I will probably be posting about rehab a lot this month. I went in April. I asked my boyfriend to ask his therapist for recommendations and he suggested a program in Minnesota. That sounds so calm: I asked him.
It was still snowing in Minnesota, but I didn’t know that before I arrived. I packed 2 suitcases full of anything I might need for any weather or situation. I brought formal wear.
There’s a rule that allows any Minnesota resident to go to treatment for free. This means you get a mix of people who are desperate for recovery, those who are court ordered to try to recover, and those that want to get off the streets and don’t have anywhere else to go. For those of us coming from out of state, it’s $20,000 for 28 days.
On the plane, I was calm. I was still thinking it might be something like a spa. Might be a quiet place to read. I ordered a diet coke and the woman next to me, someone in some medical field, said: “You know that turns into formaldehyde at room temperature?” I said yes and quit that, too. I had an urge to tell her where I was going. I felt guilty about the urge. Maybe I was glamorizing it. Maybe I was going there in the hopes of becoming more interesting. I live constantly with this self doubt. When I am being genuine and sincere, I wonder if instead I’m being dramatic.
The truth is, I desperately wanted to get help. I wanted to stop living life underwater. I was terrified of dying at 26 from preventable causes. I wanted my boyfriend back. I wanted to write again. I wanted to crawl out of the wreckage of so many dark nights.
It was in the Minneapolis/St.Paul International Airport that it hit me. It was there that I decided I might not want to go. Where I considered checking into a hotel for a month and coming back and drinking moderately. It got worse as I got into the cab that the treatment center had sent for me. It was not nice. The Minnesota landscape was chill and barren. There were too many shopping malls. Too many Targets. I hadn’t ordered the cab myself. I couldn’t ask it to go somewhere else.