THE ARCHWAY CHRONICLES: CHAPTER VIII

NOTE: This is what I will be focussing on from now on. If anyone is interested in how this insane story plays out – and trust me, the insanity has barely begun – I’d love to take you on a journey as I hope to post chapters on a weekly basis, at the LEAST.

There will be a movie review here and there, cos’ I’ll always love to analyse movies. But this book is my true passion and this blog was a way to get myself out of writers’ block anyway. I’ve achieved that, so here it goes….


Special thanks to Cindy for again giving me solid constructive criticism after I posted my last chapter. She may feel like I am over-praising her, but her ‘two cents’ helps me immensely as she has experience in the industry, whereas I don’t. Her perspective is much appreciated.

I also must thank my fellow Aussie Lloyd for also giving me constructive feedback. It is much appreciated! Hopefully I can get more feedback… hopefully from Ruth, who has just finished her script! Go check out her site now, it is fantastic. Though I know she is a very busy woman at the moment, furthering her work on that script. All of us, wish Ruth luck in her endeavour to make a movie: my ultimate dream!

Additional thanks to Vinnie, Dell, and of course EmmaK who have always been very supportive, and Tom whose blog I have frequented for a long time now, despite my extreme lack of output recently. All my effort is being channelled into finishing this story by my birthday. Only a first draft. I have 3-odd months. There are other bloggers I regret I haven’t mentioned. Again, all the feedback and kind words means a lot.

If you think any part is plain crap, PLEASE, let me know! Just give a good reason, and what you think would work. If I am describing a character, and you are thinking, who?? let me know and I’ll go back and look at previous chapters to develop that character more.

Etc etc. Thanks to anyone who is reading this. Shout out to sati if she is around 🙂

ANYWAYS, if you want to catch up on my roller-coaster ride through a cult-based rehab ‘clinic’, click away:




Somehow, I have been accused of having a bottle full of pills in my room. Sorry, my cell. My heart is palpitating just thinking about this.

Sorry, let’s rewind. I was taken to my doctor early this morning for my scheduled appointment with my epilepsy specialist, the incredible (and awesomely named) Doc Koopowitz.

The main volunteer at the centre, Mike, was pretty  helpful in that he drove me to my doctor, as I needed scripts for my epilepsy medication. One of these was Clonazepam. A benzo… Like valium, but stronger. It doesn’t however cause much of a ‘high’, unlike most benzodiazepines.

This is unless you have 200 tablets to play with….

Ohhhhhh, I just LOVE the irony of being able to take an addictive drug that could be abused easily, right into a Rehab Centre with no questions asked. Well, apart from that accusation. We’ll get back to that. But even the bottle that I gave to them to hold onto (it surely must say 200 tablets, that is where this suspicion has come from. MORON!) says that I am able to take four a day. Great thing about this Asylum is that they do not monitor the taking of meds. So I pocket the clons, and begin to stash them with my fresh bottle of 100.

This place could not be more inappropriate for a junkie like myself if it tried, with a gun to its head, cocked with the finger slowly compressing the trigger.

That they are letting me take benzos inside a rehab facility amazes me. They are a HIGHLY ADDICTIVE pharmaceutical!! But this place seems appropriate only for low-level alcoholics whose worst confession about their drunken behaviour was that they lost their job.

BOO FUCKING HOO. Let me grab the fucking Kleenex for you. What are you, 40? Jesus get yourself sorted out, you are NOT IN THAT MUCH TROUBLE.

But the staff here, they encourage this. They play up these minor events as major punctuations and traumatic experiences in a person’s life. I can’t say I agree with this, especially after my first MRT session where I bared my soul and had every bloody resident there looking at me as if I were insane.

Arrrghhh!! Okay. Back on track.

So, I was given two 100-pill bottles, and upon exiting the pharmacy I am sure that my deception in pocketing one of these bottles and giving Mike the other was successful. But that bottle… Yup, it must have said 200 on it. How else could they possibly suspect anything?

Okay, damn. I’ll… if asked, I’ll tell them that I only got given one bottle. And then they’ll call the pharmacy and see that I did pick up both bottles…. Ah. Yes. Fuck indeed. Fucked, indeed.

