On 4/26/06 a Tweaker called the Cornerstone Intake Department to set an appointment for admission. The lady on the phone asked, “When would you like to check in?” and the tweaker responded, “Maybe the 4th of July, Thanksgiving or even Christmas”. Ultimately she got him to agree to come in the very next day. 3653 days ago (10 years) today, this tweaker who had just awoken from 13 days of hard hibernation checked himself into the Cornerstone Extended Care Program; I even got a speeding ticket on my way to check in!
I arrived 30+ minutes late to the Outpatient building without knowing that the Intake department was not even located there! I would not have listened if you would have told me where it actually was and there was no way I was ever going to ask.
Phil was the first man I met when I walked through the door. Phil, being his usual happy self, asked if he could help me and I told Phil that I was here for an appointment to check into long term residential treatment. I was half waiting for the red carpet to roll out and half waiting to get yelled at for being late but Phil just looked over to the other person working with him and said something like, “Man they never let us know about all these admissions!” After filling out the paperwork and enduring the pee test Phil walked out of the bathroom and told my mother that her son was positive for meth.
Next I met the program director of The CARE program, and Pat did my Intake assessment in Tom’s office. Then I was rushed off to house #3 where Doug greeted me as my first House Monitor. While unpacking I found a brand new bottle of mouthwash (60-70 proof) in the luggage that my mother had packed for me. I panicked and immediately ran to the House Monitor to explain myself. Doug took one look at me and said, “You going to drink it? No? Then dump it out.”
On 4/28/06 I was taken to see the doctor and then directly back to group. The CARE group went to a noon meeting daily, came home for lunch and then returned to house #15 for another short group before heading back to my assigned recovery house #3.
That night when the drivers came by and picked up the clients for the IOP and MRP Programs, I jumped in the van. I sat in the IOP group with my roommate, and the Case Manager said that he should not have any new clients in the group today before I was taken back to the front desk. Phil told me that he had only signed me up for the CARE program and that I was not in the IOP group. I proceeded to lose my mind! I screamed, “My parents paid cash for this program and you were supposed to have signed me up for the works! This place is so freaking (I definitely used more colorful language) disorganized!” I am pretty sure I also said that I was leaving and calling my mommy!
Phil calmed me down, told me to relax and that he would get the program director down here to talk to me right away. I walked out for a cigarette (but likely smoked a pack), called my mommy and my girlfriend. After about an hour or so all of us sat around and had a conjoint meeting.
My parents, “Her” (the program director), my Case Manager and myself (sitting with a shirt on that said “I don’t give a rats ass”) began to hash it out. I was leaving with my girlfriend, my parents were crying, and somehow after asserting that I was not doing this 12 step crap, AA, NA, or CA, whatever, it did not matter, they talked me into staying.
Believe it or not this tweaker actually completed 4 and a half months in the CARE / Extended Care program. I started going to school before I discharged from the program (possibly due to the fact that it got me out of going to the family night program). I was even able to receive overnight passes after about a month in treatment. Next I transferred to Sober Living in the apartment for 10 months or so.
In July of 07’ I became a driver at Cornerstone and then a House Monitor at houses #2 and #11. I ended up at Cornerstone for 3 or more years and after being educated in the field I went clinical.
As of 6/22/16 I am still a proud employee of Cornerstone of Southern California working in the Intake Department assisting addicts in being admitted to the program. I have come full circle.