Monday, June 25, 2012

A first-hand account of 72 hours of intervention

Almost 6 o'clock. Just got breathalyzed and had my suitcase searched.
The woman that breathalyzed me was old, overweight, and gave me a hug. She was very squishy.
I brought a “Mandala Coloring Book.” When the security guard checked my suitcase, he couldn't fit the book back in, and I had to carry it under my arm.
A poster of 4 babies hangs on the wall, each of different nationalities.
All other woman are older and overweight, as predicted. Not many women, though.

I am in my room. Roommate isn't here yet, but I am expecting someone to walk in at any moment.
I am feeling extreme anxiety over what they will be like, the TV is flatscreen, hope they don't watch it all night/very loud.
I took the bed next to the window. When I look out, I see a lot of concrete, a Sheetz gas station, and the second largest Walmart in the country (world?).
All the furniture in my room seems to be made out of red oak, but it is just really cheap wood with a red stain.
It is almost time to leave for orientation, and my roommate isn't here yet. I can see a cum stain on the bedskirt of her bed.

Now it is almost 9 pm.
When I opened the door to go to orientation, my roommate was just standing on the other side. I introduced myself and immediately forgot her name.
Everyone has to wear name tags at all times. I will see her name tag eventually.
Orientation was not boring, but I didn't want to be there. They talked a lot about cigarettes. Everyone was pissed about having their cigarettes taken away. We were told we weren't allowed to bring more than 3 packs of cigarettes each. So they take your 3 packs of cigarettes and put them in a Ziplock bag. The bag then goes into a big tote filled with everyone else's cigarette bags. There are designated smoke breaks. The guard brings the tote outside and everyone gets their cigarettes. When the smoke break is over, everyone puts their cigarette bags back into the tote and come inside together.
None of this applies to me because I don't smoke.
Prescription medication is similar. Your pills are taken away from you and put in a Ziplock bag. The guard (whom I will call Terry) comes around at 8 pm when the day is over and administers the night pills. He comes back to the room at 7:30 am to administer morning pills.
This also doesn't apply to me, as I have no prescription medication.
After being lectured on cigarette and pill procedures, we were made to watch an anti-driving video. I say “anti-driving” because it makes you not want to drive, at all. It was 40 minutes of mangled, bloody dead body close-ups from car wrecks. It wasn't just drunk driving, it was also about seat belts and becoming distracted by changing out CDs.
It was disgusting and unnecessary.
It showed some moms crying, and I really didn't appreciate how they were trying to use emotional manipulation. I was mostly just grossed out by the 300+ photos of dead bodies and videos of cleanup crews dragging dead bodies around towards body bags.
Our main lecturer, whom I will call Carol, explained to us why our cell phones were confiscated. They do not want us to put photographs or videos of our time here on the internet. Something about a Federal Privacy law, which makes it illegal to talk about what has happened here. She does not want us to share other peoples' stories.
We were then sent back to our rooms. My roommate and I talked smallishly about how this sucks but how the beds are nice. I think the beds are too hard, but it seemed like a good trick to just agree with her.
Terry came in to give my roommate her medication. I don't know what it is, so I am just imagining that she is taking anti-psychotics and could snap and kill me at any moment.
Carol gave us “homework” to do overnight, which is a 7-page double-sided packet with 4 different sections in it: Drinking and Drug history, the night of the arrest, critical thinking of how to avoid drunk driving in various scenarios, and 20 personal questions.
I worked on the packet and listened to Ananda Shankar on headphones while Terry gave my roommate her pills. He motioned for me to take the headphones out, then went on to tell us that we are not allowed to leave the room again until 7:50 am. At the time it was about 8:20 pm. He held up a fat roll of masking tape and said he was going to put a large strip of tape on the seal of the door so that he will know if we leave. He then told us about the security cameras in the hallways that will see us if we try to get out.
Terry left. Immediately, there was the loud, awful, uncomfortable noise of Terry pulling a very long strip of masking tape off the roll. Then the sound of him rubbing it against the door.

