Follow the yellow-ish brick road

Tomorrow morning, real early for someone who would love to sleep in, I’ll be checking into the hospital for an indeterminate stay — until they can stabilize my pain medication — which will likely be about a week long on total paranoia-inducing the-outside-world-doesn’t-exist lockdown. There’s no point in hoping for less time, because I’ve been in on thirty day forms twice before, the first time “voluntary” and when I wanted to leave early on my own terms they made it real clear that they could step in and switch my status to “involuntary” and explained the draconian and completely implausible procedures for debating their abuse of my illusory freedom. Nonetheless, it could be as short as three days, and most people are there for five. So I’m scheduling for a week. Nefarious went to visit her mother in Virginia today for Kwanza or whatever it is that they celebrate down there, and will return just before New Year’s, which is when our little family here will be celebrating our “sort-of Christmas”. I’m sure I’ll be out by then, and I can’t even being to tell you how hopeful I am about this experience bringing me to a better place than the expensive and unpredictable pain roller-coaster that I’m currently being tormented with.

When I look at my life, I’m not sure that I have ever experienced physical pleasure, like the sort that one might get from doing drugs, or preferably, yoga and a really, really good massage. This seems sad and unfair and maybe even cruel, but you can’t dwell on bad hands like that, because you have what you have and there’s no changing that. Unfortunately I despise massage because it’s so painful for my skin to be touched, but I hear it can be awesome even without the artform-degrading happy ending. I think perhaps I did feel physical pleasure a several decades ago, the “simple joy” kind, not the complex “Bob Flanagan transforming agony into extasy” kind that I get if I trigger just the right nerves in just the wrong way, say by pour boiling water on myself (the brain-body-malfunction that probably helped make me run BME so well), but the past few years of living the worst sort of apathetic morose agony — a constantly throbbing never-ending torture — have completely erased from my memory the idea that your body does anything but bring you misery or at best, if you’re loaded with opiates, nothing at all.

The idea that this living hell may end is pure heaven to me. My disease can not be cured, but perhaps the pain can be stopped. I have the feeling the clinic I’ll be at (because it does methadone and detox among other crazier “less obvious” things) is going to be full of street junkies, so I’m looking forward to loads of Burroughsian, Van Zandtian, or even pollution-loving Bukowskian stories that make me very jealous as at least their depravity occasionally feels good. I’ve tried nearly every drug under the sun to make my pain go away, including extremes like mainlining heroin, and it didn’t do a damn nice thing to me. Not one hint of a high. Sure, I was able to walk without wanting to die at every step for a change as my legs weren’t feeling as internally mangled, but I definitely didn’t feel “good”. For all I know euphoria is some sort of placebo urban legend. It makes me so jealous to see these unfortunate enemies of gentrification be able to find a moment of bliss, even if it destroys their piss-soaked destitute “I’ll suck your cock for some smack” life. I just wish there was some way to for me to have a taste of not being surrounded by an ambient drone of slow torture, and I’m holding out hope that at least at the end of this hospital stay I will be a little closer to “normal” and will be able to live my life without every action being misery.

Fingers crossed.

For now I’m going to go pack a backpack, a nice sturdy green parachute bag my military brother gave me when I was barely in my twenties. I am bringing a nice stack of books and borrowed Nefarious’s movie and MP3 player so that I have plenty of entertainment while I’m locked up. I wish I could bring a computer to write on but it doesn’t seem to be permitted. That said, it’s so rare for me to have the enforced solitude to read beyond what I do at Nefarious’s bedtime that I should be and will be very thankful. Beyond the slow stabilization and titration of my drugs, I really don’t know what to expect will be filling my time, whether I’ll have to participate in “talk about our problems” groups and such or if it really will mostly be medication adjustments and blood tests. I also don’t know what the split will be between drug addicts and pain patients like me. Most of all I’m looking forward to peace and quiet to do lots of reading, so hopefully I don’t have a horrible roommate that screams during evenings of nightmares or farts or jacks off incessantly or something. I have a million good stories from the people who I lived with in psyche ward decades ago, so I’m sure it won’t be that bad and that I will leave with a new chapter for my biography. At least horrible circumstances to tend to draw interesting characters.

Before I go in there are a few people I have to thank, most of all my daughter who gave me the strength and motivation to survive this long, and equally to Caitlin whose warm and unquestioning support and love has built a stronger foundation than I could have imagined possible, and finally to my old friend Dave, who was always there to help me and get me through the difficult stretches. There are many others who were there for me that I am eternally grateful to — my father who was there for me as a loving family, Saira who always was there to listen if I needed it, the many friends here in the online world, some known to me in-person and some near-strangers who showered me with love and support that made me feel very special and someone who owed it to the world to make it and to keep fighting. Thank you all so much, and I’ll see you soon. Sadly visitors are not permitted at this facility, and I won’t even be able to check my email but none of that will change that I love you all and will miss you dearly.


  1. Marshall wrote:

    Get better, feel better.

    Sunday, December 19, 2010 at 8:27 pm | Permalink
  2. Twwly wrote:

    Fingers crossed.

    Sunday, December 19, 2010 at 8:37 pm | Permalink
  3. Shelly wrote:

    I hope the get it right for you <3

    Sunday, December 19, 2010 at 9:03 pm | Permalink
  4. Darrin wrote:

    You’ve made a positive difference in the lives of a lot of people, Shannon. Hopefully this will make a positive difference in yours.

    Sunday, December 19, 2010 at 9:06 pm | Permalink
  5. Pete Pinto wrote:

    Good luck!

    Sunday, December 19, 2010 at 9:08 pm | Permalink
  6. Angel wrote:

    I hope they get it sorted, Shannon. Healing thoughts sent your way!

