I was telling everybody that I went to be a guest at my rehab’s last Tuesday’s Free Tribune (incidentally a pretty misleading name even in the original) as a part of my aftercare. I was explaining that I wanted to soak up the atmosphere of the place again as a prop against the danger of relapsing, out of sheer exaltation, the very first night in Scotland.
Of course, this was a downright lie. I haven’t imagined for a split second that my going or not going would make the slightest difference to whether I do or do not relapse when I get there.
Why did I go? My therapist emailed me in March, saying she’d rather like to see me again, and I kind of promised her I would before the travel. It also occurred to me I might test my camera by taking a lot of snaps of the hospital’s park – a place as full of cherished memories as only a few others for me. I took almost a hundred, including those of my most beloved spots – namely, the Obelisk, the Beavers’ Pond and the “Keith Burn”. (I’ll have to shoot a better, longer video of the Burn than this in October.)
As regards the FT itself, I realized several things. That I actually learned to like Deamhan’s nagging me (he’s my community’s head therapist, but unluckily wasn’t present this time). That by now I’d probably know there somebody whenever I arrived. (I expected to see Laluh who’d relapsed; instead there were Terzl and Holubová on a repeat stay.) Relatedly, that I’m beginning to regularly meet people I’ve certainly, probably or possibly (as the case may be) met there before but can’t put a finger on when.
Most importantly I all of a sudden realized something I had half-forgotten: how much in common we have. I mean, despite all the differences, you hear somebody who can even be a total stranger to you say something which makes you inwardly exclaim “Exactly my case!” or “Exactly my point of view!” so often as would never happen to you in real life. (We call life outwith the rehab by the same expression which is used for life outwith the Net. It does make sense, if you think about it.) Point is, this doesn’t only apply to directly addiction-related topics.
Maybe this is why I feel so strongly about the three months I spent there. Maybe this is why I like to be returning. Because only at the Tech I had a more constant and intense feeling of mutual understanding, of camaraderie – and of being allowed to talk things which really matter.