Getting Clean

If you had told me a year ago, wait no, six months ago, that I would need to come here, to rehab, I would have told you that you are insane.

I would have told you that need to go to rehab instead, since you are obviously on something. Or that it would be impossible for me to be an alcoholic or addicted to prescription medication since I'm just not the kind of person who does that.

I would have looked over at my ever-present friends and said, "Hey, this guy thinks I'm going to be an alcoholic and drug addict." And we would start cracking up at your expense.

Why? Because I didn't think I was like that. Six months ago, I was perfect. I was popular and good at everything. I got perfect grades and was the type of girl who always had a boyfriend. I was the girl that everyone wanted to either be or sleep with.

And now? Well, even I don't know who I am anymore. Popular? Probably not. Most of my "friends" are probably currently denying that they ever liked me. They're probably spreading rumors about me and asking themselves why they ever hung out with me.

Good at everything? No. I am failing miserably at this recovery thing. I am horrible at talking at myself so the therapist hates me. I'm supposed to be getting over this stuff, but right now all I want is a cigarette, a valium, and a water bottle filled with vodka.

Good grades? Not anymore. I mean, they're not bad. Mostly –As and a couple of Bs. But that's not how it should be. No, they should all be +As. But I guess my grades right before I came here really aren't that bad since I don't even remember the last time I went to school not drunk or high (or both).

Boyfriend? Well I guess before I get into this, I really should clarify. I've never really had an actual boyfriend. At least not the kind my friends have had. You know, a sweet one who will give you his jacket and take you to your favorite restaurant on a Friday night. I've never had one of those. I guess a better term that boyfriend would be boy-toy. They're just guys that want a girl to sleep with and call "babe". I rarely feel actual affection for them. I mostly just sleep with them and when I sense that they might say something meaningful (like dropping the L-bomb) I dump them. If we had feelings for each other, things would just get too complicated.

Well I know you're probably wondering, everyone here certainly is, why would a girl like me from a "good" family (meaning that my parents are employed and we have a lot of money unlike many of the kids here) fall into this lifestyle?

Want to know my story? I've never told anyone, not even the therapist I'm supposed to be pouring my heart out to three times a week.

I don't know exactly how or when it started. I used to be against so many things I did now. I thought that taking drugs without a prescription was stupid and dangerous.

I thought that underage drinking was irresponsible and pointless. I mean, you drink a lot which makes you fat, then you get drunk and act like an idiot. The next day you feel like crap. And if and when you get caught say goodbye to all the hard work you've done. No more extracurricular activities, no more valedictorian, no more college. Plus possible parole which means good luck getting a job.

Having sex with anyone who wants you to makes you a slut. It means you're desperate. Why do it? It's just putting you at risk of STDs and pregnancy. Plus it's a sin. Sex should be with someone you love and only after marriage, of course, I believed.

But now, my mind has completely changed. I don't know when. It seemed like just all of a sudden, I was taking my father's whiskey and pouring it into my Coke to experiment. Then a week later I was asking my friend's older brother to buy me some vodka so I could drink it from a bottle at school and no one would ever know….only after I had done him a "favor" of course.

Next I was searching through the medicine cabinet, for what, I don't know, and finding a bottle of painkillers. Before I knew it, I was stealing my father's prescription notepad and writing a prescription (with my father's foraged signature) for Valium for the same friend's brother. He would go to the drugstore and get it filled. I would give him the money for the drugs (stolen from my mother, of course) and give him a couple for his trouble after handing me the bottle.

How did my mind and opinions on all of this change so quickly and completely? I have no idea.

Maybe because I just wanted to try those things. I had heard that drugs and alcohol can help. I was just under so much pressure from everyone: my parents to be the perfect daughter, my friends to be the life of the party, the current guy to give him whatever he wanted whenever he wanted, my teachers to get good grades and help out the other kids in my classes, and the many teachers and coaches in charge of my teams and clubs. They expected me to be the leader and to set an example. They wanted me to be perfect so that the others would want to be like me and come that much closer to being perfect too.

And the questions that everyone is asking, am I done with all that stuff? When am I coming home? What are your plans for the future? Are you trying to get better?

And the answers are: No, I am not done. I need it to get by. Without it I am so uptight and stressed out.

I don't know when I'm coming home. Whenever the people here think I'm ready. Probably soon though, since they're all gushing about how "well" I'm doing (except of course the therapist. I don't get how I'm considered well since that's basically why I came here, to talk to people. Whatever.) . They expect so much of me just like everyone else. I thought this place was supposed to give me a break from everything I've been doing and all the people I'm sick of. The people here are just like the ones at home, always pressuring me to be perfect.

My plans for the future? I don't know. They used to be to get into an Ivy League and become a lawyer like my mother or a doctor like my father. Oh wait, those were never my plans. They were everyone else's.

So my plan is probably to get out of here and overdose. Maybe that will finally get everyone to leave me alone. Or maybe not. If I go to hell, there will probably be different versions of everyone there to drive me to madness even after death. And heaven will probably be full of dead little kids expecting me to be replacement parents. Neither of those places existing would be ideal, no one to be a role model for and no one telling me I'm not good enough.

And the answer to the final question. No. I'm not.

Two months later:

Finally, I'm out of that horrid place. How did it go? No, don't even go there; I just want to forget it.

I walk to the liquor cabinet and open it. Huh, seems like they would have at least hidden the alcohol so I don't go right back to my old habits. Whatever. I pull out a bottle of whiskey and take a huge swig. Ugh, it's disgusting, tastes like I imagine nail polish remover would be. I take another gulp and, ignoring the burn in my throat, walk over to the cupboard I've been to so many times. I pull out a nearly full bottle of little blue pills and pop several in my mouth, washing them down with whiskey.

And repeat until the whole bottle is gone and my vision goes fuzzy.

I lay there on the floor where I am slumped for seconds or maybe weeks. I feel it all start to come back up but will it back down. After 30 seconds or 10 years it all goes black and I feel as though I'm falling asleep only more slowly.

I cannot feel. I can't see. I can't hear. Or maybe I can hear and it's just quiet. It doesn't really matter. I feel like I am floating and I try to feel around for something to grab to keep from floating away but I cannot move my arms. They are leaden.

I realize that I am dying. No. I didn't mean to do this! Or did I? No. I don't want to die! All those times I wished it, I didn't really mean it! I try to call out for help but I can only manage a soft sigh.

I try harder and somehow I am able to mumble, "Help." I find the strength to move, and just as I try to sit up, everything goes black. I can feel myself leaving, but where to? I don't know…I don't know.

The End.