Here are some things I know about my roommate:
  • She is probably around 40 years old.
  • She looks like she smokes and drinks a lot. She is youthful but has baggy, loose skin.
  • She likes basketball. She asked me if I minded her watching the Miami/Oklahoma City final. She said something about wanting to “know if Lebron gets that ring he's been talking about.” I didn't know what she was talking about, and I said I don't watch TV and she can watch whatever she wants.
  • Currently, she is sleeping and lightly snoring, even though it is only the 2nd inning.
  • She has kids and sometimes watches cartoons with them.
  • She is wearing a bright yellow Cavs shirt.

I am hungry and there is no food and I cannot leave the room.

There is no power button on the TV itself.
Apparently, I cannot sleep with the TV on.
My roommate has a prescription to sleeping pills, which she says is why she passed out so fast last night.
I was up until at least 1:30 am because I could not find a power button, and I finally took the remote off of my roommate's bed about that time.
We went downstairs together, and Terry became extremely upset with me because I had a bagel on a plate from the breakfast bar. I guess we are supposed to wait for everyone else. I don't remember hearing that yesterday. I don't understand why Terry was so mad at me. I didn't eat the bagel and I actually went up to ask him if we were supposed to eat yet. He actually raised his voice very loud at me, which I don't understand. Terry may or may not be stereotyped as an angry black man from here on out.

My roommate drinks so much Mountain Dew, it's crazy. Between the one hour she was awake in our room last night and this morning, she has already drank 2 cans and bottles of it. I know because those are the only things in the trashcan so far. This doesn't mean anything. This is comic relief from angry black Terry. Also, instead of bringing books to read, my roommate brought about 5 issues of People magazine and US weekly.
I brought “The Elements of Zen” and a Mandala coloring book. I colored some of a mandala just now, and I feel better about Terry being rude to me. I am sure he deals with a lot of assholes and shitheads, but that doesn't mean he has to yell at me for having an untouched bagel on a plate.

