Such a feeling of contentment came over me while I was tripping. Everything was wonderful! My heart pounded as if some new, exciting experience was about to begin. How could I give that up?
The sessions continued for about five weeks, each building upon the last like bricks in a tall, tall wall that surrounded me. By seeing Dr. Shane, I was lying to everyone. I didn’t want to, couldn’t, stop tripping. Each session was another lie. Dr. Shane kept trying to find some incidents that made me turn to drugs. There were none. It was the absence af anything in my life, and the possibility of drugs filling a void, that had lured me. I felt as if my life as empty before I started tripping. Acid made the world seem irrelevant. It didn’t matter if there was nothing there for me, as long as I could trip.
After five weeks, I finally gave up on the sessions. One morning, I called Dr. Shane’s office and told his secretary that Joe and I were going on a spur of the moment vacation, I would call when we returned. I had no intention of ever speaking to Sr. Shane again.
Now I could trip!
Megan came over every morning, after breakfast, to chat. Mostly she chatted and I listened, waiting for her to leave and feeling guilty about not wanting my best friend around. Megan let me know everything about her life and what she knew about the lives of others. She always tried to get me to talk about myself, worried, and trying not to show it. But I could see. I said little if anything and I didn’t say anything about stopping my sessions. I couldn’t Aside from the fact that through her, Joe would find out, Megan didn’t understand anything about me, especially if it had to do with drugs. She was my friend because she wanted to be – why, I’ll never know. For some reason, Megan liked me. Maybe she thought she could help.
After the sessions had ended, I quickly found a source for acid and soon I felt that my life was as happy as it would ever be. In the mornings, I visited with Megan. But the afternoons and evenings were my own and I tripped almost every day. I tried to show a lot of interest in Joe’s work so that he wouldn’t feel bad about working late. It worded and he continued to keep long hours, freeing the evenings for my trips. By the time he would get home at night, I was usually sound asleep, exhausted from a day of tripping.
I told him I was trying to create a “new” me by exercising a lot. I wasn’t, but it accounted for my being tired all the time and for the weight I was losing. After tripping all day, I was too tired to eat and all I wanted was to sleep until my next trip. Each trip began to seem more necessary than the last as I began to withdraw from the outside world. Sometimes I would remember that everyone thought I’d given up acid and it seemed impossible. I could never give it up! then I would feel I had failed Joe and I felt horrible; Joe meant everything to me and I didn’t want to hurt him. Every week Joe asked me about my sessions and I lied to him, telling him about my progress and what a help it was talking to Dr. Shane. Lying to Joe was the worst part.
One day Joe kept talking about Dr. Shane and how good he was. Joe felt lucky that Dr. Shane could help me, “Us, really,” he said, and my heart sank. That afternoon I took four hits of acid instead of my usual one or two. All I wanted was to forget our conversation and the guilt that I felt from it. I shouldn’t have taken that much, but I did.
I remember leaving the house to go for a walk around the block. Somehow I eventually ended up in a park – I don’t know which one. While I was walking, I became extremely hot and remembered seeing a fountain in a park. Finding the park had been hard. I couldn’t read street signs, the letters faded away while I tried to look at them. Crossing streets had taken forever. They kept getting wider as I walked across them. And none of the houses looked familiar bulging, breathing, and even melting before my eyes. Once, I tried to ask someone for directions, But I couldn’t talk so the person ignored me. That’s all I remember myself. Joe told me a little more …
Joe had come home late, as usual. But I wasn’t home and the door was wide open. He was worried and decided to go looking for me, figuring that I had to be somewhere close to home. The possibility that acid was again involved occured to him, but he tried not to think abut it. Hoe had searched the neighborhood without any luck. On an impulse, he then headed for the nearest park, thinking that I might have gone there to be alone. Why he thought this puzzled me since I was alone at home. Anyway, he came to the park I had stumbled to. It was my favorite park because of the fountain. There he found me, splashing in the fountain, unaware of anything except myself. He said that I had known who he was, but had been very confused to see him there; turning away from him , mumbling to myself, and not answering his questions about why I was there and what had happened. I wouldn’t walk to the car with him, so he had picked me up and carried me. I was too strung out to resist. At home, he put me to bed and sat by me all night, waiting for the acid to war off.
When I woke up, late the next morning, Dr, Shane had come to the house to see me. I had refuse to talk to him, but he had enough to say without any help from me. He told Hoe about my call to the office three weeks before. After talking to Joe, and trying to talk to me about what had happened, Dr. Shane recommended that I be hospitalized in the Drug and Alcohol Treatment Center. He said that I had become strongly dependent on acid and, at this point, only hospitalization would break this. All I had to say was, “NO! I don’t NEED acid, I like it. It just gives me something to do, that’s all.”
“But Britt, you need help.” Joe sounded desperate. “Please Britt, go for awhile at least. If not for yourself, then for me. It won’t be for very long. You can’t quit on your own. Don’t you see that yet?” He was so sad, hurt. I wasn’t sure what to do.
“Yes, listen to Joe. You can’t get through this on your own. We can help you and give you the support you need. I’ll be able to see you twice a week It really is the best way …” Dr. Shane was full of confidence and it showed in his arguments.
Finally, I gave in. But not because of what anyone said. I did it for Joe, I didn’t want to lose him and somehow I d=felt I would if I didn’t do as Dr. Shane said. There really was nothing I could do. I’m sure there would have been some way they could have made me go.
The center, really a hospital for druggies of all kinds, was very depressing, The chairs and tables were all plastic, their colors bright red, yellow, blue, gree and orange. Cloth pictures were the only wall ornaments. The “safeness” of everything only emphasized the unstable conditions of the patients. Not many patients became friends because friendships broke up when you were discharged. Luisa, my roommate, was all right. She was a heroine addict. At least I didn’t do that! We didn’t have much in common, except not wanting to be there, but talking passed the time.
I saw Dr. Shane on Mondays and Thursdays. He kept telling me how well he thought the sessions were going. “You’re coming along splendidly, Britt,” he would say at the end of each session. Self confidence was his goal for me. He felt that a lock of self confidence was what had driven me to take acid, which made me feel good about myself while I was tripping. I believed some of the things he said, but it was hard for me to accept total responsibility for my life, something he said I had to do. The more pleased he became about my progress, the more depressed I became, It seemed to me that my life was destroyed. The only thing I had decided to do, and liked doing, had been taken away from me. I tried to smile and agree with what he said, in hopes of soon being discharged, but it wasn’t working. Nothing had changed. My life was controlled by others, there was nothing for me – no hope, and no happiness. I even doubted that Joe still loved me. Why should he? It seemed that he was just seeing me through this out of a sense of responsibility. I felt sure that he would leave me as soon as he could, although he had never said or done anything to indicate that. I didn’t know why, but I thought he was disgusted with me. It was all very vague, even to me.
Conclusion to follow in part 4 (a very short part)