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  1.  (10234.1)
    You know how this goes by now, right?

    Open Mic is a tradition founded by Spacedaddy Warren. I'm experimenting with launching it on Fridays rather than Sundays, on the grounds that most of us have accumulated a working-week's-worth of toxicity and hatred, and the sooner we can trepan our collective psyches the better.

    To paraphrase herr Ellis:

    This is your judgement-free space to vent, get stuff out of your head and otherwise experience special Internet Catharsis. Screaming into a well, 21C-style.

    Instructions: Tell us about your week. Tell us what you hate, what you love, what's pissing you off. Tell us what's broken about the world, tell us what you want. Tell us how you plan to change everything, tell us what you're building in your basement, or, hell, just dance or play a tune.

    I, we, and all of us are here for you. Smash your wordvenom against us.
    •  
      CommentAuthorrazrangel
    • CommentTimeSep 25th 2011
     (10234.2)
    Did a recap looking backwards in the thread ending last Thursday (we're all a bit off kilter, it seems). So I'll look forward at this coming week.

    Nearly 5pm and still in the sweats I sleep in. Sexy, I know. Furthermore behind in every way. I just don't make plans and somehow they don't miraculously show up. So here's a sort of a plan? Maybe on Thursday we'll see if I kept to it.

    Viewpoints and Suzuki Monday and Tuesday and Japanese on Wednesday. Action/adventure Thursday and Friday, but which I mean I have no solid plans so I had better demand something of myself so they don't get away from me. LA Decomp - decompression from Burning Man - on Saturday the 1st and I'm looking at helping friends set up their section in exchange for getting in for free. [NTS still have to switch a shift at the theatre's box office]

    I will study, I will get in a little exercise, I will practice my voice work every day... ah. What a cute plan. I wonder if I'll keep to it.
  2.  (10234.3)
    This summer, I decided to go on a Great European Adventure for my summer vacation. One of many flights involved going from London to Munich. Okay, I thought, I'll book it through Reisefeber.no, the Norwegian version of the Travelocity website.

    TL;DR: Never ever ever ever ever EVER booking with them again.

    First their site double-booked me. Their response to this was to send me an E-mail that said that my ticket had been cancelled. I called customer service, the lady on the phone didn't mention any double booking, and instead said that yes, the booking had been cancelled, so sorry, don't know why, but I had to go online and order a ticket again. So I did.

    The next day I got called by a different customer service lady who said that I had now somehow booked the same journey thrice. Okay, she said, she'd just cancel the last booking, and leave in the one of the previous double booking that hadn't been cancelled. At the end of this, my bank statement showed that I had paid for the journey twice and received money back for one of those bookings, leaving me with just the one booking the customer service lady mentioned. So I figured things were okay.

    This is when I noticed that though I had typed my name in correctly in the booking system, somehow they'd gotten the Norwegian letters wrong. See, I've got this weird name with both the letters å and æ in it, and the system didn't like those letters. Normally this isn't a big deal... They just replace the å with aa and the æ with ae, and that matches the electronically readable bit on my passport. This system, however, replaces å with a and æ with a, making my name NOT match my passport.

    Now, this isn't always a big deal, but given that I was flying out of a foreign airport and into another foreign airport, I wanted to be completely sure.

    What followed was a LONG back-and-forth exchange where I simply tried to get them to tell me that I wouldn't have trouble travelling with this ticket, while they repeatedly insisted that I either let them put a little blurb on my ticket and then travelled at my own risk, absolving them of all responsibility for their fudge-up (meaning that if I somehow couldn't travel, I'd be on my own)... Or I'd pay almost as much as the ticket itself cost to get the name on it changed. Fat chance. After them repeatedly trying to tell me that the system was fine and this was somehow my fault, I finally got them to give me a written (e-mailed) statement that it would be fine.

    Then the day came when I was supposed to fly from London to Munich. And what do you know: As I got to the airport (three hours early, thank goodness), the British Airways people told me that they had three bookings: Two of which had been cancelled regularly, and a third that had been cancelled for "unknown reasons". Summa summarum: I had no ticket, and apparently all the regular-priced seats were taken.

    The British Airways people nice about it, thankfully, since they saw that there'd obviously been some sort of strangeness going on. Plus, I had the receipt handy. They let me buy a ticket for the same price I'd paid Travelocity, and urged me to keep their receipt so I could get a refund from Travelocity.