This morning we did a group exercise and 4 different groups had to come up with reasons why people drink. The guy who wrote down the list for my group was a huge jerk. He was wearing Walmart jeans and a bright orange Harley Davidson shirt. He is a redneck. There was a well-dressed young black man in the group, and every time he would make a suggestion for the list, the redneck would say something rude and try to make the young black man feel stupid. I could not believe the audacity and false sense of authority the redneck was asserting.
There was also a young mixed man who's face is reminiscent of a Roswell Alien's face. He sits at the same table as I do. There are two people at each table. Every time he sits or stands, he bumps into the table, and my coffee splashes out of its cup. He feels bad about it, but I think it's kind of funny. I don't care if he keeps spilling my coffee. The spills are a distraction from what is really going on around me.
The guy who sits in front of me has a 6-inch long rat tail and wears a black shirt that says “HARD CORE LIVES.” He is white, his face is scraggly, he is probably about 27. He is wearing very tight bootcut jeans and has very large gauged holes in his ears. He does not wear the gauges.
The guy who sits in front of him is an old rebel who looks like he has been drinking in the sun his whole life and doing lots of drugs out there, also. He is about 50, his skin is leather. His face is sunken in. He has long, thick hair, which he obviously washes and combs, takes good care of.
The man that sits next to the rebel is an old balding crackhead, skinny, black, cannot read the pamphlets, talks incoherently, but managed to tell the entire room that a gram of crack currently costs $20.
We watched another video which showed dead bodies and crying mothers.
Carol talked about drug addiction and I realized this program is not strictly for drinkers. There are people here for drugs. Nobody asks them, but they seem to want everyone to know that they are different, that they are here for drugs.
There is an Asian American here a few years younger than myself who is here for marijuana. He talks a lot and is wearing a tie-dye Grateful Dead shirt. He talks quite loud and keeps making comments about everything. He tried to argue with Carol about how the marijuana laws are unfair.
I went into my room before lunch while everyone else went out to smoke cigarettes. The maids had been in and made our beds. Seems unnecessary, but nice. Unsure if I have ever had anyone make my bed for me before.
There were meatball subs for lunch catered by a pizza place. The program ordered “special” veggie subs for me because I told them I was vegetarian. I should have said vegan. There were also really greasy chips. And pickles. And endless coffee all day.
The news was on in the lobby, and everyone watched it while eating their subs and chips. I sat next to a guy who looks like my half brother and told him that I was sitting next to him because of that. He said, “I'm not your half brother.”
A story came on the news about how teens in China are wearing t-shirts with Chairman Mao on them. A guy eating a meatball sub said, “I don't know who that is.”
I said that Mao was an awful person.
The Grateful Dead Asian American said, “Yeah, he was debatably worse that Hitler. You ever hear that Beatles' song, 'Revolution'? In it, they say, 'don't go talking about Chairman Mao, or you won't be getting with anyone anyway.' Like, he was so bad, that you weren't even supposed to talk about him, or nobody would wanna get with you.”
I just stared at the rest of my sandwich and didn't correct him and thought about how a guy in a tie-dye Grateful Dead shirt wouldn't know what he was talking about anyways.
The Grateful Dead Asian American then asked me if Chairman Mao was dead.
I said, “What? He is very dead.”
My false half brother repeated “very dead” and laughed.
After lunch, we were made to watch a Dr. Phil episode about how silly and stupid people act when they get drunk. The people in Dr. Phil's controlled experiment were just drinking a shitload and getting wasted and making out with each other. Dr. Phil then talked to a married couple where the wife would go out drinking on weekends and the husband didn't like it. He would yell at the wife when she came home drunk.
We then had to separate into groups again to come up with what we thought was wrong with the couple and how they could change. The Harley Davidson shirt guy seized control again. The rat tail guy said something, but his words were mixed up out of order. The Harley Davidson guy pretended he could not understand the rat tail guy and belittled him by making him repeat himself until he said it correctly. Most suggestions that we made, Harley Davidson completely disregarded and just wrote what he wanted. He ignored all of my suggestions completely. When he read the list off in front of the room, everything he had written down was narrow-minded and extremely sexist.
I was upset by him, and I am not going to sit in that area of the room again tomorrow.
After this, we watched a 2 hour long Lifetime movie about drinking. It was from the 80s and had Keanu Reeves in it.
Some of us tried on beer goggles and decided that it was nothing like being drunk, and that it was much more like being on acid.
A kid had his Kindle Fire confiscated because he was checking Facebook.

It is still Friday, and we just ate dinner. The dinner was 45 minutes late and was cold rigatoni which was all hard and stick together. While eating, a group of about 7 older men dressed in golfing attire walked into the lobby to check in and started talking very loud about showering together.
“If we shower together, we could all meet down here a half hour earlier.”
“Okay, but I would need to take a couple caps first, heh.”
Everyone in our intervention group was snickering over their hard rigatoni.

We watched a love movie called “When a Man Loves a Woman” and it was so bad. It stared Meg Ryan, and she was an alcoholic. It was so boring that I fell right asleep when we were sent to our rooms afterwards for the night.

Today we are in groups with counselors. The counselor I got, Shirley, is a very funny old black woman who keeps saying things like, “asshole cops” and “mother fuckin.”
Everyone had to tell about how they got arrested. One guy said the cops found him in a ditch with his shirt off and pants unzipped, and he doesn't remember. Another guy said he woke up in the hospital and doesn't know what happened, except that his truck is all smashed up now. He called his two friends to see what happened and they told him they ended up at the hospital too, but because they had been slipped date rape drug. The guy figures he took a few drinks from their cups and passed out while he was driving.
One woman swears she wasn't even driving, but actually switched seats with her son when they got pulled over because he didn't have a license and was on probation. He wasn't drunk, but she was.
Another woman only blew a .04, but since she had her kids in the car, she got arrested.
My roommate wasn't even drinking when she got pulled over, but was all fucked up on Ambien and muscle relaxers. She also had her kids in the car.
Rat tail guy drank an entire bottle of Jack “Honey.”
The guy who “isn't my half brother” got arrested wearing a tuxedo after playing in an orchestra concert.
Leathery skin guy got his DUI 20 years ago in Florida, and it has just “caught up” to him now that all the states are connected through the internet.
The old crackhead guy didn't make any sense when he told his story. He was drooling all over himself as he managed to babble some nonsensical words.

