As you know, yesterday my physician referred me to a hospital to get a bunch of checks on the hernia and make sure I was medically sound to be checked. According to my doctor and the nursing staff, this hospital worked closely with the rehab unit I was going to go to. So I packed up my suitcase again, and Shawn and I headed to Wheeling Hospital for some tests and then hopefully off to the rehab. This included checking into the ER and waiting three hours for anyone to do anything, while I paced the little waiting room thinking if these guys don’t act fast, I’m goingt o start getting a little jittery and sweaty and will just walk the fuck out of this place.

Finally came in and gave me an IV with something to relax me, made me drink a couple things of Barium so they could do a ct scan. Bonus fact, I got to drink three of them instead of two, because I chugged the first one and then threw it up in the sink. Through my nose.

Do the tests, they all come back negative. The good news is that my heart is fine, my liver function and kidney function and all my numbers were fine, urine sample came back showing nothing, etc., which kind of shocked me. Big German livers, I guess. He then said that they had no idea what the rehab facility my primary care physician was suggesting, but suggested I go to another place. This place has only a four day detox inhouse and then outpatient, and I was interested, but then discovered their inhouse detox is a bunch of PA’s doling out tylenol and something for your stomach and then watching you spend four days bouncing around a room. Also big on the Christian Help therapies, which would be uniquely terrible for me. Oh, and you had to check in before they could tell you if your insurance would pay for it.

At any rate, tomorrow I am just directly contacting the rehab place again, and seeing what I have to do to surpass all this bullshit, and if I can show up in the afternoon I will be there with bells on. This is now the fourth time I have had my bags packed and shown up someplace only to deal with herp derp. Fucking legalize marijuana, tax it, and spend the money on building a fucking coherent system for dealing with addiction, where someone can basically just walk in and say “My shit is fucked up and I want your help” and they jump into action. It really shouldn’t be any harder than that.

121 replies
  1. 1
    Pharniel says:

    Goddamnit. Still pulling for you.

  2. 2
    Karen in GA says:

    Jesus fucking Christ. Maybe you could set fire to something?

    But remember: greatest country in the world!

  3. 3
    Hawes says:

    Maybe move to Utah? You’d think a sane society would make it easy to get clean. I guess we are still so very far from that.

  4. 4
    JPL says:

    It is that hard though. Tipper Gore fought long and hard for medical insurance to cover mental health but to no avail I gather. Hang in there.

  5. 5
    Gretchen D says:

    Well, you’re still determined – that’s good. It’ll take you a long way on this journey. Love and best wishes.

  6. 6
    Dog On Porch says:

    Relax, Cole. It’s only God having a little fun at your expense. Given all that’s happening in the world, can you blame Her?

  7. 7
    Hawes says:

    New idea. Legally change your name to Lindsay Lohan.

  8. 8
    Alison says:

    Good lord. I’m really sorry you’re dealing with all this crap while you’re just trying to get help and get better. Our systems are truly fucked.

    Forgive me for bringing up my own shit, but in the interest of empathy, I do understand it a little bit – I don’t have substance issues (I don’t even drink at all – haven’t had a drop since I was like, 17 – nor use drugs) but I am dealing with a severe eating disorder, and getting help for this is like…I mean, to call it a joke would be a compliment. I live in the SF Bay Area so you’d think there’d be options galore, but for an OLD ASS HAG my age, there’s literally almost nothing. In the whole Bay Area there is one single clinic that accepts people my age, and they don’t take Medicare, and the out of pocket costs would be about $2,000 a day. Considering it would require at the very least a month of inpatient, and likely much more….yeah. No. I didn’t really want to do it, but I was willing to if I could. But instead, I’m having to cobble together a plan on my own – therapist, nutritionist, etc. They’re awesome, but…still, it’s maddening to put yourself out there and be vulnerable and say “I need help” and be constantly given the finger.

    Anyway, sorry for rambling about my own shit. I really hope the rehab place doesn’t give you more crap and you’re able to get going with this whole process. I’m sure you’re ready to crack some skulls, and I don’t blame you.

  9. 9

    Part of me considered just going to the hospital in Morgantown and tell them I am going to kill myself if I am not immediately put in a detox program. You say shit like that, I’m not getting out in 72 hours and they will have to deal with my shit correctly or there will be a dead dude on their hand.

  10. 10
    satby says:

    John, is there a VA hospital around? Because they usually do addiction rehab for vets.