    Travelocity's refund thingy told me to send them a copy of my receipt and other stuff via snailmail. I sent them scans through E-mail, and they accepted that without protest. This was the first time they actually pulled through: After maybe two or three weeks - a few days ago - I finally got a message that my money was being refunded.

    I then told them that I will never be using them to buy plane tickets again.

    For, y'know. Obvious reasons.
  3.  (10234.4)
    Urgh. Bleargh. Meh.

    Still SNAFU.

    Had thought things were getting better, but partner had a rough weekend and it's all a bit fraught still, good days and bad days. We'll get there, it'll just take a lot of time and more patience than I'm used to having. She's very emotional, I seem to have deeply ingrained Spock-like tendencies gained from my parents, especially when I'm on medication.

    It's got to that time of year when I leave for work when it's dark and get home when it's dark, feels way too early for that - doesn't exactly make me sweetness and light. And I wasted the weekend, criminally. Just so bloody lethargic I spent Saturday literally just wandering around the house and garden, forgetting all the while why I'd gone to each bit of it.

    Sleep would be the best bet right now.

    Good night Whitechapel.
  4.  (10234.5)
    So.

    I've still not gotten my books for school. They are supposed to get me digital copies of my books so I can read them all BIG like, since my ability to focus is shit. I'd have tried to muddle through, but my glasses ended up at the bottom of a lake two weeks before school started and I didn't have the money to get new ones til recently. Disability Services doesn't send out the form for books until a week before classes starts, and states that they'll need at least 4 weeks to get you your books. This is a ridiculous and stupid system.

    I explain all this to my professors through email, and they tell me to tell Disability Services to tell them what I need in accomodations.

    Disability Services doesn't respond to my emails.

    I explained all this to my advisor, explaining that i'm ill, I'm terribly behind in all my classes (even the ones I could get digital copies of my books for on my own, due to illness), and that I don't want to have to withdraw, and he emailed me back that I might just have to withdraw all my classes. If I withdraw, then I don't know what will happen to my health insurance, which is through the school. They don't let you be part of Medicaid until you've been on Disability for 2 years. This is also a stupid system. Maybe they hope you'll die off before they have to pay for you?

    All my efforts have been wasted. I want to be angry and ass-kicking, but instead I'm all hormonal at the moment, weepy and confused, wondering if I should move to Staten Island even though the rent will take 95% of my monthly money I get through Disability. There's supposed to be things like Section 8 and Low Income Housing, programs that give vouchers to help you pay rent, or project homes built specifically for people on the dole, but Section 8 was discontinued in 2009, and only 3% of people get low income housing each year because of the massive waiting list. It takes some people 5 to 10 years. You've just got to wait for people to DIE or move south to retire to get housing.

    If I have to withdraw from school, I have to ask myself why I'm even staying here. I could move somewhere cheaper. Maybe I could live someplace that I could afford a CAR even!

    Any advice on where someone could live on $700 a month comfortably?

    But then, I need to get my brain fixed, so I figure I should stay in the NYC area. Yes? No? fuuuck!

    (thanks for the venting)
    •  
      CommentAuthorallana
    • CommentTimeSep 26th 2011
     (10234.6)
    Rachel, I spent the past year living in/caretaking a big old house that I rented from my best friend's mother. (I paid $300 inclusive and the place was fully stocked with pretty much everything; I did have to buy and insure a car, which was $200 a month. My monthly expenses weren't more than $700.) You've all seen the good-skylights pictures and the weird-trinkets pictures, though the lack of internet access made my contributions sporadic. But it was, essentially, the best time ever, and extremely lonely, and very mentally cleansing. If I hadn't done it, I wouldn't be back in Toronto now, taking classes and looking for a real job (with a cash windfall of savings from that time, supplemented by a few grand of summer-job income) and thinking about masters applications and volunteering for zines and hackerspaces.
    I hate to see you have to drop out; that's one of the worst decisions to make about your own future. But it'd be a temporary setback, and if you can commit to getting away from your family and friends and striking out into the country, I guarantee that you can find a cheap and beautiful place that will be totally creatively inspiring. You should definitely do some reconnaissance travelling first. You should definitely consider all your other options. And I know nothing about American health care or Disability or brain-fixin'. But I know small towns! And sometimes the hermitage is the best thing you can do for yourself.



