin blonde who had so much darn potential.  I wanted to yell at her because she could grab the world by the balls if she wanted to!  But, I understood her, too.  We ended up being very close during our time there.  We had a few deep conversations that felt healing to us both.

Overall no one in this youth group was taking anything that seriously.  Most of them talked about the parties they would go to once they got out, and how they couldn’t wait to smoke a bowl…  Guards (nurses or counselors) were always around to try to control conversations about “war stories” but that didn’t stop anyone.  They shared tips on how to get high quicker by chewing “this pill” or snorting “that pill”.  My point is, if you don’t want to kick the habit – rehab will not necessarily make you.  You have to be in somewhat of a proper mindset for it to work.  That is precisely why this first trip did cure me.

That’s not to say I didn’t learn anything.  I will discuss my experience in more detail throughout several posts.  One thing I was reminded of is how interesting it can be just talking to people.  Each and every person has a story.  If you ask the right questions and get deep enough, a person can be fascinating.

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