Following a parade of recent inductees ranging in condition from mildly sedate to zombie-like headed to lunch, he walked slowly out of his 17 day dry-dock into the sunlight. Entering the 90 degree easy bake, he must have wished the sweater he wore was in the suitcase he carried. Over the two plus week respite, sobriety and anxiety grew together. Each phone call grew in coherence and angst, peaking with, “I can’t be in here with these people.” The behavioral danger he now saw clearly in them was completely lost on him for the rest of us. “How do you think we’ve felt all these years” I asked. “Yeah, I know.” He didn’t really, but I laid it right out there so his response was reflexive and deflecting. I straddled supportive and blunt language during the fifty or so calls we shared and during visits. I hope the mix was right.
Feeling the soft double rolling up and down sensation heading out the driveway, he said, “They say that speed bump is the beginning of recovery.” Later during the drive and between the many reminders of a needed caffeine fix I heard a description of being locked behind bars built of poppies… “H-e-r-o-i-n.” The spelling spared Kyle in row B from seeing the whole ghastly projection.
I have no idea whether that was just a speed bump or the back side a steep, treacherous, icy slope back to the deadly spike. I have only hope.
“…I stumbled through my month in treatment much as I had done the first time, just ticking off the days, hoping that something would change in me without me having to do much about it. Then one day, as my visit was drawing to an end, a panic hit me, and I realized that in fact nothing had changed in me…I was absolutely terrified, in complete despair. At that moment, almost of their own accord, my legs gave way and I fell to my knees. …I knew that on my own I wasn’t going to make it, so I asked for help, and, getting down on my knees, I surrendered……From that day until this, I have never failed to pray in the morning, on my knees, asking for help, and at night…”
Eric Clapton in Clapton The Autobiography