    On that note, I'm going to my mother's place tomorrow, for maybe up to a week, to fix her computer and her printer and her stereo (we gotta recruit a neighbourhood kid; she needs a go-to techie essentially 24/7) and work on my scanner camera and do some sewing and photograph myself in old barns and learn to skateboard (!) and finally get the right friggin' drill charger so I can put up these friggin' floating shelves I made a friggin' month ago. Also bathe for at least two hours every night. This apartment is great, but I am about ready to rip out this shower stall and pay for a bathtub installation myself.
  5.  (10234.7)
    That sucks Rachael. I'd say don't beat yourself up about school (and, seriously, don't. Sometimes school just doesn't work out), but you seem to have so much else tied up into it that being forced to drop out puts you in a terrible situation, and that just really sucks that bureaucracy fucked you like that. Have you looked into acquiring illicit digital versions of your text books?

    Phoenix is cheap, but I think the heat would literally kill you, and if it didn't the blandness would drive you crazy (it's really getting to me, and I've only been out here about two months). There are cheap parts of LA (though the ones that cheap aren't exactly safe) and Ventura Counties, but a car is kind of a pre-requisite for Southern California, not a 'get one once I'm moved in' item. And that's the extent of places I have first hand living experience of.
  6.  (10234.8)
    @DavidLejeune - Well, I could muddle through using the old fashioned books now that I've got my glasses, but it matters not unless Disability Services bothers to alert my professors and I'm allowed to try and catch up to what I've missed. The online classes require logging in and participating as attendance, so I've "missed" too many classes to pass. I'm angry and annoyed at this system, and I'll feel terribly demoralized if I have to quit and still remain a freshman at age 34.

    @allana - Yes, I'm thinking that regardless of if I do or don't continue with school, this would be my last semester for a year or so, until I set up residency somewhere else (I'd need a year of living somewhere to get the affordable rates for a state school). I can get my driver's license now that I've had the temporary one for a year, and I keep looking up car prices, hoping I could find one to afford, and then stash my stuff at a friend's house come spring and go off journeying for a while. I like the idea of small town living for a while.

    I'm still on the fence about moving to Staten Island. I feel so much of my health issues are due to stress, and I'm not sure which environment would be more stressful: a place where i live that I know, like, and am friends with my roommates, but keep having to clean up and deal with grunge because the level of order and cleanliness desired by myself and my roommates are oceans apart, and live in a bedroom that faces a street with a bus line, but is the cheapest place I can fine - OR - live in a house where I don't know my housemates, in a smaller room, but with a porch, on the end of a dead end street, and a nice ferry ride as a commute to Manhattan, but eats up all my funds.

    I suppose, being that I might go traveling in the spring, that I should stay here, rather than screw over the house-people with a short term lease, when they'll be out of town until summer.

    Ooooof.
  7.  (10234.9)
    Well, it's come to that point. I'm taking my girlfriend to rehab.

    I'm waiting for my best friend to come pick me up so we can pick her up from her friend's apartment and get her some help.

    She's been on a bender for over a week, pretty much all our interactions have all been arguments since this started.

    So last night, I had to give her the ultimatum: either quit drinking, or find somewhere else to live. And you know, I drink too. Nothing crazy, but I like to drink every now and again. I feel like such a heel having to do this. I mean, she's going to rehab because she finally realized that it's out of control, not because I'm making her. Well, I think she knew it a long time ago, I just think she was waiting for someone to back her into a corner and say "you can't keep doing this anymore," and then actually stick to their guns and not let her out of it.

    I don't know what happens from here. I mean, I know she'll be in for the next several days. I spoke to her boss, my old boss, so her job is safe for the time being. I mean, I don't know if we can survive this with our relationship intact. I love her so much; I'm willing to not have her in my life, I'm alright with her hating me, if she quits drinking. If me taking her to rehab makes her never want to see me again, I can live with that if she gets better.

    She's attacked me, insulted me, screwed up a bunch of things, gotten arrested, gotten seriously hurt, and I've stuck by her because the person she is when she's not drunk is so amazing I can't imagine not being with her. I realized recently, that everything I've tried to do to help her, has only made it easier for her to be irresponsibly drunk all of the time. I'm an enabler, in the most stereo-typically cliche sense of the word, that it's not funny anymore.