  11. 11
    dedc79 says:

    Maybe all of this IS the detox program. They’ve got you running around from place to place, waiting in various offices, stuck on the phone for hours navigating various bureaucracies. It doesn’t leave much time for substance abuse.

  12. 12
    Betty Cracker says:

    Holy hell! No wonder addiction goes untreated for millions in this country if even people who have insurance and want to get help can’t find a fucking appropriate program without getting jerked around. I’m sorry.

  13. 13
    Ed Marshall says:

    I’m quitting drinking after 20 years of going to bed with a buzz every night. It got to be more and more until it was a twelve pack of 5.9 beer every night and I was barely eating. You can do it. It sucks, my sleep is all fucked up. I’m bored. It gets easier though. Good luck, man.

  14. 14

    @satby: I make too much money and my insurance is too good for veterans benefits. It’s means-tested thanks to Shrub.

  15. 15
    bk says:

    Far away, but…this place

  16. 16
    gnomedad says:

    Well, shit.

  17. 17
    Karen in GA says:

    @John (MCCARTHY) Cole: One, I hope you’d only be saying that to get help and that you’re not really considering offing yourself (hey, as a past suicidal depressive, let me say that to you, okay?).

    Two, what are the possible drawbacks to that approach? Because at this point, fuck it — do what’ll work.

  18. 18
    JustRuss says:

    Sorry to hear this is such an ordeal. Just nuts. Keep plugging away, you’ll get there. And in the immortal words of Leslie Nielsen:

  19. 19
    Dog On Porch says:

    @John (MCCARTHY) Cole: Well, on that cheer filled note, let me again wish you the best of luck.

    I mean it, man. I sincerely, genuinely wish you the very best in getting squared away again*.

    *Or even for the very first time.

  20. 20

    @Karen in GA: I have no intention of killing myself. I have never understood suicidal impulses in people. I’d just kill or avoid whatever was causing the problem. Which I guess would make me a murderer.

  21. 21
    Anne Laurie says:

    Poor John! But — tomorrow, for sure… don’t let the rigamarole discourage you from doing what you know is the right thing.

  22. 22
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    Crap. I knew as soon as I saw “FAIL” that it was going to be a John Cole post and it was going to be something like, well, what it was. I am just so goddamned sorry you are having to deal with this. I have no words of wisdom, but I greatly admire your perseverance. Hang in there, friend.

  23. 23
    Emma says:

    Keep going. You’ll make it, one way or another. You have too much strength not to.

  24. 24
    Karen in GA says:

    @John (MCCARTHY) Cole: I know you have bigger shit to worry about than reassuring anonymous commenters — thanks for the reply. Not being suicidal is always good.

    Back to the subject at hand — fuck it, do whatever works.

  25. 25
    MikeBoyScout says:

    it’s hard, but persevere and stay on your path. Please don’t attempt the suicide stunt at an ER.
    You’ll get where you’re going, it’s just going to be more difficult and longer than you anticipate.
    Stick with it.

    If you have an ask of your community, put it out there.
    We’re here to help. After all, you brought us together here.

    Hang in there.

  26. 26
    Violet says:

    Good Lord. How fucking awful. I hope it all works out this time.

  27. 27
    princess leia says:

    Best movie script ever.

  28. 28
    SuperHrefna says:

    Oh crap. This is just insane. I’m so sorry you are having to deal with all this bullshit, and I am amazed at just how hard it is for a well motivated, well educated addict to get decent treatment. Maybe going the psych inpatient route is your best option, they are certainly driving you in that direction with all this bullshit.

  29. 29
    Frank says:

    Words fail me.

    This is what happens when making profits for shareholders becomes the only value.

    Hang in there, John, This place is the first blog I look at every morning. You have done good. You will continue to do good, and we are behind you.

  30. 30
    Karen in GA says:

    @efgoldman: Thanks. I have no experience with this* — not sure how things might backfire.

    *The addiction gene runs in my biological family; it skipped me, though. Note I said “biological,” since I was adopted after ending up in foster care as a baby — in large part because of a biological parent’s drinking. I met the bio-parents in my 20s; the recovering alcoholic carries a ton of regret with him. It’s too damned difficult for people to get help.

  31. 31
    WaterGirl says:

    Un-fucking-believable, John. Just appalling.

    Like SiubhanDuinne, as soon as I saw the title FAIL, I knew it was you and I thought “fuck, not again”. But John, do not say the suicide thing; some bells cannot be un-rung, and that is one of them.

    Big congratulations on all the good health news. I know that’s not what you’re focusing on right now, but that is a big fucking deal.

