I was feeling pretty frustrated at this stage. To recap, I had gone directly to an inpatient rehab and was rejected, 4 weeks to an outpatient facility, a personal trip to the ER, and finally an escorted trip by the police to the ER. I found myself still at home, still drinking, still in a panic.
I made the trip to the facility in the Adirondacks for my next appointment. I explained my attempts to get into detox the previous week.
“I can not believe that happened. Oh my god. Can I call in my colleague again?”
“Why not?” I said in dismay.
The older colleague came in and was debriefed. He then stated “Well, the problem is, you didn’t ‘show’ that you were going to harm yourself. You have to present a weapon. A knife. A gun. Something to show you are serious about it.”
I am slow. I know that. I get that. But yes, finally I realized these people had no idea what they were doing. They were using me as a lab rat. They were going to see what it would take for me to get help. They were just throwing out whatever ideas popped into their heads. I was done with them. I was going to deal with this myself.
Several days later I declared to my wife “I am going to do it. I am just going to go cold turkey.”
“It might kill you. You heard what they said. It could kill you.” she replied. The look of alarm on here face shook me.
Never the less, I was determined. “I’ve had enough of all this dicking around. I am just going to do this. I am a man. The captain of my ship. I will do this myself.” At that moment I had stopped drinking.
You have heard of the “DTs” right? Delirium Tremens is the official term. In summary, hallucinations are a common symptom when one goes “cold turkey”. In movies, the most common scenario is that someone imagines spiders crawling all over them. Snakes. Demons. Its is supposed to be terrifying.
I had a slightly different experience.
We had purchased an old Victorian house built in the late 1800s near the local hospital. All the houses in the area were similar. It is a charming, “old timey” neighborhood. We loved living there. I am telling you this because this is probably a contributing factor for my version of the “DTs”.
After my declaration that I was going to go “cold turkey”, screw detox and their Nazi ways, I girded my loins and prepared for a long night. I expected to be up all night sweating, headaches, nausea, etc. To my surprise, I fell asleep pretty quickly.
A very nice couple showed up in our bedroom. They were in their late 60’s. They were dressed in clothes from the 1800s.
“Hello! Do you mind if we look around? We used to live in the house a few down that way.” He was pointing to the left, East side of the street. “I used to be a doctor here. Many years ago.”
His wife laughed and said “Yes we did! Your wife is very beautiful. We hope you like it here.”
“Well thank you! You seem like very nice people. I am not a doctor, but we do love it here.” I said.
“Thank you for inviting us in. I hope you don’t mind if we look around. Its been a long time.”
I don’t remember inviting them in but they seemed like nice people. So I replied “Absolutely. My house is your house. Thank you for coming.”
A stream of people from the neighborhood came through our bedroom. All of them dressed like they were from the late 1800s. Apparently, word had gotten out to anyone from the 1800s, we were having an open house. They were all very pleasant. Very courteous. The seemed genuinely excited to be there and eager to tell their stories about living in the neighborhood when they used to be alive.
There was one women that appeared at the foot of our bed that was very sweet. Again, she and her child looked like they had stepped off the set of Little House on the Prairie.
“Well hello! you are very beautiful!” I told her. She wasn’t. She was plain looking, not ugly. I was just trying to be nice.
“Thank you” she giggled and turned away. “Do you mind if my dog is here”
“Absolutely not!” I said as I was scratching his head. He had jumped onto the bed between my wife and I. He was a great dog. I miss him.
“Is my child bothering you?”
“Absolutely not. He seems to really like my wife.” I said. He looked about 5 years old. He was curling up in front of my sleeping wife. I figured he wasn’t getting much attention from his own mother and figured he needed to be here. I continued to scratch the dog’s head while the boy slept by my wife.
The stream of people continued to paraded through our bedroom. “I was a doctor and lived across the road”. “My kids used to play in your back yard.” “We are so happy you moved in here”. They were great people. They came in and out. Big smiles. Old clothes. They all had a connection to the neighborhood. I was happy to be apart of the community!
I started to notice a couple of people hanging out at the bedroom door. They were dressed differently. And they were watching. They were wearing dark robes. After most of the folks left, the mysterious people appeared at my window. They said “Come with us”. Our bedroom was on the second floor. They must have been 20ft above the ground. “Come with us. We can check in on people”
I told them “go away”.
“Come with us. We can visit you girls”
My girls were also on the second floor just a few windows down. “No. Just leave. Go.”
The foot of the bed moved 3 feet towards the window. I jumped out of bed screaming “NO! Get out of here!”
My wife woke up. “What is going on?”
The mother was at the end of bed was screaming “My baby! My Baby!”.
I yelled to my wife “Get that kid out of our bed!”
I yelled again “The kid laying next to you!”
She tossed the kid lying next to her to the other side of the bed, toward the window. The mother and child disappeared. The dog was gone.
I slammed the window shut. My wife turned on the light. There was nobody there. My heart was racing like I have never felt before.
I found myself breathing heavily, blood pumping, and thinking to myself. “I am never going to drink again. I am never going through this again.”