    She's passed out at her best friend's house. I'll be picking her up in about half an hour. I can't stop pacing or shaking.

    If anyone has experience of going through rehab with their partner (old lady? girlfriend/boyfriend?) I would appreciate some advice/horrible stories/tell me it's gonna be okay/not ok, anything.

    GovSpy normally has his shit together in the worst crisis situations imaginable. Not today, friends.
    • CommentAuthorRenThing
    • CommentTimeSep 27th 2011
     (10234.10)
    The only experience I have with a situation like this was when my parents sent my younger brother to one of those counseling programs where you get water, a zero-degree sleeping bag, and the clothes you're wearing and everything else is a privilege you earn. I wasn't there when the supposedly very large man took my brother away (he's much, much better now). I can only wish you good luck, mate.
  8.  (10234.11)
    @Rachael - If you're going to have to drop out and lose your tuition & health insurance, I'd wait until the last possible day. That way you stay insured as long as possible. If you're going to get the tuition refunded if you do it now... damn... tough choices. Are you actively seeing a doc in New York for your brain? If so, sticking around to keep seeing him might be a good thing (if he's helping). If not, there are lots of places with good doctors and public transit. Boston isn't super cheep, but we have some of the best doctors in the world. You've got a tough situation because the best doctors/living without a car requires living in a city, but that's expensive. Of course cars are also... I'd probably avoid LA (I love it there and want to move back, but it is expensive/car required or dangerous/still need a car).

    @GovSpy - Shit man. Wow. I don't know anything about rehab (where's Flecky when you need him?) but I do know a thing about being an enabler. I'm not going to say you should break up with her or not be there for her or anything like that, but in my case, the divorce was probably the best thing I ever did for my ex (and myself). When your girlfriend is out of rehab, you might want to consider some couple's therapy where you can both focus on how you can be supportive without being enabling. Changing patterns of behavior in a longstanding relationship is hard and takes both people to want to do it. You've got a rough road ahead of you. Good luck.

    As for me... we put the dog down yesterday. I started this month with a cat and a dog and today I have no more pets. I managed to get food poisoning over the weekend, which was a good time. But other than all that, things are going pretty well. This weekend I'm taking my daughter in to the city to visit one of my best friends who is getting her hip replaced today (fingers crossed) and will still be in the hospital. Then we're going up to my sisters so she can meet her new cousin for the first time. That should be fun. I don't want to jinx anything, but it looks like my ex and I really have worked things out custody wise. At this point, we have details to sort, but agree in principal. The thought that we're not going to have to be at each other's throats in court really makes me happy.

    Best wishes to all y'all.
    •  
      CommentAuthoroldhat
    • CommentTimeSep 27th 2011
     (10234.12)
    @GovSpy the only thing I can say, with my experiences with friends going to rehab, is that ultimately it's up to them to right themselves and let the treatment work. Now, she's agreed to it and recognizes it as a problem. That's a BIG step which says that she wants to get better. So while only time will tell, at the very least this is starting on a positive note. Best of luck.
  9.  (10234.13)
    Thanks everybody. The hospital won't taker her until 7pm this evening so it's just the waiting game right now. She's sleeping for the moment. I feel like we'll get through it, but I think the couple's therapy might be a good idea. I'll keep you guys posted because... Well, there's a very short list of people I can talk to about this. Thanks again, WC, for being there when the rest of the world fails me.
    • CommentAuthorroadscum
    • CommentTimeSep 27th 2011
     (10234.14)
    @ Mr spy, yes, the couples therapy, marriage guidance we used to call it here, give it a go, it's not a magic wand but it can help sometimes.

    By crikey there's a lot of miserable grimness around here at the moment, must be something to do with the turn in the year, beginning the long wind down to winter or something. Hang on there people, just hang on, shit comes but shit does eventually go too, you just need to hold on long enough. I really wish there was more i could do to help you chaps, i suppose this will have to do.

