I hardly know where to begin because I’ve made no secret of my past or my history or my afflictions or mental defects or whatever the hell you want to call them, so I’m just going to start since it is still fresh is my still somewhat addled brain.
I fucked up.
Someone should have seen it coming.
I should have seen it coming. It’s been no secret that I’ve been down at the lower end of my depression lately despite the medication that I probably should have been taking more often than when I remembered to.
But it happened.
I don’t remember when I bought the first beer. Or the next. Or the vodka. All I remember is that I was low. Lowest I have been in a while.
I had been riding pretty high for a while. Things were going good at work, whether it was just a program or not, it was work, and I was damn good at it. The people I worked with wanted to keep me. The nurses I took care of wanted to keep me. I had been at that building since the doors opened and set it up from scratch and I had it operating like clockwork. When people needed something, they skipped over my boss and looked for me instead.
My boss asked for extensions to keep me there longer. My bosses boss asked the same. I had/have jobs lined up and waiting for me at the main hospital, but they are stuck in the black hole that is Human Resources. A situation that the program that I was in was well aware of, but still refused to give me the extension. With all the nurses, doctors, bosses and everyone else that had my back . . . one man held me back. One man that could grant the extension as he has done for many others before me.
In fact, not only did he refuse, he called my boss right in front of me, asked him how many hours I had for the week and when he told him, he simply said, “He’s got enough. Tell him he is done and to turn in his badge.”
This was on Thursday. The rat son-of-a-bitch wouldn’t even let me finish my week.
Now, given my family history, I’ve become somewhat immune to being told that what I did wasn’t good enough. Yeah, I blame that on my dad. My dad has an idea as to how people should be, and right or wrong, you can’t change his mind. If I’m not wearing a fucking tie somewhere making 6 figures, it won’t be good enough. That’s him and I can’t change that.
That being said, I don’t blame him for it. He’s a WWII refugee that managed to escape Germany with his unwilling Vermacht soldier father as soon as the war was over. It’s how he was raised.
I blame myself for not being able to overcome it.
I took that rejection of all the work I had done HARD.
I’m a sufferer of depression and I’m always standing on the edge of the cliff. That rejection was the nudge that shoved me off the edge.
I responded in a way that I’ve become accustomed to all these years.
First a few beers. Then a few more. Then it wasn’t enough and it was vodka. I’m sure I picked it up on the way home that Thursday. Things get blurry after that. I know I locked myself in my room and just drank, hoping the hurt would go away.
I shut everyone off.
I ignored the phone. I cried. I suffered. And at that point, I couldn’t stop.
An ambulance was called for me and I refused it.
If it was in the house and had alcohol in it, I drank it and still the pain didn’t go away.
Finally, with the last bit of sense I had left, I called 911 myself. I had to convince them that I was going to go this time, and I did.
I was taken to the Emergency Room and eventually admitted.
I spent two days there. There were good nurses and bad and I was detoxed pretty well.
Then an incident happened in which one particularly nasty nurse kept ignoring me. I finally got a doctor to come up from the ER and he spoke to me briefly because I had experienced a fall while I was there and suffered some damage to my back (which, to date, no one has bothered to check but yet I am unable to bend over to tie my own shoes). The doc said he would be sending up some medication for both my detox and my back and left.
I waited, and waited. An hour and a half later, I crawled my ass out of bed to hunt her down. When I found her, she said there was no medication of any kind sent up for me and that according to the doc there never was.
Needless to say, I may have lost my shit at that point. I told them that one or both of them was lying to me and all I wanted was to have something done about my back. An x-ray, MRI . . . for fuck’s sake, someone to lift my goddamn shirt and LOOK at the fucking thing! All my frustration at the VA poured out at that point six fucking months of VA frustration poured out through tears and yelling and every fucking one of them was the problem and I made quite the scene at the nurses station, including one nurse that I knew from the Annex where I had worked. (Who I apologized to for having to see that as she is one of the good ones)
I have a witnessed fall that NOBODY from my unit responded to (7 nurses from another unit came and picked me up, a doctor that either lied to me or told me what I wanted to hear so he could get out of the room and a nurse who could not have given ONE SINGLE FUCK.
And yet somewhere, there is an illegal immigrant with a drivers license and a social security number getting welfare and food stamps and here I am, a veteran of the United States Marine Corps and I can’t get a fucking doctor to look at my injured back . . . IN A HOSPITAL!!
Being largely detoxified, I left the hospital AMA (against medical advice).
I found a cab and travelled 5 miles down the road and found a hotel right across the street from my primary care office where I planned to go in and visit my psychologist first thing the next morning. This time I took Liz with me.
They convinced me to go back and check back in to the hospital, which we promptly did. As I sat in the ER, they gave me a “banana bag” which for those not in the know is kind of a high powered IV of Gatorade with some extra potassium, took a few vials of blood, gave me some Ativan for the shakes and said have a nice day. In other words, I wasn’t being readmitted.
I was dismissed with a “Don’t drink anymore and good luck.”
Which brings me to now.
I’m back in the hotel across from my Primary Care Clinic waiting for Monday when they open again.
I’m alone in my room on a laptop that Liz let me borrow. Trusted not to drink again.
I won’t. I can’t. I have to find the fight to get my shit together. I have a plan for Monday. It might work. It might fail miserably, but I WILL WIN!!
I know this sounds like a story of overcoming some deep adversity, but it really isn’t.
I’ve lost the respect of friends.
I owe apologies to people I never should have had to apologize to.
I have to find a new place to live.
I lost a girlfriend who loved me dearly and I have no way of apologizing to.
I am ashamed and afraid and I have no memory of what I’ve done.
I can only thank God that I never drove a car or killed anyone.
In three days I have completely reset my life and have to start over again. Hopefully I can salvage some of it.
I am an alcoholic, and I always will be. I can only hope to beat it into submission and that I’ll still have somebody left when that happens.