Hello!  My appologies to those of you that might for some reason read my myspace blog as well as this one.  I had just typed it all up there and then remembered I have a far better resource for like minded individuals here so I have copied the entire post here figuring that anybody that reads it here is going to relate more with what I'm writing than somebody on myspace.

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For those of you that haven't been able to keep up with what is going on in my life, I will give you all a quick summary.

Approximately 2 months ago, perhaps a little less, I had decided to go into treatment for drug and alchohol addiction. It is something I have been struggling with for quite some time and have reached a point where I can find no reason to continue living if this/that is the way life is/was going to continue.

The process thus far has been a bit… complicated so I will list each step of the way along with a bit of an update.

Minnesota Teen Challenge
I had heard a lot of good things about teen challenge. I was particularly excited about their life care program which would allow a person to be in treatment with them, learning new life skills in addition to acquiring and maintaining sobriety. The program is 12 to 13 months in length as opposed to what now seems to be the standard, 21 days. I entered teen challenge on a Friday and ended up checking myself out on sunday, roughly 2 days later. I wasn't impressed with how the place was handled, the food sucked and from the point I arrived on friday until I left on Sunday I met with no councilors and was growing rather frustrated with the lack of programming during those 3 days. On top of that, it's a no smoking facility. None at all, not like some places where you can smoke but you can usually step outside into a designated area to smoke. There is no such thing with teen challenge, you're done cold turkey. You can use nicotine replacement therapy but I had no gum or patches or anything upon entering so it really was cold turkey. I believe that plus my misgivings about the Christian focus (born again type Christian focus) that gave me enough of an excuse in my head to leave.

Fairview Riverside
Upon leaving teen challenge I decided I would rather attend the lodging plus treatment program at Fairview riverside. My drug of choice being heroin, their detox program and subsequent treatment program allowed a person to undergo a suboxone taper which all but completely eliminates any withdrawal symptoms. On the second of July, one of my councilors approached me and told me that the medical insurance which was paying for my time there, expired at the end of June and that from that point on, I was on my own for payment. They did say they would would try and figure out a way for me to get funding somewhere, but until then it was a gamble with a nearly $500 per day debt. I already owe so much money I don't know how I'm going to handle it, so I had myself discharged. This counted as a successfully completed treatment program.

Progress Valley
Before I was discharged from Fairview I had interviewed with Progress valley and had been accepted. On the Monday following my discharge from Fairview I met with a lady from progress valley, explained my problem and she helped me go through the process of getting a Rule 25 through Hennepin county which is the sort of thing the state uses to finance treatment such as this. On Thursday of that week I entered Progress Valley, being assured that while the paperwork hadn't come back yet, they believed I would have no problem getting funding. On Friday morning I was informed that Hennepin county had rejected my rule 25 application stating that I was still a resident of carver (county) which wasn't the case, I'm now a resident of Hennepin county. Jennifer then contacted carver county on the off chance that they would approve a rule 25. They said that they weren't going to pay for any more treatment for me and that I was Hennepin counties problem now. Their suggestion was to send me to the salvation army. Thanks to all of this, I was discharged from Progress Valley after being there only a single night.

And Now
For the moment at least, My parents have been gracious enough to allow me to stay here while I try and get things figured out. It turns out that while I do still have medical insurance through hennepin county now, that it was just their most basic medical coverage, (cheaper prescriptions, doctors visits, that's it). Progress Valley as well as Prodigal House (another half-way house) have said that my best option is to get on an HMO through the state instead of their basic pay as you go program, then submit another request for entering their progam (whichever one it is I decide to go to). I have been trying to get someplace to allow me in prior to the first as initially my parents gave me 1 week to get my stuff straight and get out. Unfortunately everybody I talk to, and every place I deal with, tells me that there is nothing that can be done until the 1st of August which is a good deal beyond the 1 week I had been allowed by my parents. Thankfully after having an honest talk with my parents last night they have agreed to allow me to stay here another week at the end of which we will review where I am at and what to do next. In exchange for my room and board here, I have been doing a lot of hard manual labor in the yard (so far besides the basics like weeding and mowing the lawn, I have dug/chopped out the root systems of a juniper bush and a large juniper tree. I am hoping for quite a few more projects I can do around here so that they are getting something in exchange for my staying here.

