Three addicts walk into a waiting room and… oh, so you’ve heard that one before?

Yesterday was my color day.  For those of you who are unfamiliar with this part of the treatment routine, I will take a moment to explain.

Treatment where I am an outpatient in requires weekly therapy with Mary,  psychiatric consults complete with meds as needed with Mel, monthly visits with Dr. Mohammed for Suboxone,  and weekly random drug screening (more on that in a moment)

Some people think that the treatment center asks a lot of me but I can say with complete sincerity that in
return for a somewhat demanding schedule of participation they gave me back my life and my family both of which I nearly lost or destroyed during the Fentanyl, Vicodin (and every other med I could abuse)  fueled tailspin I was in.

Your counselor assigns you a color. On the day your color is called you need to come in between 4-6:30 pm to either pee in a cup in front of a tech from Quest Labs or in a few fortunate cases like mine have them give you a swab to hold between your cheek and gum till it turns blue.

I spent the first several months of treatment peeing in a cup like every other else but bladder issues allowed me to lobby for the swabs which are so much easier.

Due to my many health difficulties it is part of routine to always go pee before I leave the house.  I never know if there will be clean,  accessible facilities where I am going and it is much harder to hold it for long periods of time since my hysterectomy. 

I did like the tech that had to watch me pee though.  She was really nice and she saw how miserable the whole process was for me and  told me about the swabs.  Anyways, to wrap up a long overly informative story, I now get to do a swab when my color is called.

So screen days are something of a social time for us because we are all there for the same awkwardly necessary reason week after week. All of our lives in flux. We talk.

Things get better for some people.  They get new jobs, new places to live, they get their kids back. Or not.

Sometimes people relapse. Lose jobs.   They break up. DCF takes the kids and doesn’t offer a clear answer as to what needs to be done to bring our babies home.

Thinking  about that makes me so incredibly grateful son and daughter never had to spend a single night in DCF custody. It was invasive enough that they had conditions on our custody for a year. But we dealt with it and now they’re no longer in our lives.

So the past few color days, I have noticed that a couple that I knew but had never seen in my treatment center was there. I knew that they had substance issues but it was a problem seeing in there because they obviously were not doing well at all.

It was fairly clear that they were both in aggresively active addiction again and seemed highly likely that they were living on the street. Worst of all, they no longer had their infant daughter with them.

Yesterday they arrived shortly after I did. The fact that the weather was very cold and it was raining really hard had me feeling worse than ever about the fact that I knew they had nowhere to go.

(For sake of privacy, I will change names though I highly doubt they would ever come across this blog or wat to read it)

Out of the two of them, Guy was always more likely to want to strike up a conversation with me.  Girl only ever acknowledged my presence when we were playing with Baby together.  With Baby gone we had nothing to bond over.

So while we were waiting yesterday Guy started telling me everything that’s going on with them. How the relationship was on the rocks, how Baby got snatched by DCF at the clinic while Girl was getting dosed with methadone, how they had gotten evicted and how he had a place to stay for the night and Girl didn’t.

Oh shit! Shit. What am I supposed to do with that nugget of information?

I suppose to some I am going to sound like a completely judgemental shitheel but there is no way in hell I even want active addicts knowing where I live never mind the idea of opening our apartment to one or both of them.

However horrendously, self-righteous it sounds the amount of recovery and familial restoration I have clawed and scratched to achieve is tremendously fragile and I will not jeopardize that for anyone never mind some chick I don’t even really know.

But… But…. But… it’s raining and cold and why did we cross paths? Shouldn’t I at least try to help even a little?

So I took Guy’s phone number, being unable to help noting that Guy was not the name the Dr or the secretary called him.

I asked him why and he said,”Oh, I know it’s confusing,  I just go by Guy. Except if you see me on the street then it’s State Where I’m From.”

Oh. Wtf?

So anyway, I made some calls. My aunt is a social worker. She found a shelter that would give girl a bed that night and help her toward finding a permanent bed.

Called Guy back and he’s like, “It’s a no go on the shelter, Maria.  Too complicated to explain…she just can’t.  Maybe Girl could just crash at your place a couple nights.. maybe borrow a few bucks.. you know how they’re always telling us.. addicts helping addicts?”

Nope.  And suddenly I don’t feel so bad.

Tell me what your gut reaction is.. Am I a judgemental selfish piece of crap or did I make a right choice for me and my family?


8 thoughts on “Three addicts walk into a waiting room and… oh, so you’ve heard that one before?

  1. You didn’t have a choice. Let it go. I spent a lifetime trying to get it right, living in fear of getting it wrong. I highly recommend not staying caught in that web of the mind.


  2. I discovered through recovery that I was already carrying what I had been living without. For me, that desire to atone comes through the Christian mythology that my subconscious has been programmed with. It comes from deep within. It leaves me shedding a lot of blood which I can’t seem to escape from, but that is a lot better than running from myself. I spent a long time trying not to feel. The pills kept me from feeling. They made me cold, mechanical and calculating. It leaves me grateful for having been a pill head. The pills eventually forced me to get to know me. I just had to stop running. Maybe I am just fooling myself, but I haven’t picked up in nearly two years, so in reality, I don’t mind being a fool at all if that is the truth. Thanks for sharing and stay well.


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