Having the time of your life . . .

Stoned love . . . I’m supposed to quit pot, but I don’t wanna. I guess it’s my one weak spot in the armour, but I can’t help it. Everyone needs at least one vice in order to be a fully rounded member of society in my view. Unfortunately I also have the vice of smoking, which is an unruly, expensive, smelly habit, with little to no redeeming value. I had quit for a number of months until I ended up back in the bin.

I don’t know how to describe smoking and being in the bin. I think it’s really difficult to quit in that kind of situation, because it’s often the only socially acceptable behaviour that everyone can agree on. Plus at the bin I was in, it was the only excuse to leave the ward and go stand by the river in nearly idyllic surroundings. You would not believe the number of smokers in the bin.

But the nice part about smoking is that it was a chance to bond with fellow patients. Leaving the judgemental gaze of the nurses was nice, and people could swap tips on how to get out quicker.

I got released MOSTLY because I was ready to be released, but also partially because there was a looming strike vote among the social workers and pharmacists, and they needed people out as quick as possible. For a brief time, the only requirements for release was that you had somewhere to sleep. I remember one fellow patient telling me “I prayed to God so hard that they would strike!” They didn’t strike, but they did go from having 30 beds to having 10, and that was extreme. Luckily I was ready to leave.

Recovery from a manic episode takes a long damn time though. I keep feeling better with each week that passes, but it’s hard. I do notice a difference though, as time slowly ticks by I have more energy, slightly more optimism. I don’t know how to explain the humiliation that happens after each episode abates, but it’s crushing. Luckily for the most part I can forget it, except that I ruined an awfully lovely relationship of sorts with an awfully lovely person, and that it probably what still haunts me today. I don’t know how to get over that.

Don’t bogart that joint my friend . . .

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