Thursday, February 6, 2014

Ding Dong Bell, Pussy's in the Well...

Most folks are pretty serious about how they take their coffee.  I know I am.  I prefer mine light and sweet.  It's a fairly simple recipe, but one that requires effort and planning.  We generally purchase enough supplies so I'm not caught short in the morning.  If, by chance, I reach for my cup of joe and there's no cream or sugar, I rarely drink it black.  I do not like to improvise.  I need to make arrangements to get myself safely to a place where they provide these ideal components.  It's that significant an experience.  Until then, I am in grave danger.

I was the same way with my drugs.  Sure, I loved to drink, but I also had to get high for everything to be perfect.  I needed both activities occurring simultaneously in order to achieve any satisfaction.  I did not like one without the other, so I never went without.  If I found myself coming up short, I started looking until I got what I needed.  The mere thought of not having enough made me feel like I might die.  I mean it.  Every single day involved extreme survival strategies.

It's easy to lose your bearings when you're strung out.  Going up and coming down, always moving.  I was pointed squarely in death's direction.  I was just too fucked up to realize I was dying.


I didn't go to therapy hoping to get sober.  I just wanted some sleep.  I was hoping to snow job the doctor and score enough pills that could knock me out.  I liked the idea of something other than myself telling me how to feel.  It seemed easier than figuring things out of my own.

By the time I got to my late afternoon appointment, I was plenty irritable.  Doing speed all day without drinking put me in a jangly state, but I knew I couldn't show up to therapy with booze on my breath.  I had to demonstrate to this quack that I was an ideal candidate for prescription sedatives.  God, I needed a drink in the worst way.

Dr. Korman opened the door to his office and suggested I come in.  He was tall and conservative looking.  Super straight, almost stiff.  He asked me quite a few questions about my general condition and habits.  I was reluctant to answer truthfully.  I was embarrassed.  I wanted to feel ambivalent about my behavior, and I wasn't ready to change.  If I didn't put into words what was going on, I could convince myself that nothing was wrong.

Lying in therapy is a huge impediment.  At best, it's a distraction and at worst, a manipulative pretense that will just postpone any real progress.  Initially, however, it feels like self-preservation.  And keep in mind, I was just in it for the drugs.

Do you smoke?
Do you drink alcohol?
How frequently do you drink in a week?
     Once, maybe twice.
How many drinks do you have?
Do you use drugs?

Heh.  This was going great.
I had all the answers.

Dr. Korman asked a bunch of other questions, and I tried to keep things unfocused and confusing.  He wanted to know about my family and childhood.  He took a few notes here and there.  Mostly, he just listened while I yammered on about my mother.  I told him how scary it was to be with Charlie.  We talked about Dave and Kirin.  Plus, lots of other things that I don't remember.

Finally, Dr. Korman inquired, "Mary, why are you here?"
It's a reasonable question, but I had no response.
I just sat there on his couch, sinking in between the two heavy leather cushions.
I felt like I was trapped inside a deep, dark well.  I had no idea how I got there.

I found myself staring at the snow globe on Dr. Korman's coffee table.  I think snow globes are beautiful, especially the ones that play music.  I enjoy a glitter-filled melodic world.  It seems so nice.  But when the confetti starts to fall a little slower and the song begins to distort, I become preoccupied with the realization that it will end soon.  I shake it another time and wind it some more.  Again, again and again.  I cannot pull myself away.  I may just break it.  I know this about myself.

"Mary, why are you here?" the doctor asked a second time.
"I don't know," I said.  "I think I may be going crazy.  At least, I hope so."

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