    Anyway, grimness aside, it looks like the 14 and 42 thing may be turning into a project of sorts. If it does i can only hope there is more pie of a quality matching that of the first.
  10.  (10234.15)
    @government spy -

    I've never gone through a rehab experience of a significant other WHILE I was dating them, but I've dated a number of people who went into rehab, either after dating me, or prior to. As was said by others, the fact that SHE acknowledges that there is a problem is the most important part. I've known two people who ended up going to jail due to heroin related crimes, and while it was a hellish experience, both are slight shades of grateful for the experience because they'd clearly hit rock bottom and it was the only way at that point for them to get clean and start their lives from scratch, and both are fabulous people who are doing well years after the fact. I'd another friend whose parents found him OD'd, and briskly sent him to the other side of the country into an 18 month program where he was shut off from the outside world completely. He didn't want to go, but he did get clean - however, he's the least stable of all the post rehab people I know, and I think it's because he never really accepted fully that he needed to be there.

    Being a supportive person but doing more harm than good is something I understand. I'd a friend who would drive into terrible niehborhoods to get heroin, and she was up to a bundle a day. It was a terrible problem. But I sometimes dabbled, due to pain. Vicodin, morphine, heroin, whatever. She'd ask me if I wanted to go with her for a ride, and each time I'd say "you know I have to say this, but it's not good, this is a bad thing, and you really shouldn't. But sure, I'll go." I didn't want her to be alone. I didn't want her to go down such a dark path all by herself. But I wasn't helping. I was just making her addiction seem more within the realm of being socially acceptable. After a while she started to avoid me, because she knew that I KNEW what was going on, and that I'd be able to tell how out of control she was more than just about anyone else in her life. I don't know what the exact trigger was, but she got herself into a program and got herself clean.

    The problem is, alcohol is the hardest of them all. It's the scariest of addictions. It's the only drug that will shut your body down during detox if you quit cold turkey. It's the only drug that is at every wedding, every celebration. And if you really want to support her, and if you really want her to be clean, and if you really want to continue your relationship with her, you'll have to stop all drinking in the home you share. Clean out every source of alcohol, every mouthwash, every cooking extract.

    Honestly, if you want to be a truly supportive partner and get through this together, you'll stop drinking along side of her. It's difficult to be a non-drinking person in our society, and it will help her feel less like a freak if, when you go out together, you BOTH refrain from drinking. Not drinking can become a very isolating experience. I say this as a person who realized that I probably shouldn't drink, and didn't have a drop for three years. When I began to drink again every so often, it was difficult for my best friend who'd relied on me as the one other non-drinking person he had in his life, and I regret doing so. If you both go dry together, it's more likely that you'll strengthen your relationship and associate each other with support and a united front against the terrible world outside.

    Especially because, every ex-junkie I know, and that's.... seven or eight? They all drink socially now. ALL OF THEM. Drinking is the hardest one to stay clean from. So again, the BEST thing you can do is to go through it with her, and be her non-drinking compatriot, even when you aren't together.

    That's my two cents at least.
  11.  (10234.16)
    @Rachael - that really sucks, I hope it works out for you and you don't have to drop out because the system is too stupid and inflexible to work for you. Also hope you get somewhere great to live in.

    @GovSpy - so sorry to hear. Just hope it turns out for the best. I've not had a partner or loved one with that kind of problem but two close friends have had similar battles with drink and it's painful to watch. There is the guilt aspect as well - in both cases, I had been along for the ride as an enthusiastic fellow traveller for a long time but knew when to stop and was able to pull back when I could see the damage that alcohol was doing to me and to my relationships and to my career (although I still worry about any long term damage I might have done). One friend is now dry, and has been for nearly two years. His wake up call was the last time I saw him drunk, when I'd put up with two days of abusive ranting from him and couldn't take any more and walked out. I left him in a pool of his own vomit in a scene that looked like something from Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas - felt very bad for doing it but it was the final straw after several years of it getting worse and worse to the point where I dreaded going to see him and couldn't bear to watch it any more. When we met again this year after 18 months of not seeing him, he told me he'd come close to death at that point, damaging his pancreas very badly and needing weeks of treatment - it made me feel very bad for running out on him, but we both said sorry to each other and fixed things. He swears drink has gone from his life and I believe him.

    My other friend is still struggling and I've sadly lost contact - I know he's been in and out of rehab and when he can stick to AA meetings he gets by. I think people have to really acknowledge that they have a problem before they can deal with it, as Oldhat says, and sometimes that comes through a shock or upheaval that prompts drastic action - and accident or ultimatum. Really hope your girfriend gets the help she needs and that you're able to get through it yourself.