We had gross, greasy pizza for lunch.
The well-dressed young black man sat with me and told me that I looked like I never get into any trouble. Seemed funny. All I said was that I got caught. I told him about all the people in the group that I thought were weird: the Harley Davidson guy, the tall nerdy scientist dad, the guy with the weird red zombie eye.
Back in the counseling group after pizza, we went through scenarios where you had to think of a way home that didn't involve drunk driving. This seemed tough for everyone because I think we all would have just chose to drive drunk in every scenario.
Learned about how you don't become an addict until you pass your “tolerance level,” which is some unknown limit everyone has, and then when you pass your “tolerance level” and become and addict, you get THIQ floating around, which is some crazy chemical your brain starts processing when you become addicted to a chemical substance. It never leaves your body, even if you overcome addiction. THIQ just stays in your body and makes it easier for you to become addicted to substances again.
I want to know if I have THIQ from being addicted to anything.
We had to watch a movie starring Sandra Bullock from the 90s called “28 days.” She is an alcoholic who goes to rehab... just like the movie with Meg Ryan. While we watched that, people were being taken for one-on-one interviews with the counselor. Yesterday we all had to take some addiction psychoanalysis test, and the counselor wanted to go over our results with us. My results were normal, except it said that I was unusually responsible, but also very likely to commit another drug-related crime, which doesn't make much sense to me.

Dinner was gross. There were chicken wings and jojos. I didn't stand in line because I didn't want to eat that. Then dudes started talking about me not standing in line. One guy said, “Hey I heard you were vegetarian,” and I said “Yea.” Then I felt weird, so I hid around the corner, and I could still hear people talking about me being vegetarian, like it was some freaky alien thing to them. I felt anxious and went in the bathroom to hide. When I came out, the delivery guy gave me a personal cheese pizza, which I guess the program director pre-ordered for me. The tie-dye shirt Asian (who today was wearing a tie-dye Pink Floyd shirt, probably from the same place in the mall) said very loudly, “I respect vegetarians, but I just love meat, it's so delicious!” to which I responded, “NO ONE FUCKING ASKED YOU.”

After dinner, Terry made us watch “Crazy Heart,” where Jeff Bridges plays an alcoholic country singer who loses his girlfriend's son in a mall, then goes to rehab and gets better (third rehab movie in 2 days). It just seemed to drag on forever, even though it was the first good movie they've shown us all weekend.
Heh. I am sitting in bed eating cookies and Terry came in to give my roommate her pills (I just saw her Ziplock bag of pills; she must have at least 7 bottles in there!) and he said to me “You eating AGAIN? You couldn't even finish your pizza!”
“Terry, the pizza here is so greasy! There's a difference between some old greasy pizza and these cookies!”
“Yeah,” Terry said, “I don't even eat the food here. Though I did eat some chicken wings today.”
When my roommate falls asleep, I am going to take a bath, I think.

I took a bath, and when I came out, my roommate was still awake and watching a show called “48 hours” in which a Long Island serial killer had a thing for prostitutes from Craigslist. I don't get why the show was called “48 hours” because the killings took place over several years, and the show was probably only 1 hour long.

