Today is Sunday. On Friday I had my first injection of horse tranquilizer for depression. “Treatment-resistant depression” officially. And I got my meds, not from some guy in a van, but from the very legit Treatment-Resistant Depression Clinic (which I like to call the TRD clinic. ) I’ve been interested in ketamine since before I got clean. I heard it was a magic bullet for anxiety/depression, which has ruined half my life (I was solely responsible for the rest). Of course since underwent the metamorphis of rehab, I’m much better than I ever was. I have tools to manage the thoughts of catastrophe and failure, the feelings of emptiness and anhedonia. I’ve learned to sing in my chains. But, as I told the PA who did my intake, I’d like to try it without the chains. When I was in rehab, I heard one of the shrinks, Dr. Giorgadze – Dr G – was using it. Dr. G wasn’t my doctor but I used to hem him up whenever he was in the building, grill him about G-proteins and existentialism. Once when I was in the big bathroom in the Day Hospital he walked in and started peeing at the next urinal and I was actually starting to feel good again (pink cloud), so I started singing “I’m the ket- a – mine man, fixin’ up depression, making the world taste good.” He looked at me like I was nuts. It was a mental hospital, after all. After rehab I…
"Heroes" by David Bowie. Version by Mackenzie Johnson
Lieutenant Dominic voted in the election and no one has seen him since. All we know is that supposedly he’s been discharged but he didn’t leave any contact information and no one had a chance to see him off. I feel guilty for not making more of an effort to wish him well and get an email address for him after he had served as such a great leader, but it wasn’t at all unusual for people to just disappear, glad to be done with this place. I envy his freedom and feel sure he is going to have a great life. I hope things work out with his wife and kids. Maybe she will appreciate how much he’s changed. Maybe he will actually realize his dream of becoming a priest.
At 3:23 AM—according to my alarm clock—I get up to pee, relishing the freedom of solitude now that Junkiemind Jerry has moved out. I stand in the bathroom’s inadequate yellow half-light feeling stronger than I ever have since I got here. I look at myself in the mirror and decide to shave as soon as I can buy some razors from those thieves in the pharmacy. I shuffle over to the toilet, amazed at how I can now take pleasure in a simple thing like peeing. Relax...ahh… OH GOD OH GOD OH FUCK OH GOD
At our nightly community meeting, Lt. Dominic congratulates everyone on the success of the barbecue and thanks Jonah for cooking, even though he was sick. He says he is going to apply for a group day pass and maybe take some of the guys to a movie off-campus as a treat. I’m grateful we have a leader like Dominic. I just wish there was a war on so I could follow him into it.
At Group time, my check-in feeling is “concerned.” I’m worried that my liver is failing like the Yellow Man’s, that I am about to go over the waterfall of Suboxone withdrawal, that I will shit myself at any moment, and most of all worried about what will happen when my wife comes for family day this afternoon.
I’m flying down, down through layer after layer of sleep on the wings of Jerry’s pill when the dream begins.