    The recommendation for couples therapy is a good one I'd say - I went through a bad patch in my relationship a few years back, through unreasonable behaviour on both sides and we had counselling, I'd credit that as going a long way towards saving our partnership - and every day I thank the stars it did. Equally, I guess, it can help if it's not salvageable, which I hope isn't true.

    In any case, best of luck to you both.
    •  
      CommentAuthorFishelle
    • CommentTimeSep 27th 2011
     (10234.17)
    @government spy
    Jeez. I'm sorry this is something you have to go through. And I really hope that your girlfriend gets the help she needs in rehab, and she can get better.

    Though I don't have much to add really, I have to second what Rachæl said. If there's something you shouldn't do but want to, saying no becomes pretty much impossible when the person you're closest to is doing it.

    It's hard not to be an enabler. The one boy I've dated was a recovering alcoholic, and he still would drink on occasion. I never did manage to figure out what to do other than love him anyway. So I'm afraid I can't be of much help.

    Good luck.
    •  
      CommentAuthornelzbub
    • CommentTimeSep 28th 2011
     (10234.18)
    Hello, folks I'm new to joining in with this thread but have often observed in silence and with sympathy the varied woes you all go through. So here's wishing you all the best with your troubles.

    but more specifically
    @GovSpy- my sympathies for your situation sir.
    I'm unsure if there is much I can add to the sound advice already given above.
    From my own knowledge of issues surrounding addiction I think that you cannot over emphasise how important it is that the decision to seek help/realisation that help is needed, comes from the
    addict themselves. No amount of will from others will make a difference if the will is not there on the part of the addict. It sounds as if this may be the case in your situation, and in my mind
    this is one of the most vital steps. That is at least one positive to hold on to.
    I really must second the above regarding changes in your own behaviour. If you are going to be there for her, you will need to join her in an alcohol free life. It is impossible to hope for
    success if there is alcohol in the house.

    My flatmate is a "functional" alcoholic (laughable concept, i know). In recent months I had high hopes for an improvement in his life. He had been taken on as an apprentice carpenter and was feeling very positive about everything, working hard and drinking less. Unfortunately lately it seems that he is on another slide into chaos and I am dreading him pulling the same old self destructive shit that he's done so many times before. He already owes me five weeks rent, and while i'm working twenty eight, minimum wage shifts this month and barely clearing my overheads, it seems my mate is missing about half of his working days because he's spent the previous night on a pointless piss up. Frustrating. At what point do I just call 'Fuck it' and kick him out?
    •  
      CommentAuthornelzbub
    • CommentTimeSep 28th 2011
     (10234.19)
    And while we're on the subject of addictions;
    @ flecky: Reading of your battles to get free of the methadone has been a real motivation for me signing up to this site, really just to congratulate you on every day that you put that shit
    behind you, stay strong mate, things will get better.
    My own experience with methadone treatment programmes is from a different angle but it's a subject that never fails to get my blood boiling so I hope you'll forgive me for having a little rant.
    Many years ago while living in glasgow I worked as a volounteer an a drugs education project.It was quite unique for the time in that its emphasis was on harm reduction and provision of accurate,
    judgment free information for young people in the then growing rave scene. I was proud of the work we did and was frequently surprised at the positive response our approach would, privately, get
    from senior police and political figures. Naively I hoped that this might lead to some actual change in policies but it did not take too long for my cynicism to grow.
    Within the headquarters of our project there was a much larger drop-in and residential methadone treatment centre and my experience of this led me to believe that these programmes are one of the
    most destuctive and harmful policies in a long history of short sighted, fear driven drug legislation.
    Now these were some pretty rough times for hard drug users in Glasgow, with hospital wards full of double and triple amputees, all related to IV drug use and so any step to improve the situation
    had to be one in the right direction. Providing clean needles to users along with useful harm reduction information seemed to me a no-brainer, but the more i saw of methadone treatment programmes
    the less i was sure of their inherent worth.
    To illustrate; the patients on the drop-in programme had a booming trade in sick-meth. This was where they would take their dose at the clinic, go round the corner and vomit it up to sell on so
    that they could go and buy the drug they really wanted.
    Then there were the residential patients, who were there either by court order or because they were brave enough to seek help with their addiction, and were 'treated' with a substance that is more
    physically damaging and more addictive than the heroin that had already messed up there lives so much. I could never make sense of this. Was it merely because methadone has none of the so called
    pleasant effects of heroin and if that was the case were these people being made to suffer because some politicians didn't want to look like they were being nice to junkies? Sadly it would seem
    that this was the case.
    At this time I was doing lots of reading on the subject and found out about a trial by a doctor in the liverpool/manchester area where registered addicts would be treated with medical diamorphine
    within a controlled, clean and supportive environment. This allowed most of the patients to stabilise their lives to the point where many of them were able to begin seeking work and otherwise
    making huge life improving changes. A side effect of this was that during the period of the trial, inciences of drug related crime fell measurably throughout the area. To me this seems like
    something that works to the benefit of everyone and ahould have been rolled out nationally, but what happened? After a surge of politically led media outrage funding was withdrawn and the status
    quo resumed.
    And this political venality is what really led me to realise the futility trying to change the world with common sense. Any time a politician is brave enough to stand up and speak truthfully about
    drug policy they are hounded out by politicians and the media pandering to a court of public opinion that they are too afraid to offend. For instance I recall one MP being profoundly ridiculed a
    few years ago for making the, in my mind very sensible, suggestion that since we already had our army there, we may be as well solving the worldwide shortage of medical diamorphine by buying up the
    entire Afghan opium harvest; solving the shortage while at the same time giving a much needed income to the hard pressed subsistance farmers of afghanistan who are forced by basic economics to grow
    the poppy.
    The response the man got, you'd have thought he just shat on the despatch box and while i'm not certain, I doubt he's still in politics today. And it was then it became clear to me that while
    change is inevitable, it will never happen at the pace that I believe it should. It's a generational thing, a matter of waiting for the old bastards in politics and the media, too set in their
    realities, to die off and for a new generation or perhaps the next one to realise that we have lost the war on drugs, admit it was a stupid idea in the first place, and then approach the whole
    thing afresh from a different perspective, perhaps like rational adults this time.
    The casualties of the war on drugs are frightening in their numbers and Flecky, as one of the many walking (or hobbling!) wounded of that conflict, I salute you for having the strength to fight
    and win your battles
    I myself have led a strange, wandering existence since those days which have led me to where i am today, selling weed in an amsterdam coffeeshop. I like to think that my work makes folk happy and
    does little harm but there are many (including some of my family) who feel there is something profoundly wrong with what i do. I'm morally at ease with it myself but can understand their stance.
    I've just seen how long this rant has gone on! sorry, it's a subject i get carried away with. Apologies too for any poor spelling/grammar it,s been years since i've written this much in one
    sitting. Cosider my spleen thoroughly vented. cheers and once again I wish all of you all the best with your worries.
  12.  (10234.20)
    @Everyone