    Hang tough. You will get there. I know you will.

  32. 32
    TaMara (BHF) says:

    Should not be this fucking hard. I guess I was under the assumption that it was all Betty Ford clinic-like. Want to detox, check yourself in. I guess that’s only for the super rich, huh. Just like everything else.

  33. 33
    The Dangerman says:

    Recall all those times that you feared Tunch would take you out in your sleep? Well, he didn’t, but payback’s a bitch, so perhaps a subtle offering of Tuna to The Gods the Emeritus Blogmastercat would be in order.

  34. 34
    Karen in GA says:

    @WaterGirl: He addressed the suicide thing upthread — he’s not suicidal, which is good. You might have already seen it, but in case you scrolled past it (or for anyone else who might have scrolled past, or was commenting at the same time he was, or overlooked it), here it is again:

    I have no intention of killing myself. I have never understood suicidal impulses in people. I’d just kill or avoid whatever was causing the problem. Which I guess would make me a murderer.

  35. 35
    Lolis says:

    I had to go to two Anonymous group meetings last semester as part of my grad school. I chose Marijuana Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous. At both meetings, there were atheists or people questioning religion. I was really surprised. It may not be like that in West Virginia but although it is very overtly religious not everybody takes part. I came away impressed with the people and the program. When you get back, you may want to try a couple meetings just as an extra support. They really challenged my negative assumption, because really, the program is about people. You can take or leave a lot of the religious BS.

  36. 36
    Lolis says:

    @Ed Marshall:

    Please be careful. Quitting alcohol can cause serious withdrawal symptoms, possible resulting in death. It is recommended to get some kind of medical care during the process.

  37. 37
    Roger Moore says:

    Wrong character. Cole is Lloyd Bridges, because he appears to have picked the wrong week to stop drinking.

  38. 38
    Mary G says:

    Glad to hear that your liver isn’t too damaged, but getting the runaround so many times is inhumane. Hang in there.

  39. 39
    WaterGirl says:

    @Karen in GA: Yeah, I know Cole has his head on straight about that. I wasn’t worried about him doing it, I am worried about the consequences of him saying it.

    But thanks for trying to reassure me. Hopefully Cole caught what I meant; it appears I should hove been more clear!

  40. 40
    wenchacha says:

    John, I wish you luck in getting into rehab soon. You can muscle through this until that happens, no doubt, but please FSM may it be quick-like.

  41. 41
    WaterGirl says:

    @Roger Moore: Now that’s funny.

  42. 42
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @John (MCCARTHY) Cole: I’d stay clear of that. Once it is in your records, it is there. I would also guess that it would mess up the type of counseling/therapy that you would get. If you understand it right, you have more or less been self-medicating for anger and depression issues and that is what you want to fix. Don’t muddy up the waters.


  43. 43
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Ed Marshall:

    If you’ve never seen the classic article 5 Things Nobody Tells You About Quitting Drinking, it’s both hilarious and completely true (from what I’ve been told).

  44. 44
    WaterGirl says:

    This place has only a four day detox inhouse and then outpatient, and I was interested, but then discovered their inhouse detox is a bunch of PA’s doling out tylenol and something for your stomach and then watching you spend four days bouncing around a room. Also big on the Christian Help therapies, which would be uniquely terrible for me. Oh, and you had to check in before they could tell you if your insurance would pay for it.

    Cole, looks like you dodged a bullet on that one. That’s crazy.

    Frank was right when he said “This is what happens when making profits for shareholders becomes the only value.”

  45. 45
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Ed Marshall:

    Good for you. Wish you all and only the best, and remember, like John and many others, this is a wonderfully supportive community if you need to scream or cry or laugh or ask for help.


  46. 46
    WaterGirl says:

    Cole, did you see in one of the other threads from a couple nights ago that someone said something like:

    “John, I’d like to get you into (I forgot the name of the place). Email me if you’re interested.” The name of the place was one that several people had mentioned as being good in the thread, but I can’t recall the name.

    It was toward the end of the thread.

  47. 47
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    It is that hard though. Tipper Gore fought long and hard for medical insurance to cover mental health but to no avail I gather.

    It’s also a top priority issue for Rosalynn Carter. Just stupid and infuriating that it is so hard to get help, especially people like John who are motivated and ready.

  48. 48
    mai naem says:

    I know very little about rehab so I have no idea if this is appropriate for your situation but is there a sober living group home situation around you that you could go to after going to a short detox?

