Thursday, April 25, 2013

Just try to get a cup of coffee in rehab

In my fabulously glamorous life, I've gone to rehab about five or six times. Thankfully, I've been sober for a long time now but it wasn't easy getting here. Not easy at all. Anyway, this isn't that story. It's the one about the stupid rules in rehabs.

You go to rehab at the worst point in your life. You're shattered. You can't imagine giving up alcohol/coke/speed or whatever it is you're addicted to. In fact, you can't imagine anything. You're in shock.

Given the nature of your malady, you can't sleep. You used drugs to knock yourself out for so long that you've forgotten how to sleep without them. So you lie awake all night in bed, feeling terrible about your life. And then it's morning and after a quick breakfast without coffee, they haul you off to meetings and make you do embarrassing things in front of other people until late in the evening. And that was just day one.

Through all the miserable days you spend in rehab, they won't give you a goddamn cup of coffee. Why? Because some twit once freaked out after having a cup long ago in a distant rehab-galaxy far, far away. And because of that one unbalanced nitwit, the rules were changed for all of us. Coffee is a no-no in rehab.

You've got to be kidding. You won't let us enjoy this simple pleasure that would also wake us up so we could, you know, listen to and understand what you're saying in these endless meetings? No, you'd rather we nod out in our chairs all day and miss the meetings entirely. Because that's desirable, or something.

This goes on and on. Everyone wants a cup of coffee. And of course, we do get our coffee. In one rehab, a group of us broke out during the night and went to a deli and brought back several bottles of instant coffee. Suddenly we could participate in the day meetings. We were awake. Hooray!

In another rehab, they occasionally took us on walks and let us go into a convenience store for just a moment. Knowing this, we wore baggy sweatpants so we could stick jars of instant coffee down the legs. We couldn't pay for them because they checked your bags when you came out of the store. So we had to steal the damn coffee.

And of course, you have to hide it when you get back to the site. As the tallest person, it usually fell to me to lift a ceiling tile in my room and hide the felonious coffee up there. In the morning, everyone would come to my room with an empty cup, into which I would pour the magic crystals. It was like dealing drugs.

Hey, rehab operators. We give up a lot when we enter your chambers of horror. Don't make us give up coffee, too. If some twit has a cup and freaks out, just toss the asshole in the psych ward and let us make a fresh pot. We're junkies and drunks; we can handle a goddamn cup of coffee. Plus, duh, don't you want us to be awake? Isn't there something you'd like to, you know, tell us?

Serve coffee in rehab!