I went to rehab last saturday afternoon to visit my brother and to attend a family group session that the program puts on every saturday. My mom asked if I wanted to go and my mind flashed back to the summer nights of somewhere in between childhood innocence and teen angst when my sister and I could not get enough Jenny Jones or even sometimes Rikki Lake. Not something I necessarily want to advertise, but a part of me nonetheless: I cannot resist the opportunity for white trash outbursts and jeering from a (no less trashy, just less publicized) audience. So of course I agreed, because the family sessions aren't just for our family, oh no, it's all the families of the rehab boys. 14 for the price of one! (*Price* being the admission of my brother to rehab.... this won't be the only time I seem like a bad sister in this blog. Sorry Johnny... no computers in rehab.)
Unfortunately, during the meeting, we had an obnoxiously chatty counselor who didn't allow for quite enough open discussion, and only got one outburst. Since the one outburst certainly didn't keep me occupied long enough, and since I couldn't even talk to Johnny yet, I had nothing to do but to listen to Chatty the anti-Springer.
She was talking about drug addiction and using and all those great themes that are also draped along the corridors of "Gateway: Teenage Reformation," via Government Issued posters. She started addressing symptoms of addiction and when someone should start to know there is a problem (i.e. it's all the think about, it starts social, but becomes something the person does alone in his room, many people can do these things and not have a problem, some can't, etc.) I began to realize: Chatty may have been talking about cocaine, weed, alcohol, etc., but I was pretty sure I knew what she meant: Series of shows on DVD. For me it started with watching things like Grey's Anatomy and The O.C. with girlfriends. It was social and harmless. Then it turned into watching Heroes online because "my wisdom teeth had just been pulled and I needed it to take my mind off things." Now, I watch Lost alone in my room before bed "because the writer's strike is making me." Maybe my adolescent affinity for Jenny Jones created more than just a love for white trash, and white trash events. Maybe the writer's strike isn't making me do it, maybe I have a problem. I know now that I have been in denial about my series addiction, and I plan to do something about it. And as soon as I finish season three of Lost, I am done. I'm going to get clean. I'm going to change.
It's a good thing I learned so much about myself in rehab. I really feel I can connect now with Charlie (the heroine addict from Lost) on a much more personal level.