    Sunday, December 19, 2010 at 9:12 pm | Permalink
  7. Karsten wrote:

    pencil and notebook might be allowed?

    fingers crossed.

    Sunday, December 19, 2010 at 9:15 pm | Permalink
  8. Ghobian wrote:


    Sunday, December 19, 2010 at 9:57 pm | Permalink
  9. Heather wrote:

    Hope things get better for you, Shannon. I must admit I had a chuckle at the massage/happy ending part. Remember that trick you played on me when I visited Montreal back in ’04? Haha!

    Take care of yourself and hope to catch up when you’re well(ish).

    Sunday, December 19, 2010 at 10:41 pm | Permalink
  10. krista wrote:

    love to you, caitlan, and ari from david and i. we’ve got your back no matter what.

    good luck with you admission.


    Sunday, December 19, 2010 at 10:41 pm | Permalink
  11. Unknown wrote:

    Sounds like you’re saying goodbye for forever…

    Sunday, December 19, 2010 at 11:01 pm | Permalink
  12. It must be hard to leave your family this time of year. I’ll be thinking of you. It is a brave thing to do and hopefully you can come out feeling rested and rebooted.

    Monday, December 20, 2010 at 12:24 am | Permalink
  13. Simon wrote:

    Look forward to reading an update as soon as you’re back in the real world man. Stay safe.

    Monday, December 20, 2010 at 1:15 am | Permalink
  14. Best wishes being fired over from the UK

    Monday, December 20, 2010 at 1:59 am | Permalink
  15. Gillian wrote:

    I sincerely hope this solves something for you and that you can live an easier life. <3

    Monday, December 20, 2010 at 4:40 am | Permalink
  16. Spiral wrote:

    Good luck! I’ll be thinking of you over the next week and sending healing thoughts.

    Take care x

    Monday, December 20, 2010 at 5:22 am | Permalink
  17. maggy wrote:

    Long time lurker – good luck.

    Monday, December 20, 2010 at 6:13 am | Permalink
  18. Jes wrote:

    Stay strong.

    Monday, December 20, 2010 at 9:40 am | Permalink
  19. MissJanet wrote:

    Best wishes from germany and i really hope the doctors can make a difference for you!

    Monday, December 20, 2010 at 10:45 am | Permalink
  20. Ryan wrote:

    i cant wait for you to get the help you rightly deserve so you can begin living a pain free life and you can move about the day without loathing every little movement you make.
    and oh man, i agree with ya and really hope you dont have a screamer/farter/masturbationfreak or any combination of malignant characteristics that would create a poor room mate either, that would truely cramp the positivity of this ordeal.

    have a nice day shannon, i hope you feel well soon.

    Monday, December 20, 2010 at 10:55 am | Permalink
  21. Alastair wrote:

    good luck man, you’re an inspiration and i hope you get the relief you need.


    Monday, December 20, 2010 at 11:21 am | Permalink
  22. fingers crossed and healing thoughts your way.

    Monday, December 20, 2010 at 11:59 am | Permalink
  23. Shannon wrote:

    Sending good vibes from the U.S., we love you Shannon!

    Monday, December 20, 2010 at 2:26 pm | Permalink
  24. peteD3 wrote:

    Stand Strong, Stand Proud

    Love and Respect.

    Monday, December 20, 2010 at 2:54 pm | Permalink
  25. Ella wrote:

    all extremities tightly crossed for you, Shannon. <3

    Monday, December 20, 2010 at 4:21 pm | Permalink
  26. Ali wrote:

    Best of luck!

    Monday, December 20, 2010 at 4:42 pm | Permalink
  27. rebecca wrote:

    Good luck – lots of positive energy your way for a smooth week and positive outcome.

    Monday, December 20, 2010 at 5:10 pm | Permalink
  28. Steph wrote:

    Here’s to hoping!
    All the best to you & yours Shannon

    Monday, December 20, 2010 at 6:17 pm | Permalink
  29. get well soon Shannon

    Monday, December 20, 2010 at 7:40 pm | Permalink
  30. Dara wrote:

    hope all goes well!

    Monday, December 20, 2010 at 9:47 pm | Permalink
  31. Raskin666 wrote:

    We all love you! All the best Shannon.

    Tuesday, December 21, 2010 at 4:16 pm | Permalink
  32. NA wrote:

    No, we don’t celebrate Agolan money in America we only celebrate American money.

    Tuesday, December 21, 2010 at 4:37 pm | Permalink
  33. Saira wrote:

    Thinking about you and hoping that all is going well.

    Tuesday, December 21, 2010 at 6:03 pm | Permalink
  34. Linda wrote:

    I hope this brings you the best outcome possible…Take care and be strong.

    Tuesday, December 21, 2010 at 9:08 pm | Permalink
  35. Indebted wrote:

    I hope the visit brings you more than another intersting chapter in your bio. You’re interesting enough–best of luck with getting a better solution to your pain.

    Wednesday, December 22, 2010 at 9:26 am | Permalink
  36. Sarah wrote:

    <3 Good luck!

    Wednesday, December 22, 2010 at 1:45 pm | Permalink
  37. Em Bem wrote:

    Good luck Shannon & Caitlin. Get well soon Shannon. We’ll look forward to hearing from you soon. :-)

    Friday, December 24, 2010 at 3:36 pm | Permalink
  38. Surinder wrote:

    Get well soon.

    Saturday, December 25, 2010 at 4:17 pm | Permalink
  39. Tobias wrote:

    Good Luck Shannon.

    Sunday, December 26, 2010 at 11:46 pm | Permalink
Wow Shannon, that's really annoying! What is it, 1997 on Geocities? Retroweb is NOT cool!

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