It’s Not Mandatory, But It Is Required

I spent most of the day in an aloof and distant mood.

Today was my first day of Intensive Outpatient Counseling, and when I was instructed last week that I would be attending these sessions 8:30-11:30am M-F I was already very turned off by the whole idea.  It had been my understanding that upon finishing Inpatient and setting up Outpatient services, the maximum amount of counseling would be something like three days a week, three hours at a time.  So I was less than thrilled about committing fifteen hours a week to the program (which can run from 6-12 weeks, depending on how quickly you progress).

So the day began by waking up at 7:30am – not my favorite time to be awake, by any stretch.  Adding to my annoyance, I discovered my taxi cab would be arriving late (I don’t currently have a driver’s license, but my insurance does cover transport to and from medical appointments – thanks Obama!).



Upon arriving at the outpatient building, I recognized a few familiar faces from previous A.A. meetings.  Despite this, the three hours dragged on at an impossibly slow pace.  I had not had time for coffee so I was nodding off all throughout.  Group therapy is only really effective when the members participate, and the room was pretty static all morning.  This did nothing to convince me I was not wasting my time.

circle graph on how much i give a fuck

Lots of expletives today. But yeah. I really don’t.

I spent the next two hours stuck waiting at the outpatient building, because the cab company had incorrectly entered my scheduling information.  The plus side to this (and probably bright spot of the day) was that in that time I went over to the DMV next door and spoke with them, and was able to apply and receive my conditional license on the spot.  I can only use it for driving to and from work at this point, but still.  I haven’t been behind the wheel since last May, so I’m excited to regain at least that small amount of autonomy.

Cowabunga, dudes.

I had more appointments throughout the rest of the day, ending with a three-hour session of a Drinking Driver Program that was a condition of my DUI sentence.  Another three hours of my day that I felt were essentially a waste of my time.  Perhaps if I had not just spent a full month learning all of this material as an inpatient the program would have more merit for me…but no, it does not.

[Ed. note: I was just kicked off the WordPress server and the remainder of the post was not saved, so the following is an abridged version, because I don’t remember all of what I had just written].

The point is, in the past I would have spent time cunningly talking my way out of these situations.  Hell, when I got my DUI and was sentenced to see a substance abuse counselor and a psychiatrist, I convinced both of them I did not have a problem, that it was just a major misstep in an otherwise normal usage pattern.

But now, I must own up to my actions and face the consequences.  I’ve lost autonomy in my ability to drive; I’ve lost hours of my time to therapy/meetings/courses; I’ve gone broke and gone into debt paying for all of it.  This will be a good exercise in humility for my ego, for me to submit myself to the will of the court as well as the recommendations of the mental health counselors.

Because ultimately, nothing is worth picking up a drink for, and everything is worth maintaining sobriety.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –



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