Mike didn’t say a word about it, and we drove back having a nice, laid-back conversation. He didn’t have to drive me to that appointment, but he did it anyway. He’s a volunteer. It was a grey, drizzly overcast day and my appointment was on the other side of the city, so it wasn’t a short or particularly fun drive. I really like Mike, he is a good guy and is volunteering his time here after beating an addiction of his own. He seems to be one of few who haven’t decided to outright have something against me from the outset.

But he saw the 200 pills listed on the bottle. Or someone did.

What else could explain the accusation, coming from Chris of all people – the only person I have gotten along with here!! The only person I am close to trusting! It’s a scheme, I can’t not be.

Of course, this notion that I, a professed addict of the Lowest Regard, am hoarding pills inside my room, is of course, true. But the principle remains, damnit! I’m not sure what this principle is exactly, but that isn’t important. Privacy? Who knows, who cares, too much to worry about right now. There must be cameras in this place, hiding behind air-vents. Informants of some kind?

I of course denied the accusation immediately, and as I did so I was alarmed at how naturally lying and manipulating people has become to me. Another ugly face-in-the-mirror moment to remember.

Sunrise is approaching. Soon my fellow inmates will begin to filter out of their rooms, each giving my extra-terrestrial self an odd look, as if the concept of insomnia has never entered their primitive brains. They are all beginning to fade into a combination of a blur of boring personalities, with the few outliers that stand out even more due to the sheer dull nature of The Rest. How can I separate the filth from the honest in a beastly place like this, filled with such bland, sheep-like people with others that stand out so much it is hard to know their true intentions?

These are the inane and not so sane thoughts that are relentlessly percolating around my mind. Am I paranoid? Most certainly, without a trace of doubt to be found. My biggest problem is that all these worries stem from everything that is surrounding me: every activity, every staff member, all fellow residents. Then there are the visitors. Perhaps they are responsible for this leak of information. Regardless, I am gradually losing my hold on sanity and I can only tolerate so much idiocy.

Good God, words words and words. Manic gibberish from a hypo-manic madman who is approaching mania with the speed of a starving greyhound. I am already not sleeping. I know that withdrawal symptoms are a bitch and a half, but I truly feel like I am losing my mind. I am atop a twenty metre diving board, raring and ready to plunge into the deep end. God, I can’t even tread water. I am convinced that there is some sort of otherworldly force hanging over this place, but what is it? Is it a delusion? What is real? How can I tell the fucking difference?!

Ahhh, mania. I have missed you! Please envelop my mind, destroy my sense of reasoning and turn me into a hyperactive superman! How I miss the delusions, the insane bursts of creativity. Hopefully this energy can be channelled into these insane notes that I am keeping, separate of course from the diary we are forced to keep using pen and paper. No, this is locked away on my laptop, encrypted in a way that I and only I can access it. I am actually pretty sure that I have managed to keep this gibberish safe enough from whatever force that I can feel hanging over this place.

Honestly, it would not surprise me one bit if this facility is built on the graveyard of Aboriginal custodians of the land. Our government has a 200 year plus track record of wanting to wipe out and disrespect the culture of Aboriginal people, they have no qualms in building infrastructure over graveyards despite intense protest. Yes, I did recently take a course in the real history of our native people and the abhorrent behaviour of our government, but this overwhelming feel of Doom, of a force, a spirit of some kind, hanging over me, is very hard to shake as simply a delusion. When in this state is in incredibly hard to sort the idiocy and very possible delusions from the genuinely good, creative ideas to write about; especially when said idiocy involves possible delusions about visitors from unhappy Aboriginal spirits.

More madness of the highest regard. I should probably assess this entire situation at a time that isn’t situated at 4:30 in the morning. I shall ball up a pair of thick socks, hide the pill bottle in them, roll them up and stuff them as far into a pair of boots as possible. I can’t risk them being found.

Yet another ugly face-in-the-mirror moment.

————

It certainly feels like I have been here for months, but I am told that my first week is barely over; this is in fact the beginning of my eighth day here.

God. Damnit.

Every week Archway accepts new applicants, those whom like me, rang every to express interest in coming here, were then put on a waiting list whilst having to call twice a week to ensure that we stayed on said list.

Cos we’re junkies, y’know? Can’t be trusted, even if seeking help.