  49. 49
    CaseyL says:

    Holy hell; and this is what happens to someone who wants to get clean. The system seems rigged only to deal with people who fight every step of the way.

    We’re all pulling for you, and will for as long as it takes.

    ETA: Is Schick Shadel not an option for you? You want to stay local?

  50. 50
    Violet says:

    Here’s a link to the comment:

    John, I want to get you into Hazeldon. Send me an e-mail.

  51. 51
    burnspbesq says:

    I said I wanna go to rehab, the system said no, no, no.

    *runs away to escape wrath of fans of the late Ms. Winehouse*

  52. 52
    DanR2 says:

    Michael Moore and a camera crew ought to be tagging along during this debacle.

  53. 53
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @DanR2: Honestly, bringing a film crew along might not be a bad idea.

  54. 54
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    O/T, but I just saw this obituary in the NYT. Madeline was my roommate for two weeks in March 1980 on a journalists’ tour of Israel. Had not been in touch with her for years, decades really, but I’m saddened to read of her passing. RIP, roomie.

  55. 55
    KG says:

    Hope you get all this shit straight.

    It is amazing that our system is this fucked up. For all the talk of personal responsibility, seems insane that you can’t actually get help when you try to be responsible.

    Also, not related to anything but Manchester United is embarrassing the LA Galaxy. They just had this really annoying ManU commercial and I understand they are basically the worst parts of the Yankees/Cowboys/Red Wings/Celtics/Lakers combined, so totally makes sense that they’d co-op glory glory hallelujah as their team song

  56. 56
    skerry says:

    This sucks. It shouldn’t have to be this hard. You are in my thoughts.

  57. 57
    Howard Beale IV says:

    Fly to Chicago and go here:

  58. 58
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @Howard Beale IV: Don’t you think that if it were as easy as showing up at the door, he would already be in a place?

  59. 59
    Keith P says:

    then discovered their inhouse detox is a bunch of PA’s doling out tylenol and something for your stomach and then watching you spend four days bouncing around a room

    Ask if they can dole out clonidine. I’m on it for blood pressure (well, I was. I weaned myself off it), but it’s also used to calm psychotic kids down and help people detox off heroin. IMO it’s because it’s basically a sleeping pill. And it’s pretty easy to get (where I used to dialyze, it was the one thing they were authorized to administer there for HBP)

  60. 60
    burnspbesq says:


    totally makes sense that they’d co-op glory glory hallelujah as their team song

    That happened the better part of a century ago. And ManU isn’t nearly as despicable as their cross-town rivals or Real Madrid.

  61. 61
    Violet says:

    Is it possible to contact some of the rehab places people have mentioned, give them your insurance info and have them check with your insurance about coverage? Sometimes the doctors offices or facilities have more ways of working our craptastic health insurance system than we do.

    I know sometimes I can’t get a straight answer from the insurance people or the facilities about price but the facility can contact the insurer and get the info for me. It’s a totally fucked up system. Just did this last week for a thyroid ultrasound. Called my insurer to find out what facilities near me were in-network. Insurer could hardly even tell me that although eventually we figured it out. Then I wanted to know if all the facilities charged the same price–they could not tell me that. I was told the following: Call the facilities and ask the price. If they would not tell me, tell them to call some middleman organization who would then call me to tell me the price. Oh, and I had to call the middleman organization to tell them about it too. Seriously.

    I called around to the in-network imaging facilities and for the ones that would tell me the price the in-network price varied from $95 to $130. For the same procedure. And they’re all in-network. They just negotiated different rates. I can’t imagine how difficult it must be to deal with something like rehab.

    Our system is so fucked up.

  62. 62
    Roger Moore says:


    For all the talk of personal responsibility, seems insane that you can’t actually get help when you try to be responsible.

    The people who like to harp about personal responsibility really mean sucking it up and doing everything yourself. They especially mean not asking somebody else to pay, even if it’s your insurance company, and you have been paying them for years so they’ll be there to help you when you need it.

  63. 63
    Howard Beale IV says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name): Depends on the institution and location. From where it looks like, VW looks like they can’t find their arses with both hands. They also have top-notch addiction medicine doctors-No Dr. Drew’s here.

  64. 64
    Suzanne says:


    If you do the suicide thing, they will send you to the facility of their choosing, not your choosing. And most behavioral health centers are not pleasant places.

  65. 65
    Jax6655 says:

    I haven’t been following much for a while although I knew you were trying to stop drinking. Been through this with (now sober 12 years) ex-hubby and still-active sister. I have no answers for you but please know that you are in my prayers and I hope you find the support you need.

