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The Ladybug. Part Six.

The Florida treatment facility was located on the beach. To some clients, it may have felt like paradise. For me, it felt like jail. A place I would soon encounter. We walked to the brick building that looked nothing like my first treatment facility. Twin Lakes was warm and welcoming, and this place felt like an institution. My daddy gave me twenty dollars to put with my belongings for snacks (the vending machine). I said my goodbyes in a very unenthusiastic manner. I was not happy. I was not even that nervous. I the myself. I was back in an environment I swore I would never have to attend again. And I wanted someone to blame for the pain.

I walked back to a small room with a young lady who asked me to undress. I felt violated already and I had not been there thirty minutes. As I undressed, she noted all my tattoos and assessed me for "track marks". I was quick to advise the lady who was violating all my personal space that I was alcoholic and did not use needles. I was not that sick...yet. (I was still in denial). After that, I remained quiet and only answered direct questions when asked. She was doing her job. I guess.

Next, I sat in a golf cart that transferred me to the detox unit. This place was different than my first rehab. It was extremely medical, and I began to feel very uncomfortable. But I knew what to say to help my nervousness and discomfort. Narcotics. I know, you may be confused. Do detox facilities really give drugs to help with drug abuse? Yes. And there are many opinions and different biases regarding this decision, but it is all for the good of the client in most circumstances. The client is given a small dose of narcotics depending on the drug withdrawal. I was always available for the good medicine because the DT's (delirium tremens) from alcohol and benzodiazepines and opiates. Withdrawal without the adequate medical care is dangerous and can very well lead to death. The medication is used to taper the client down without the client having serious withdrawal symptoms such as seizures that can seriously harm the client. And there are other times, in my particular case, the medication did more psychological harm.

I walked in and was given a drug test. I failed it for suboxone. I was confused because to my knowledge, I had not taken any suboxone. I remember clearly telling the nurse that the drug test was not accurate. Next, I went to the nurse station and was given about five pills. It was a lot. And I soaked it up. I stretched my arms out to show the nurse "I am shaky, and very unwell". Honestly, at that point, it was not the physical symptoms that were alarming. My mind was at war...with itself. I wanted my medicine, a bed, and to not wake up again. I was taken into a room by myself for two days and refused to eat. I was still invoking self-sabotaging behavior without the drugs. I was in so much mental anguish I did not know what to do with myself. All I could do is sleep, wake and think about how screwed up my life was, and then hope to fall asleep to wake to a different life. My dreams even haunted me. I could not escape what I had loss. My kids...again. All I could think about was how to get back home to them. I missed them so much every part of my body hurt from grief from my breaking my own heart. I replayed how Eric mistreated me. I replayed how I should have never picked up the first drink. I replayed how God had failed me. I replayed the shame I felt from being an adult whose parents are having to pick her up for rehab. I replayed how my life was supposed to be. The tape played over and over again. I will never forget that haunting feeling of having no control over my current circumstance...or did I?

The rooms had cameras in them. My paranoia went into overdrive. I hated feeling like I was being watched. I hated it there. I would go sit in the bathroom to feel like I could breathe without surveillance. The detox setting did not sit well with my free spirit. I felt closed in and constantly evaluated. (They were doing their job)

I walked outside to smoke after a few days of isolation and the fact the doctor and nurses were all at my bedside concerned about my unwillingness to eat or participate. I had to meet with the nutritionist. The appointment was short and sweet as I explained "nothing is wrong" and walked out. I was determined to get out. I will say, the view was absolutely beautiful when I walked out to smoke. Although, as I gazed out to the Gulf of Mexico, I began to visualize me swimming out to the deep, dark blue waters to drown. I wondered if I could get away with it without bringing alarm to the staff. If I could disappear without anyone noticing. I began to think no one would even care. This is what you call: suicidal ideation. In my imagination, I was going to die. I could not take the heaviness of the pain. And then, in the mix of the dark thoughts, there were these moments that I knew God was with me. I sat outside to smoke, the suicidal thoughts would come, and every time a ladybug landed on some part of my body. I felt the presence of God. It gave me Hope to not give-up. It is strange, indeed, and I was mentally struggling but it is important because I still have a journal entry where I attempted to write about the "ladybug" while I was there. Spiritually it was very significant, still is. All the medication induced an out-of-body experience for me. I remained in a comatose state.

I realized I was losing my mind. It was probably day four of detox. I had never had hallucinations prior to this moment. I was so confused. I was lying in my bed trying to rest. I stayed in my room most of the time, outside smoking, or hiding in the bathroom taking a shower (to be alone without video cameras). As I lied there, clear as day, I heard my Daddy talking. I thought he had come to get me and as I listened I "heard" him planning to send me off to the nut house (mental hospital) because I had not been very cooperative. I got up out of my bed and walked to the nurse station. I confusedly asked where my Daddy is. At this point, I am terrified they are scamming me to get me taken away without my consent. The nurse tells me "Your Daddy is not here". I asked to call him. They did not allow any phone calls during detox unless it was an emergency. I was scared. I had never had any hallucination up to this point in my life, and I start questioning the medicine I had been taking. Even for me, it was alarming. But, for a drug addict staying out-of-it is kind of the goal and why we escape. This-was-on-a-whole-other-level-I honestly was scared because I realized I was hearing things that were not there. And that was the first and last time that has ever happened to me. It was form of psychosis, which is fairly normal while detoxing from drugs and alcohol. For me, it awakened a fear like no other. The next morning, I went to the nurse station and told them I did not want any more medications. I wanted to call my Daddy. They informed me that it would not be the doctor's recommendation to stop medications immediately. And that is when I went into flight or fight mode. I demanded to speak to my counselor. 'And told all the nurse's, "I do not give a f*ck what you recommend. I am not taking no more medication. And I want a phone call now."

To this day, I know, whatever mixture of psychotic medication I was on made me different. And not in an enlighten way.

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