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.
I wake up to one of Junkiemind Jerry’s alarm clocks going off. Daylight has begun creeping in from the window, making diffuse, ominous shadows from everything in the room. We have an early house meeting on the Sunday schedule and then we’re supposed to go down to the Day Hospital auditorium for something called “spirituality.”
Isis-Aphrodite Metropolitan Museum of Art
I go back to the big auditorium for the next event on my folder: DBT SKILLS. Class has already started. A very tall woman with a long mane of chestnut hair is standing at the front of the room. She has dark eyes and a flowery dress that ends just above her tasteful brown wedges. I wish she was my case manager, but who really cares at this point. I sit in the back, temporarily exempt from the Cuntface’s ‘last row’ tyranny, and pull out my Rilke book instead of Cuckoo’s Nest. The cold-fire blowtorch of withdrawal is bearing down on my neck and back. My liver hurts and I’m scared of what that might mean. Worst of all it’s confirmed that no one loves me or cares that I’m even here.
["Cured" is not the medically correct term, since it implies it's never coming back. The correct term would be "remission" but I don't imagine many people are searching for "How I put my seb derm into remission...", so I think I can help more folks by using "cured". ] I've had problems with sebborrheic dermatitis since I was a teenager. The symptoms (scaling, redness) would come and go, but were gradually getting worse. When I was first diagnosed I used dandruff shampoo, which helped some, the the coal tar stuff, which helped more but stank to hell. Eventually I was prescribed Nizoral which was great in the beginning but lost its effectiveness over time. This would be the way with everything I subsequently used: wonderful at first, then almost no effect after extended use. Things I used: Head and Shoulders, Coal Tar, Nizoral OTC, Nizoral RX, Ciclopirox ($$$$!!), Ketoconazole foam, Elidel, Protopic. All of the above worked to varying degrees but eventually stopped working and they all had concerning side effects. Though I tend to be skeptical of internet cures, I was getting desperate, so I started Googling "natural cures for seborrheic dermatitis." A lot of folks recommended apple cider vinegar. It did help some but smelled weird and required a lot of maintenance. Finally I found a post that recommended eating garlic. This sounded like bullshit to me, but it was cheap (like 1 dollar) to try and what did I have to lose? The garlic worked! I peeled…
When the lecture is over I check my folder again. I’m supposed to go to GROUP THERAPY in ROOM 112 with my CASE MANAGER, XXXX. I’m guessing this is the rehab version of Jessica from Detox. I remember Connor saying this woman was a bitch but patients are always shit-talking staff, just like the ladies did with sexy sexy see-through-shirt Jessica. I’ve never heard anything positive about a staff member except for Eddie, but everybody liked Eddie. I wonder if my new case manager will at least wear a translucent blouse and have a weakness for men like Jessica did. She can’t be worse than the fire-breathing man-killer from this morning.
“What’s ‘aggravated perjury’?” I ask. He smiles his crazy smile. “That’s just like regular perjury, only the judge was real aggravated.”
Before anyone can get up, there is a total eclipse. Emanuel’s hulking figure has emerged from his office and is now standing in the door like a blackhole sun. All the guys are silent. There’s no horseplay. The football is no longer being tossed in the air. Even crazy Baz looks as clear-eyed and respectful as a deacon.