  66. 66
    KG says:

    @burnspbesq: I’m not surprised the song is an old tradition, and I suppose on some level it’s cool. And I was under the impression that Man City was to Man U as the Mets are to the Yankees (or maybe the Giants/Dodgers if they stayed in New York)?

    I’m probably going to adopt the Galaxy as my team. Mostly because I want to root for a local team and don’t want to have to get up early on Saturdays to watch the premier league. And I think I’m close to understanding the game well enough to possibly, maybe go to an actual game, at some point

  67. 67
    YellowJournalism says:

    I’m hoping someone in the MSM sees these posts and does a story on them. I know it won’t help the many muh beyond awareness but maybe it would grease the wheels for John.

  68. 68
    jnfr says:

    Righteous rant and I am so sorry to hear it, John.

  69. 69
    j.e.b. says:

    Keerist! If you’d been filming all this, you’d have material for a hell of a Frontline episode. What the fucking fuck?

    Best of luck getting the help you need.

  70. 70
    SatanicPanic says:

    Damn, this is like an extended version of that Tupac/Tim Roth movie

  71. 71
    Jax6655 says:

    Also, too. Hazelden is the SHIT.

  72. 72
    PurpleGirl says:

    John, does Bethany College have an Employee Assistance Program? Someone there might be able to help you get into rehab. I have a friend who got psych help through his company’s EAP.

  73. 73
  74. 74
    Mnemosyne says:


    Violet is right — call the rehab place you want to go to, talk to an intake/admissions counselor, give them your insurance information, and have them find out if your insurance will pay for it. It doesn’t seem like it, but it actually is cutting out the middleman (you). Your doctor can give you suggestions of places that s/he has heard are good, but your doctor is not going to have any clue what your insurance will pay for.

    So cut out the middleman, call the rehab center directly, and have them call your insurance company to check.

  75. 75
    RaflW says:

    When I was finally ready for treatment/rehab (almost 13 years ago), I went to the intake person (some sort of therapist) and she was nuts but kinda fun. She said “you qualify” and said I could probably start outpatient the following Monday.

    That evening (a Thursday, I think) she called and said the insurance co wanted me to go to detox for 4 days. I had carefully weaned myself by reducing my beer intake over a number of days, sweating the anxiety and doing all I could to distract myself, while drinking lots of liver-cleanse tea before I met the shrink, and had not convulsed on the floor or anything!

    I told her: If I have to go to detox as a prerequisite for outpatient treatment, now that I’d already detoxed, I’m a) not going to detox and b) not interested in rehab.

    She called back a bit later and said, OK, show up at treatment Monday night.

    Its a weird system, but I guess some folks lie to the intake counselor and go through some serious shit when they actually stop alcohol cold turkey.

    Best of luck, John. I’ve been sober 12+ years. Life is good on this side of the hump. I hope it will be for you as well.

  76. 76
    Violet says:

    @John (MCCARTHY) Cole: Hope that works out or at least something works out this time.

    @Mnemosyne: Yep, the doctors or facilities have more ways of finding out insurance info than we do. It’s still a mess and not always accurate. The thyroid ultrasound that was supposed to cost $95 is now going to cost $92–they called to tell me that today. Good for me but seriously nobody knows anything until the facility or doctor verifies with your insurance.

  77. 77
    RaflW says:

    p.s. Hazelden is just up the road from the Twin Cities. If you want a sober visitor, find a way to let us know (dunno if the interwebs/e-mail are banned during rehab?)

  78. 78
    Juju says:

    You could try AAA. At least they’d get there in 30-45 minutes.

  79. 79
    maven says:

    John. Just Finally acknowledge that you are Gay.
    You and Shawn can be a unit with the pets, and get over all the Drama.

    It’s been done many times before all this. Trust me.

  80. 80
    Angela says:

    Sucks sucks sucks. I admire your perseverance.

  81. 81
    RaflW says:

    @maven: What’s with the Capital letters?

    It drives me nuts to read the Southwest Airlines magazine with their Customers and their Employees and the Fun all that.

  82. 82
    Karen in GA says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: An impressive woman. I know you lost touch, but it’s still a loss. My condolences.

  83. 83
    Andy says:

    Read your email John Cole.

  84. 84
    maven says:

    @RaflW: then put them in small case if it helps you understand. the message isn’t about letter size.

  85. 85
    srv says:

    Before emoting fake suicidal thoughts, you might try naked mopping on your roof first.