While on my first day I was alone in being new to the place, this time around we have two new people. And my God, after having taken a libido killing drug for 8 years straight, simply seeing that one of the new clients was a young lady was enough to shift the arrangement inside my pants. But they are not very fond of close friendships in this place, let alone something more. I’ll put those thoughts on the back-burner I think.

Joining her is Zac. I hear he is here for painkiller abuse, so perhaps, maybe, possibly, I can find a kindred spirit in this ironically hellish yet Church-approved facility. There is nothing like opiate withdrawals, and I’m sure Zac will be able to relate with what I am experiencing at the moment. We shook hands and exchanged idle small-talk, but I’d like to talk to the guy on a more personal level, without seeming like a creep. He has been allocated a room next to mine, on the other side from Bobby One Eye, the guy who tried to mainline heroin into his eyeball and has made complaints against the noise I make at night. Allegedly.

The truth of the matter is that there are not many people here who are like me at all.

I did have Chris, who I trusted completely, until his sudden accusation of pills in my room, which ONLY could have come from Mike the more I think about it logically, which is leading to more paranoia. Why Chris to ask me and not Mike? Cos they saw I fuckin’ trusted Chris, that is why. This place is filled with misdirection, manipulation, deception and, simply, plain dirty lies and dishonesty – a combination that is adding to my nausea just writing about it.

Added to Chris we have of course Andy, a fellow musician. While his attitude pisses me off in general, not to mention that spending six months in a rehab facility for weed is fucking INSANE, we seem to get along nicely. It is especially fun when we jam, him on guitar and me on the drums. I am trying to enforce a personal idea in my head that from now on, MUSIC is my drug. Whether playing or taking in a favourite album – when I am clean, it sounds so clear and so much better. When I drum and I’m clean, I am co-ordinated. These are the core reasons propelling me froward in this shithole, I want to live a clean and healthy life, despite whatever obstacles are hurled at me. I want to experience the things I love in a clear and engaged way.

With a possibly declining friendship with Chris, and a semi-close friendship with Andy, I hope that I can develop some sort of friendship with Zac too, as he will easily be the person closest to my epileptic, opiate, alien and withdrawal affected ‘wavelength’.

———–

I am hearing increased murmurings about my ‘behaviour’ and the effect it is having on the other residents. I honestly have no clue what they are talking about; apart from the Hendrix incident. A one-time event. It isn’t like I’m playing the drum-kit all day or sneaking drugs into the place. Well, that last notion is true, but it ain’t affecting any of the other people living here! So much for a co-morbid element existing here, which their lovely literature promised.

That is me, I have co-morbid problems. Complex needs. Whatever label you want to throw around, to put it simply: I have more fucking problems than drug addiction. I am an epileptic, bipolar junkie who has quit drugs cold turkey. What sort of behaviour were they expecting?!

A quiet and observant, obedient junkie going through harsh withdrawal symptoms?

They KNOW these things about me, they know my exact situation and have spoken to my doctors. Their thickness seems to be unparalleled, as they quite obviously know nothing about mental illness, and seem to be especially judgemental towards it. But unless my memory has decided to completely abandon me, which certainly and unfortunately isn’t out of the question given my epilepsy, I can’t think of what behaviour these cattle are talking about, why there is this intense animosity towards me.

Short of some kind of beating or stabbing, or a suicide attempt perhaps, what are these folk on about? This animosity amongst my peers seems to be spreading amongst the staff. At least one of these two-faced alcoholic invalids has stabbed me in the spine by complaining about my alleged unacceptable behaviour.

I am again brought back to the same question: WHAT behaviour?! I wish I could dig into my hippo-campus and recover these memories that obviously are alluding me. Could the simple fact that I am not sleeping at all and am in fact often in the shared lounge, writing, greeting the sheep as they filter out from their cells, be causing problems? I’m not bothering or harassing anyone, quite the opposite in fact. I am trying my best to keep to myself here; while the others sleep I move my business to the lounge room and set up base so the sound of my fingers slapping keys won’t wake anyone.

I’m doing everything I can to be nice! I suppose I’ll find out what this supposed bad behaviour actually is; the passive aggressive nature of this place is still rather unsettling. But I made that promise to myself, my friends and my family. If six months of hell if what I need to get my life back, six months is what I’ll put up with.

If only I knew what behaviour of mine these people were referring to!