Terry woke me up at 7 am to pay my $10 phone bill for talking to Mallory on the phone last night for 7 minutes.
After breakfast, everyone had a good time watching a drunk driving film from the 80s where a bunch of police recruits got drunk and tried to drive through an obstacle course.
We were sent to our rooms to pack up our things. It was kind of sad almost, not because I don't want to leave, but because I am very tired today and had to not crawl back into the bed. Now I am probably not going to be able to lay in a bed until around 8 pm. It is 12:30 pm right now.
A sheriff was supposed to come in to talk to us today, but he didn't want to. I am glad because I hate pigs. Instead, we watched another blood and gore dead body drunk driving film.
At lunch, there were special veggie wraps for me, and one of the old overweight women said, “Ooooh veggie wraps for Lily,” all snarky and smug-like. Maybe they will try not eating meat now because they seem upset that the only young and skinny woman here doesn't eat meat. They probably are thinking right at this moment that vegetarianism is the next big weight loss diet, and they want to hop on that real bad. During meals, they all sit at a table together (there are only 4 other women) and take turns glancing/glaring at me while I pretend to stare at the food on my plate (but I am really watching them glance/glare at me out of my peripherals.)

I think my roommate is addicted to pills (Ambien, muscle relaxers, painkillers), and every time I look at her, she seems really fucked up, like you would have to do a shit ton of pills to look like her.

I feel really stupid learning about signs of addiction because I keep thinking of half my friends and how obvious their conditions must be to someone who already knows what addiction looks like. Even though I knew they had drug problems, I never realized their odd behavior was just typical of everyone with addictions. I suppose the one thing that really upsets me about having to be trapped in this program is that I can name 10 people I am close and personal with that should have been sitting in my seat the entire weekend instead of me.

We had an AA meeting (yea really) and some old meathead from AA came in to speak to us and tell us his story of getting 3 DUIs and crashing his car a whole bunch and getting divorced and “cheating on his womens” and then he joined AA and found God and oh man the whole time I kept “Jesus when will this end, this is fucking stupid.”
After the AA guys left we had to take a road rage “true or false” quiz. I was the only person who answered everything false, which means that I have no road rage, at all. Everyone else laughed at me because I have somehow been dubbed the “sweet and innocent one.” After the quiz we watched a corny film about road rage.
We got back into our groups and were made to make a list of reasons people get distracted and cause accidents while driving. As the only girl in the group (with 7 men), I was surprised that I had to be the one to say “road head,” as that seemed like the most obvious distraction to me. The men were just in shock and disbelief that the “sweet and innocent one” said “road head.”
Around 4:30 pm we “graduated” and were actually given diplomas and our cell phones back. Everyone clapped for everyone else while they were being handed their diplomas.


I stood outside the hotel with the kid who looks like my half-brother, the tie-dye Asian American, the rat tail guy, and the Kindle Fire kid.
The tie-dye Asian American and the half-brother kid both used my cell phone to call their parents. The tie-dye Asian American kid wanted to know what my story was, how did I get into OVI school, because obviously I am too sweet and innocent looking to do anything wrong. Then he asked if I smoked weed. I told him not since I went to the hospital.
He said, “You can't OD on weed!”
I said, “Yea, I didn't say I OD'ed on weed.”
Rat tail kid said, “You can OD on weed, but you would have to smoke twice your body weight of it within, like, an hour. It's physically impossible!”
Then he kept saying, “Do you know how much a pound of weed is? It is like this much,” and he kept making a box gesture with his hands to show us that he obviously knows how much weed is in a pound.
The Kindle Fire kid said, “Hey speaking of, if you guys need any weed or drugs or anything, hit me up.”


  1. sweet

    'you get THIQ floating around, which is some crazy chemical your brain starts processing when you become addicted to a chemical substance. It never leaves your body, even if you overcome addiction. THIQ just stays in your body and makes it easier for you to become addicted to substances again.'

    never heard of that, seems interesting

  2. this is good, I enjoyed reading this.

  3. 'I feel really stupid learning about signs of addiction because I keep thinking of half my friends and how obvious their conditions must be to someone who already knows what addiction looks like. Even though I knew they had drug problems, I never realized their odd behavior was just typical of everyone with addictions.'

    nice, seems good, in a way