In Need of a Detox Bed

opiate withdrawal


I am checking myself into a 3-5 day Detox facility. Hopefully today or tomorrow. I have 3 Vicodin left and am shaking from alcohol withdrawal. It’s 9:45 am on a Wednesday. I called this morning at 9:00 AM as instructed when I called last night. There are no beds available right now, but the attendant who answered the phone said to be persistent because people often decide to leave without warning.

I have been dancing with addiction and self destruction my entire adult life. I have been through detox before, once in a facility, and countless times on my own. I have been to a 28 day treatment center twice. In my opinion, those places do not work. For some, sure, there are always exceptions. Maybe I am the exception here. I know detox will give me a jumpstart. I need medical assistance for the opiate withdrawals. I need to be in a secured environment where I am unable to walk to the fridge and grab a beer or down some tequila.

I’ve been hiding in the bathroom to drink because noon is too early for anyone to see. I have been making extra trips to the recycle to dispose of evidence so at the end of the night it appears I have drank less than I actually have. I woke up in withdrawal this morning. I usually hold out as long as possible to take my Vicodin, but I needed it immediately. I feel a little better, but not well. This is comparable to kicking heroin or methadone, which I have done. I am scared, but being in a place with doctors and nurses will be better than at home. I may have no choice if I can’t get a bed. I just trying to keep myself ‘well’ right now so I don’t go into a painful withdrawal. No one here needs to see or hear that.

The last time I went to detox/ treatment was in 2007. My kids were 5 and 3. They thought mommy was “sick.” They were not affected in the same way they will be this time. That was a month long absence. This will only be 5 days. They are 11 and 9 and know that I am drunk much of the time, and they watch me take pills. My plan is to have everyone think I am going somewhere for mental health reasons. I am less ashamed of my of my mental health disorders than of my addictions. They are both shame based illnesses with attached negative stigmas, but for some reason my drug and alcohol abuse seems more like it’s my fault as well as more visible. For example, when I crashed my car into a mailbox post last month. I feel judged and embarrassed by that. I am not embarrassed about my Major Depressive Disorder, Bipolar, PTSD, or Anxiety Disorder. (Unless I have a failed suicide attempt which has happened more times than I can remember… that probably trumps everything in regards to humiliation).

It’s 11:30 now. I am getting antsy. My back hurts from the low dose of Vicodin. But it’s not yet unbearable. When I am done writing I will most likely make up an excuse to go to the store. My girlfriend is the only one who knows what is happening with me right now. She is frustrated and irritated. She’s not mentally ill nor is she pained by any addictions except cigarettes. I quit smoking with ease 2 years ago. Funny how certain things affect everyone differently. In saying that, she kind of understands, but not really. She is tired of my “victim mentality.” She says I act like I am only one with problems this huge. Maybe I do. I don’t know. Also, she can no longer trust me because every promise I make, I break. Addicts will say anything in order to get what they want. We don’t think of the consequences in that moment. All that matters is the next drink or fix. So although she will see the alcohol I bring home, she will shake her head in disgust that I need it so early. And although I know she knows I have it, I will still retreat into a hiding place to guzzle a drink hoping no one finds me.

I really hope a bed opens soon. If not you may hear from me during my withdrawals at home. If so, I will write when I get home.

This is something I wrote yesterday in a waiting room on a piece of scratch paper and I want to share it with you…

It has come to my attention that in my lifelong quest to self destruct, I have afflicted and continue to injure and knock down all those in my path. There is a picture in my mind of this. It looks like a little girl with a flowing dress, twirling around and around. She is innocent at first, like any little girl. As time passes, she slowly grows older, taller. With her arms outstretched, her dress reaches, breaking new boundaries as she spins with growing velocity. She feels heavy with experience and pain. Her momentum is so strong, it is unclear whether she cannot stop or simply won’t stop. But those she has loved and lost, she knows much of their pain was created by her. Those she loves at this moment are standing in her destructive path. She fears for them. She has been a whirlwind of self hatred so long, she is not sure she knows what love is, what it means, or how to show it. She does know that if she ever did love, she has fallen out of love with life and everyone in it.

twirling dress



3 thoughts on “In Need of a Detox Bed

  1. OMG I am so sorry you are going through this. I have been where you are – for me it was heroin addiction and of course any other painkillers I could get my hands on. Thankfully I have no kids that had to go through that with me. But, I did put my friends and family through utter hell. I had to go into a hospital and they gave me suboxone for the withdrawals which did help alot. It’s been four years now or so, I haven’t relapsed. Although I will take opiates if they are available. Now it doesn’t take but two five milligram percocets and I am high as a kite almost about to nod. How weird. I do have cravings, but not often…and they pass fairly quickly.


  2. An amazing piece of writing. I have been there, I recently spent 12 days in a hospital after a suicide attempt. An unintended consequence of being hospitalized was that I got to detox in a controlled environment. Today is day 51 of being clean and it is a struggle every damn day. I hope you get a bed soon and are able to move forward in your life.


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