    I can't thank you guys enough for your support. There's a very short list of people near me physically that I can turn to for a good shoulder at the moment. Only a few people know she's in detox right now, and I'm not willing to break confidentiality just yet.

    Well, as of last night she's in. It's a 30 day program, voluntary, and she can come home at any time. I have to go to a family orientation tonight, she can call me tomorrow night, and I can visit her on Saturday.

    I'm friends with her boss, and her job's safe for at least the next month. They're a bit of a family, and they just want her to be ok too.

    I'm definitely going to quit drinking within the next couple days. I started my "vacation" just this past weekend, I took a week off for my own mental health, just to have a bout 10 days (my schedule just worked out where my weekends bunched up in just the right way) of not having to work at the prison. I figured I could use a few days without any stress. Then everything exploded in my face. I had recently switched to being on a midnight (11pm-7am) shift, which is how this all got started. Basically, I was home very minute that she was; and I saw her behavior up and close, with no room to hide anything.

    Luckily, that means now with time off, I can actually help her through this a bit, visit & stuff, without worrying about my job this week. After Monday, thing's will get a little tougher, especially since it's an hour bus ride to the hospital, and I've already asked too much of friends with cars.

    I'd like to think I don't have a drinking problem, but I've been drinking like I've been on vacation this week, not getting drunk, but you know what I mean. And now I realize I have to give that up. We literally live a block from my favorite bar. And my neighborhood convenience store carries my favorite hard cider now because I requested it. It's so easy to drink here.

    Well, she's got around 30 days to clean up, I know I can quit overnight, it's just a little hard to do.

    Again, I can't thank everyone in our little community enough. You're my own twisted support group. If any of you ever need advice about how to survive in prison, I'm your man. I'll be like those guys in the 25th Hour.