Content advisory notice: My entry contains detailed references to addiction and child bereavement which may be triggering for some.
Write…Edit…Publish post on the third Wednesday of every second month and the challenges are open to all. To join in, you submit your name to the list, write an entry for the prompt (1000 words or less) and edit it. Then on the date given, you publish it to your blog, stating your feedback preferences. You can also read and leave comments on the other entries and share the challenge far and wide on social media.
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This is the first time I’m taking part in the WEP challenge. This month’s prompt was chosen by Toinette Thomas, winner of an IWSG competition: 28 days. This was a really great prompt and got me thinking of lots of different things that take place in a cycle of 28 days.
Here’s my entry.
Word count: 926-FCA
I hate you, Mel. How can this be what’s best for me? I’m dying. I want to go home.
No one here gives a damn about me. Dr Green gave me some pills and they are f****ing useless.
Why does it hurt so much?
I need to get out of here. Why won’t anyone help me? I can’t do this–I just can’t!
‘Detoxification’ –that’s what that sadistic Dr Green calls this torture. I swear she’s going to pay for this.
Why am I here? Just leave me alone, all of you. How can you just carry on like nothing has happened, Chris? How can you just forget him?
I can’t sleep. I can’t eat without puking. Sometimes I can’t catch my breath and my heart threatens to gallop right out of my chest. That’s ‘normal’ apparently. Great. Fine.
I’m sorry, Chris. I’m sorry I can’t be strong like you.
Please come and take me home, Mel. I want to do it my own way, at home. This isn’t working.
I broke down again and Dr Green gave me some more pills.
“Don’t expect instant results,” she said. But I’ve been here forever and nothing has changed.
My head is trapped in a vice and I’m shaking and sweating all the time, but I’ve stopped throwing up. That’s something, right?
I actually slept well last night, they must have doped me up. I might go for a walk later.
I had a chat with Helen in the room next door today. She’s recently divorced too. She shared half a chocolate bar with me. It tasted amazing.
I’m stuck here for at least another two weeks, 28 days total. A full lunar cycle to cure my lunacy. I’ve endured four weeks of agony many times before. The endless waiting, followed by the overwhelming disappointment over and over again. Until one day, that little blue cross appeared, and I knew that everything was going to be okay. And it was, for a while.
They make me attend these group therapy sessions where we have to sit in a circle and share something positive about our recovery journey so far. I just talk about how the withdrawal symptoms are getting better. The one-to-one sessions are harder. The psychologist (or psychotherapist or whatever the hell he is) tries to get me to open up about everything. It’s like he’s pulling my teeth without anaesthetic.
I have more energy today and the headache is just a dull throb now.
Dr. Aspinall, the psycho-babble guy, asks a lot of inane questions like “Why do you think you’re here, Sarah?” and “What do you think we can do to move forward?”
I don’t want to move forward. Moving forward means plastering a smile on my face and being hopeful about the future. But hope is a back-stabber and I won’t let my guard down again.
I can’t do this. It hurts too much. They want me to pack the past up in a neat little box and tuck it away. Tuck him away. They want me to bury him all over again because it’s too messy for them to deal with.
Why did it happen to us? Why?
I can do this. I have to. I need to grieve properly–not just for my little boy, but for my marriage too. We talked about how alcohol was numbing my pain but not letting me heal properly. But if I let the pain in, it will swallow me up. There’s no going back. I’m not as strong as he thinks.
I don’t want him to exist only in the past, locked up inside me. I want to take his memory with me into the future. Maybe moving forward is not about forgetting, after all.
Helen pursaded me to join in with yoga today. I sucked at it, but it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be.
I told the group all about Alex. I told them how beautiful and cute and funny he was. How close he was to taking his first steps. I cried my eyes out, and I wasn’t the only one.
I had a rough night. Bad dreams. Dr. Aspinall says I only have three days left, but I’m not ready to leave. It’s hard enough when there’s nothing available to tempt me. How am I going to cope at home?
I got a letter from Mel today. She’s coming to pick me up in two days. She says I can stay with her for a while, and she’s going to do everything she can to support me. I won’t let her down.
When I confessed to Dr. Aspinall that I was scared he said:
“I’d be worried if you weren’t! I’m not going to lie, Sarah. It’s going to be a rough ride. You still have a long way to go, but we will give you all the support you need. Try to focus on how far you’ve come already. Your son would be proud of you.”
I couldn’t reply, I just nodded and walked away.
I did it! 28 days without a drop. My recovery is a work in progress, but I’m coming home. I’ll take one day at a time. Baby steps.