If you have never had the pleasure of going to rehab, then you may not know that One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and Girl Interrupted are fairly accurate in their portrayals of the patients who are admitted there.
Maybe slightly exaggerated, but for the most part, spot on.
You will never meet a more diverse group of people than the group inside one of those facilities.
And I know because I was a patient at Silver Hill, in New Canaan, CT about 12 or 13 years ago.
As far as rehabs go, it was pretty swanky.
In fact, Billy Joel and Mariah Carey both did time in there.
You know, for exhaustion.
It was public knowledge.
So I’m not outing anyone.
Anyway, I was in there with a diagnosis of Major Depressive Disorder.
There were other depressed people there, too, along with a good mix of bipolar, borderline and schizophrenic people.
And then there were the drug addicts. alcoholics. sex addicts. gamblers and girls, women, and even a couple dudes with eating disorders.
Shy. Angry. Aggressive. Straight. Gay. Old . Young.
You name it, they were there.
Although I never met anyone who was there with the diagnosis of being really tired.
Anyway, I had lost quite a bit of weight because by the time I got there, I had pretty much stopped eating.
Not on purpose.
I just had no appetite.
I had such bad insomnia that I hardly slept.
I had been self-medicating for months.
By smoking insane amounts of weed.
I’m not sure how I even functioned. I was pretty much a walking zombie.
And a total disaster.
So anyway, when you first get checked in, a staff member sits down with you and asks you a shitload of questions.
I was asked if I did drugs.
And I answered honestly.
I was dating a pretty loaded guy at the time who was a major pot smoker.
And since he had lots of money, he had lots of weed. Good weed.
Knock you on your ass stuff.
I smoked a lot of it.
From the moment I woke up, until the moment I went to bed.
And when I would wake up at night and be unable to go back to sleep, I would smoke some more, then, too…
After that initial questioning when you are admitted to Silver Hill (or any nuthouse or rehab for that matter), they take some blood and some pee, and they test the crap out of it.
Apparently my loaded boyfriend was purchasing weed that was loaded.
With a little something extra.
Because they came back after running their tests, and told me that they wanted to put me on methadone.
I looked at them like they were the crazy ones.
“What? Why?” I asked them.
“Because you tested positive for opiates,” they said.
“You’re not doing heroin?” they asked, looking down at me over the tops of their glasses.
Many of the addicts lie about their drug use.
So they didn’t believe me.
I had nothing to hide, I was honest.
I told them that I drank.
That I smoked an assload of weed.
That years ago I had done acid, and ecstasy, and cocaine.
But I never did heroin. Ever.
And this was before painkillers were a thing, so I didn’t do those either.
I stuck to my guns, while they waited for me to slip into some major DT’s.
I never did take the methadone.
I’m not sure why they didn’t force me to, but they never did.
I befriended two serious drug addicts while I was there.
I told them the methadone story.
They looked at each other, and then at me, and then back at each other, and then at me, and they yelled in unison,
“Take it! Take it! Take it! Take it!!!”
They looked at me like I was crazy(er) for not jumping all over it when given the opportunity.
Why do I tell you this story?
Because Kate Middleton just had her baby.
And I read that she doesn’t want a nanny.
And when I read that, sitting here among the ruins of my house, the mess and stickiness of seven children all around me, thinking about her passing up that opportunity,
all I could think was,
Take it! Take it! Take it! Take it!
VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! VOTE!!!