Assessment completed! Failed attempt at detox. But now, my first “real” counseling session. I discussed my family, my work, and my childhood. I grew up in a small town where the cows probably outnumbered the people. I worked on farms, played sports, had girlfriends, went to college, got married, had kids, etc. I’ve had a pretty normal life. I probably had a life a lot of people would be jealous of.
My job however… I had a very stressful job. I left my house every Sunday at about 2pm to head to the airport and got home at around 2am Thursday night. Every week. About 45 weeks a year. The travel alone was bad enough. At this time, the actual work was also brutal. The customer wasn’t happy, the company I was with wasn’t happy. The people I was working with were useless. It was one of the unhappiest years I had ever had at work. In hind site, there was no reason for me to have put up with it. I was free to walk away at any time I wanted. But that is a story for later.
I sat in the young lady’s office for my first counseling session. It was a small, dark office. Piles of papers, filing cabinets, nothing really stood out to me other than she seemed really disorganized.
“Wow! You really hate your job.” my young councilor stated.
“Yes. Yes I do. I really do.” I replied.
“You should look at changing that”.
“I agree. Its killing me.”
“So about the detox thing” she asked.
“Yes it was a horrible failure. It was a complete waste of time”.
“I can not believe they turned you away. Do you mind if I bring my colleague in?” she asked.
An older man stepped in. He was probably in his late 50s. White hair and a big smile. We discussed my situation and what had happened in Potsdam.
“Wow! You have a fantastic job!” he exclaimed. “Your are the luckiest guy to have such a great job! You fly all over the US and someone else pays for it. Not many people around here are that lucky.”
“Thank you? You are right I guess. I am lucky to have this opportunity”.
The young lady councilor said to the new guy “What about detox? can you believe they didn’t accept him after going to the emergency room?”
“I cant. I can’t believe it. By law they should have accepted him. I think what was missing was that fact that he did not declare that he was a danger to himself or others.” He looked at me and continued, “Scott, you have to tell them that you are a danger to yourself or others. If the police bring you in and declare that you are a danger to yourself or others, they have to admit you to detox. Its the police. The police and the declaration that you are a danger to yourself. That will get you in.”
The young lady was enthusiastic now… “Yes. Yes. The police. If you are arrested, the judge will for sure sentence you to detox and rehab.”
Well…. that made a whole lot of sense to me. However, I did not want to have criminal record as that may hamper future employment. So I sat on this new insight for several days. One fateful night, having some metric percentage of a liter (probably close to 100%), I decided that I was going to march down to the police station and turn myself in. I have been an athlete all my life and I was determined to do this. Once I had a goal, I was going to accomplish it. To my surprise, my wife fully supported this plan.
The police station was two blocks from my house. Easy for me to walk to. I was pretty intoxicated at the time, but I was able to navigate my way to the headquarters of the local police.
“I am turning myself in!” I declared as I walked into the station. Nobody seemed to care. There were about 6 officers sitting around tables chatting. No one seemed that interested in approaching me. Apparently they often get drunken visitors and was not impressed by my appearance. I projected my voice in a more commanding tone “Good sirs! I am turning myself in. I am a danger to myself and/or others”. They all looked at each other. Finally a man, who looked like he got the short end of the straw, stood up and grabbed a set of keys and walked by me saying “lets go”.
I followed him to a police car and got in the back. We took the short drive to the hospital, which was two blocks in the other direction from house. If you are keeping count, that was a 4 block drive from the police station to the hospital. The police officer presented me to the nurses and doctors at the ER. Blood was drawn. Temperature taken. Blood pressure. The whole works. I was also assigned a “sitter”. I then sat there. For hours. With my sitter.
I was a little intoxicated. I was a lot loud. I was also hilarious! The sitter was laughing the whole time. However, despite my comedy gold, the doctors seemed very irritated. Perhaps because I was so loud and kept asking “what is my diagnosis?”
After hours of my witty banter with the doctors, they finally gave me my diagnosis. “Sir, you are very drunk. Your alcohol blood level is ..blah blah blah.”
I of course acted shocked. “Impossible! I don’t drink!”
“Please sir. Go to sleep”.
My bed was moved to a private room. I assume now it was because I was sooo annoying no one wanted to hear me. I did fall asleep shortly afterward as there was no one for me to entertain. Their loss.
I woke the next morning staring at my wife. There was another young lady next to her explaining to her that I should make an appointment with mental health services. I realized then that I would not be going to detox or inpatient rehab.
My wife walked me home. On the way home I realized I was wearing plaid pajama bottoms and slippers. I had gone to the police station wearing pajama bottoms and slippers.