    Unless your neighbors are already used to that.

  86. 86
    Stephen Benson says:

    this was my theme song for a long time

  87. 87
    maven says:

    John, I’m one of the first to support you and your love for Shawn. And the road you have to travel to accept your true self.
    I can’t imagine how difficult it is in West Virginia,

    But at some point you will decide to declare honestly the life you are living.

    It’s your decision to know the time when you are ready.

    And I know we’ll all be behind you when you do.

  88. 88
    burnspbesq says:


    Galaxy are the only SoCal team I root for. My loyalties were formed in childhood, when I lived in Jersey: Mets and Rangers. Nottingham Forest are my football club.

    For a long time, ManCity was the red-headed stepchild. Then they were acquired by multi-billionaires from the Gulf and became that team that tries to buy championships. Plus they wear fucking Carolina Blue.

    Plus, I’ve been to Old Trafford. It was a pretty cool experience. Not as cool as Davis Cup at Roland Garros, but pretty cool nevertheless.

  89. 89
    Ron Beasley says:

    John, for the most part rehab is worthless. If you can’t do it yourself it’s not going to happen. Same goes for AA where you are surrounded by people who would be better off if they drank themselves to death.
    My problem with rehab was that most of the counselors are X alcoholics or addicts who assumed that my problems were the same is theirs. I still remember a family counseling session where they asked my oldest son, he was 16 at the time, how my drinking had impacted his life. His response was “I didn’t even know he had a problem.”

  90. 90
    Mandalay says:

    @Ron Beasley:

    Same goes for AA where you are surrounded by people who would be better off if they drank themselves to death.

    AA’s results certainly aren’t the greatest, and maybe you really had a bad experience with them, but why be so gratuitously nasty and dismissive about people who are seeking help, and the people who are trying to help them?

  91. 91
    Stella B. says:

    For some incomprehensible reason one team of docs does detox and a different team does rehab. Now, mind you, the drug used for detox by the internists is a drug that the shrinks use all the time for anything but detox which they won’t touch with a ten foot pole. It frustrated me for 20 years.

  92. 92
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Ron Beasley:

    If you can’t do it yourself it’s not going to happen.

    That’s what I thought about my depression for years — after all, it’s not like I was suicidal or anything, so all I really needed was to straighten up, fly right, pull myself up by my bootstraps, and stop whining.

    I ended up with a “mild” depression so entrenched that it took seven years of medication and therapy to get it under control.

    So, yes, it’s nice that you were able to stop drinking and solve all of your psychiatric problems by yourself, but most people are not you. Go pat yourself on the back for being a special snowflake and STFU.

  93. 93
    Andy says:


    Indeed, like most things, AA’s results are pretty good for people who are actually willing to do the work. And like most things, AA’s results are pretty poor for those looking for the equivalent of the “I can eat all the crap I want yet still lose weight” diet method of getting and staying sober.

  94. 94
    hans says:

    give Mayo Rochester, MN a call… they’ve been doing this for 50 years…

  95. 95
    SuperHrefna says:

    @maven: what is your deal? Does friendship not exist on your planet?

  96. 96
    Sir Laffs-a-Lot says:

    Seriosly, John; top rehab center in the USA; they practically invented modern substance abuse treatment. They are welcoming, supportive and work with your insurance coverage. Two more week til Winter starts in MN so act fast.

    Ok j/k about Winter.

  97. 97
    spender says:

    I’m pulling for you, you’re doing the right thing.

  98. 98
    asiangrrlMN says:

    Cole, that fucking sucks. Good on you for recognizing you have a problem and for wanting to deal with it. Keep persevering, and I hope you find a place that will take you soon. I’m sending positive vibes whizzing your way.

    @Alison: I can sympathize, Alison, as I’ve struggled with an ED most of my life, too. I hope you can find a place that will take you and be good for you. Positive vibes to you as well.

  99. 99
    raven says:

    Set in Detroit, Gridlock’d centers around heroin addicts Spoon (Tupac Shakur), Stretch (Tim Roth) and Cookie (Thandie Newton). They are all in a band together in the spoken word genre. They go by the name of Eight Mile Road, with Cookie on the vocals, Spoon on the bass guitar (plus secondary vocals), and Stretch on the piano. Spoon and Stretch decide to kick their habit after Cookie overdoses on her first hit. Throughout a disastrous day, the two addicts dodge police and local criminals while struggling with an apathetic government bureaucracy that thwarts their entrance into a rehabilitation program.