And other things
Adam, a co-owner (with his wife) of the amazing coffee shop Crow River Coffee Company here in Watertown has a bunch of cleaning/demolition work he needs performed on the basement of their building which I have started doing for him already. It will pay me a few bucks for having done the work which will help me pay for any incidentals I may need while here as well as keep the cost to my parents of my being here down to a minimum.
While in Fairview, I also saw a psychiatrist. I had been seeing a psychiatrist for a little while because I suffer from (existed prior to the heavy drug and alcohol use) and the first lady had prescribed me Busiprone for my anxiety which could get so bad a times as to make me more paranoid than usual and vomit. This ended up causing me to have to leave work a lot and thus lose my job (the panic, not the medications). The fairview psychiatrist added to my medication. She prescribed me citalopram (celexa?) to aid with the clinical depression, and risperidone, up to 2 .25mg tablets during the day as needed and a single .5mg tablet before bed. The risperidone was for the paranoia, when walking into a new situation with new people I could almost hear them thinking horrible embarrasing hateful things about me. So far the medications seem to be working, I'm not quite as paranoid all of the time and was recently able to spend over 6 hours in a park with relatives celebrating my grandmothers birthday and I made it the entire time without freaking out and asking to lock myself in a car or begging to go early. I'm quite proud of myself for that.
Yesterday I also saw a doctor at the clinic down here to get a prescription for stop smoking aids. This means I pay $1 for the niccotine gum to last me a while instead of the $40 or so it usually costs,so now I can quick smoking which has been a long time coming. The cost is a huge problem, plus there are many active things I would like to do but simply cant/couldn't because of my smoking.

And now…
Well at this point I'm actually feeling positive. I am worried about what is going to happen with getting into a half-way house. I talked to Teen Challenge again today and they told me to contact them the day before the first so they could start getting things ready for me. It sounds like if I go back that I will have to start out in their extended care for a month or two before being able to transfer into the adult life care program which lasts over a year. I still have misgivings about their seemingly feverish take on Christianity but when I compare it to the life I have been living for the last 10+ years I simply don't feel like I have an option. Another place I had talked to but didn't make it to for a visit, was Prodigal House. From what little I have heard about prodigal house, you start out with another 45 day in-patient treatment before you can start looking for work (teen challenge, however, allows NO work during the entire time you're there but I believe they help with training, job placement, and a place to live upon successful graduation. The place I was originally at, Progress Valley had originally told me that they would continue trying to help me out and get me back in as soon as possible. After I got my HMO/insurance stuff figured out on Monday, I walked back into PV to talk to the admissions lady and she told me that I would have to go back into detox somewhere and have them refer me to them so that the process could be started over from scratch. P.V. allows its people to start looking for full time work immediately. I'm rather disgusted with P.V. for telling me one thing on Friday, then something completely different on Monday. I had the impression that once my funding was straightened out, I could walk right back in to my bed. That is most definitely not the case. Unless something drastic happens and they turn out to be my only option, they are my last option and I would gladly take even teen challenge before this.

And that's all she wrote!
For the time being, I have already made calls to all of the places I can consider making calls to. My Medica HMO kicks in on August 1st and Teen Challenge told me to contact them a day ahead of time so they can work on getting me in as soon as possible. The lady had told me most likely the third as they want to make sure I'm not going to run into yet another funding issue after I get there. I will probably regret not being able to get a job, but lets face it. I have spent well over a decade fucking up my life and programming myself to be a vile person. I really think a year at least will do me worlds of good.
I have started drawing again. Not like before when the only time I could draw would be when I was high (or not going through withdrawal) and then usually sime simple black ink line deal. Now I'm working with graphite and colored pencils again, I really like how they are turning out. New Toys basically!

The close
I am trying my hardest to maintain a positive and healthy outlook on my situation. My parents are being very supportive (which I know is a real struggle for them considering the hell I've put them through in the past). I have been hitting meetings when I can, in town here they are on Monday and Wednesday nights at 8pm (mon at church, wed at city hall). They seem to be helping a bit as well.

Last but not least
THANK YOU ALL OF YOU!!!!! The good wishes, positive thoughts, and words of encouragement from those of you I talk to online all mean a lot to me and I will not forget it. Thank you all very very much.

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I do fully intend on spending more time here on addiction tribve.  This is an amazing resource that I am ashamed to have been not using it as much as I should have been.  Thank you to all of you for being here, this is an amazing site.

1 Comment
  1. michaelcali 13 years ago

    Indeed…Glad you are here…keep coming back and remember…everyday you dont pick up is a GOOD day!  Best of Luck…MIKE!

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