The program is voluntary and basically you enter with the clothes on your back and that’s it. You can’t bring in anything else; nothing, nada, zilch. You work while you’re there during the day and your evenings are spent in counseling sessions. The money you earn pays for your stay, necessities and clothing from their thrift store. You have no outside contact for the first 45 days, after that you can gradually have phone calls, visitors and outside passes. After six months you can elect to stay longer, up to a year, and get a job outside of the facility and still live there and continue with their program.
During our conversation he complained that it sounded a lot like jail (well you can’t expect Betty Ford or Club Med). He said they can put him to work shoveling shit for eight hours and that’s okay but he had two concerns. The first being violence and I get that. I know he’s afraid someone might start something that he can’t finish. He’s not a big guy and he’s pretty passive. There may be some men there that have a tendency to be violent, but it is a voluntary program. They don’t take court mandated cases to my knowledge, and I would think they turn out anyone not abiding by the rules. This is a valid point, but…
…his second concern was about how much money he’d walk away with. His thinking is that if he’s working while he’s there he should walk away with a bankroll. I tried to reason with him that his work there is basically paying for his stay and that being able to walk out of there with his demons conquered and his head held high with a positive outlook on life is more valuable than a couple of bucks.
I don’t know if he absorbed anything I said because to be honest it sounded like he had a couple of drinks in him. He wasn’t slurring his words, but I could tell he was making an effort not to.
I hope he knows that I love him to death. No, that’s not right. I hope he knows that I love him with all my heart and I want him to get better. I want him to be ‘him’ again. Does that make sense?
He is going to the dentist on Monday to take care of a bad tooth before he admits himself to this program the following day. On a wing and a prayer, I hope he follows through.