  100. 100

    @John (MCCARTHY) Cole: Have you considered Hazeldon? They really do work to get you the best insurance coverage. Also, you’re a smart, worldly guy who needs smart, worldly, experienced counselors. Also, you won’t get the ridiculous runaround you’re getting now; in fact, they will run around for you.

    Someone else mentioned Mayo Clinic, they may be good.

    Addiction treatment is one of those cases where you really do want the best. If you’re worried about the copay open up a paypal account and let us help.

  101. 101
    YellowDog says:

    Treatment for drug and alcohol abuse is the only field of medicine that, in some of the most common therapies, requires a spiritual conversion on the part of the patient. Check out out-patient programs that use a combination of therapies, including drug treatments. Antabuse is one of the most studied drug treatments and, if done correctly, has a good success rate. If they use a combination of therapies, that can mean that they will tailor your treatment to your needs rather than their needs.

  102. 102
    Sarah says:

    My mom went through something like this when my stepfather was having a mental breakdown partially caused by alcohol. She was ready to tell the hospital he had threatened suicide because it was the only way anyone would take him in. It finally got resolved, but what a nightmare. Thinking of you, John.

  103. 103
    Paul in KY says:

    @Mnemosyne: Thanks for link to article. Very funny.

  104. 104
    GHayduke (formerly lojasmo) says:

    You clearly missed my angst. Be SURE to pre-approve your detox. I ended up with a $1000 bill for a 60 hour stay.

    The stay itself was also particularly gruesome.

    On another note, I recommend INPATIENT treatment v. outpatient.

    ETA: I should also say that, as an agnostic (weak atheist) I find the spiritual path of AA to be particularly helpful. Not AA itself, but the process of the 12 steps.

    Good luck.

  105. 105
    GHayduke (formerly lojasmo) says:

    @Hillary Rettig:

    I can say that of the many councillors I met here at the MC who also worked and/or trained at Hazeldon, they all…literally all, said that MC is superior to Hazeldon.

    There was almost no emphasis on god in the inpatient program at MC.

  106. 106
    GHayduke (formerly lojasmo) says:

    @Ron Beasley:

    Congratulations. The stupidest thing I’ve seen posted on this blog!

  107. 107
    WaterGirl says:

    @GHayduke (formerly lojasmo): What the heck is MC?

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    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @WaterGirl: Mayo Clinic is my guess without scrolling back up.

  109. 109
    Rockhead says:

    @John (MCCARTHY) Cole: I’ve been having a similar experience. I don’t need detox (went through that on my own a couple of weeks ago) but would like some ongoing counseling and support. I signed up for a local privately run outpatient program, and went to my first class last week. It seemed to me that it was designed to collect state money to “rehabilitate” low-income people who are under some kind of court order to get treatment. The session was three hours, and the counselor was there for maybe one hour of that. For another hour, a couple sat and expounded on the virtues of AA. The rest of the time everyone either sat around and BS’d, or went outside to smoke. I called the next day to tell them I’m quitting, but I’m still fighting them to get a refund for the sessions I stupidly prepaid for. Since then I’ve been trying to find a secular alternative to AA, but no dice here in the south. I guess I’ll continue to deal with this on my own. Everything really is gone to shit and all fucked up.

    Hang tough Mr. Cole. I feel your pain in a very real sense.

  110. 110
    WaterGirl says:

    @a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q): That makes sense! (I had even scrolled back up to all his previous comments and found no reference before I posted the question.)

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    Bex says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) Re bringing a film crew along: If you can’t do that, keep a journal and someday write a book about how hard it is to get treatment. Could be a bestseller.

  112. 112
    Mrs. J.R. says:

    Do you have a primary care doc who knows you? He/she knows the system and might be able to goose the process along, Or ask for a referral to a psychatrist who can get you in.

    You need an advocate who speaks their language.

    Sri if the suggestion has already been made. Haven’t finished the entire thread yet.

    All the best, JC. Knowing that you need help is the biggest hurdle to recovery and you’ve left that one in the dust.

  113. 113
    taylormattd says:

    How fucking obnoxious, ugh.

  114. 114
    taylormattd says:

    @maven: Who is this person?

  115. 115
    James Hare says:

    Your posts about this quest have gone beyond infuriating to inducing murderous rage. If we’re going to have a needlessly punitive scheme for dealing with drug addicts who don’t seek treatment we at least need to make seeking treatment easy. Here in Virginia the cops are patting themselves on the back for a bust they conducted of heroin dealers in Prince William County where they offered immediate diversion to rehab for the folks the arrested. Six of them took them up on it. I’m sure those people are having a much easier time getting the help they need than John is and John is doing things the right way — seeking help for his problem before it involves the law.

