Tuesday, September 10, 2013

New Math

The arithmetic of recovery is mind-boggling. Numbers, numbers, numbers. Everywhere I turn, numbers. Blood pressure: 144 over 85. 120 over 80. 188 over 135. Pulse: 100. 96. 72. Weight: plus 4, minus 11. 5 days of detox. 3 days of detox tapering. 3 roommates. 14 days. 13 days. 12 days... 3 months to 2 years before dopamine levels in the brain behave normally again. 5 weeks of outpatient rehab, 20 sessions. 1 sponsor. 12 steps. 12 traditions. 1 dollar bills in baskets. A bill for $6.88 for 1 pill not covered in rehab.

Everything in medical terms measured in milligrams. 200 milligrams. 100 milligrams. 50 milligrams. Peeing in a cup 2 times a week. List 20 consequences. List 10 more consequences. List 10 reasons to stay sober. Meditate for 4 minutes, minimum, and please don't slam the door if you leave early. Be on the porch at 7 to catch the bus to a meeting with 12 other guys.

Rate the headache pain on a scale of 1 to 10. No, "ow" is not a number, we need a number please. So: 6.  Meetings at this location are at 8, 12, 5 and 8. 90 meetings in 90 days. 2 meetings in 1 day counts as 1 meeting; don't try and cheat it. Medical can only dispense 1 ibuprofen every 6 hours, and only before 9 and after 8. 3 people in each room, 6 to a bathroom. We are moving you from Room 205 to Room 206. Lights out at 11.

Another number popped up today. 30. 30 days. That's how long I've gone without a drink. Don't feel like you have to comment.  1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28,29,30. It takes a long time to count to 30. But not as long as it took to get there! Now let's see how 40-60 treat me.


Jesse Wiedinmyer said...

Happy 30th, Deege. And congratulations.

Kaethe said...

Many Happy Returns of the Day! This is fun, because you get to celebrate it more often than birthdays.

Shelley Silva said...

What, an order? You can go through with it. Congratulations!