Monday, July 18, 2011

An Experience: Dual Diagnosis

I spent my first five days in a detox ward outside of Denver, to this day I don’t remember where; I only know it was unbearably hot, the ground was grassless and dry and the building was small. There were a small number of other men inside the building, all like me, unshaven, unclean and moaning as they spoke, besides the few male and female nurses and social services workers. I felt trapped! Not only did I feel incarcerated, I felt there was no one to relate too; I was alone with nowhere to go when I was released and no way to provide for myself when I needed, which included food and transportation; I was stuck in the city I grew up in when I found my way back.
Those five days were a twisting roller coaster in the mind. With N/A groups and A/A groups and papers to be filled out I was just non coherent to even the light that glared above the doors at night. I couldn’t sleep during the day; God knows I felt I needed it, yet we spent hours going over the twelve steps, to know that”alcohol and drugs are cunning and baffling”. “We had to admit we were powerless over our addictions, and to seek through prayer and meditation our higher power” and pray for knowledge. On the fifth day I was told I was going to a psychiatric unit in a hospital and that they felt I should be in observation for possible acute schizophrenia. If I had any principles, I was now discouraged, yet a part of my fears were alleviated, I knew then I would also have to believe in a higher power because I now had somewhere to be, yet this didn’t subdue my anger or curb my negative thinking about being incarcerated. As for as the other men in Detox, few smiled, some were carried away in hand cuffs, others taken to an emergency ward. Did I seek camaraderie in all this? I did realize I was not alone.
Some people have greatness thrust upon them,
Very few have excellence thrust upon them. –Abraham Lincoln—

Excerpts from Alcoholics Anonymous in Quotation mark

Written By Donald Sammons

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