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    Brian says:

    Sorry sir. Hang in there and good luck.

  117. 117
    Marina says:

    Alison, is there any chance that the eating disorders treatment facility could appeal to your insurer for a “single case exemption” based on the fact that there is NO other eating disorder treatment center offering inpatient residential services available to you? A letter from a medical professional stating that you need inpatient residential would be needed. For what it’s worth, I sometimes call the NEDA hotline for support: 1-800-931-2237.

    In theory, at least, your primary care physician and/or therapist should be guiding your treatment choices. There are facilities, I think, that work with older adults–they might be out of state, but still in network. You could try calling various eating disorder facilities around the country, just to talk to their intake admissions staff and see if there’s a program/facility that they recommend for your particular situation. I found Rogers Memorial Hospital eating disorders treatment center in Wisconsin helpful; they have someone on staff who tries to match people with an appropriate program, and seemed familiar with what was out there. It is so sad that it’s so hard… I also frequently visit–they have a forum where you can ask questions. The site deals with kids with eating disorders, but it might be able to put you in touch with other people dealing with ED in your age range. With best wishes,

  118. 118
    Mnemosyne says:


    You should look around and see if there are any local groups sponsored by a Unitarian Universalist (UU) church. They’re extremely chill about religion and don’t require any belief in any god to be a church member, so even in the South their meetings should be low on the Jeebus scale. Quaker/Society of Friends would be another denomination that might sponsor meetings but not be shoving Jesus down your throat all the time.

    The other thing is that you should “shop around” as much as you can — go to different meetings until you find one that fits your schedule that has a group you connect with. Group dynamics play a HUGE part in AA meetings since it’s basically nonprofessional group therapy.

    ETA: An interesting way that I heard of one atheist getting around the “Higher Power” idea was deciding that gravity was her Higher Power. It worked for her.

  119. 119
    Ecks says:

    @KG: Can’t believe this crap you’re getting put through. My experience with the mental health system in the UK is that you see your GP, and then they refer you to a psych type, which means you sit on your fingers and wait a few weeks/months until you get a letter summoning you at short notice to a time of their choosing. It’s covered, you get in, it’s costs everyone collectively a lot less…. and after reading your experiences I’m not even cranky about the waiting around element any more.

    KG, the glory glory Man United thing doesn’t come from corporate, it’s from the fans. English football has a long and thriving tradition of co-opting songs, and giving them new words. And re-purposing Glory Glory isn’t even quite as sacrilegious as it sounds, because soccer over here is generally taken far more seriously than actual religion.

  120. 120
    Rob in CT says:

    This would be comical if it wasn’t so sad.

    Best of luck, Cole, on getting this sorted out. Shit is fucked up and bullshit.

  121. 121
    EZSmirkzz says:

    Hi John, hope things line out for you before too long. It took fifteen years of trying before I finally made it over the hill fifteen years ago, so like all things worth having I suppose, this is a many faceted battle you are engaged in, the enemy a most cunning and deceptive one you have ever met, yourself.

    I could go on about Russian research during the Soviet years, since they were officially atheistic, or using the Flying Spagetti Monster as a higher power in AA, which is better than a light switch I suppose, but in the end you wind up finding your own path. In the end the higher power was losing my family, AA was ultimately unsuited to my needs, although the education of oneself from the program is invaluable.

    In the end you’re there, wherever that maybe, to stop drinking, and there will be a lot of bullshit as others try to help you improve your life, some of which will be worth considering, but you find the way. The twelve steps are simple, it just isn’t easy, and cognitive behaviorial modification is pretty much the same.

    All I can really advise you, is to be persistent, if you stumble get back up. Like security, it is a process. In a sense I envy you, for when you finally get there there is a clarity of thought that becomes normal, but it is such a buzz when it dawns on you, it is almost its’ own reward.

    In the end you did this to yourself, and you will have to do this other thing to yourself, but you will not be able to make grapes out raisins, so don’t try. You may even discover your sensitivity is derived from your intelligence, and that there is nothing you can do about it but learn to live with it, and within it. It is who you really are. When all is said and done, that is the person that I “see” when I read a lot of your postings.

    Hang in there buddy, you’ve already done the hardest part, now comes the work. I have every confidence in you to bring this to an eventual conclusion favorable to you well being. You have a lot of us out here pulling for you.

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