I’ve been taking too many downers again.

After a couple of overdoses while my family is in Portugal, my wife convinces me to see the head of addiction medicine.

I sit on the metro for an hour and a half as I Ieave the district for the loathsome suburbs. I can’t sit still, painful electrical shocks shooting through my head and legs. This better be worth it.

New Psychiatrist is cold and well dressed, which is perfect for my current mood. He asks me why I chose him.

“Well, you’re supposed to be the best in the area”

“That’s what they tell me,” he says pecking his keyboard. I guess basic computer skills aren’t taught in medical school anymore.

He asks me what I’ve been taking, and I tell him the biggest problem is the Russian pharmaceuticals I’ve been ordering online. Damn those sneaky Russians. And fuck you Ronald Reagan.

“I’ve written several articles on these chemicals. They are dangerous but neuroprotective. You are going to be in pain, but you have not harmed your brain”

Good, because my ears ring constantly, I wake up screaming, and I drop my phone whenever and wherever.

Then there’s the matter of all the downers.

“Who’s been prescribing you all of these pills?”

“Dr. G, doctor to the stars. His fees are ridiculous, but he basically…”

New Psychiatrist holds up his hand and cuts me off.

“I know who he is, and I’m surprised he hasn’t had his medical license pulled. No more Dr. G or I won’t see you again”.

God, he’s a real fucking downer.

“What else has been going on?”

I hold my finger to my mouth and ponder.

“Let’s see here….I’ve been to the hospital there times. I got married to an attorney I’ve been dating on and off for four years. The FBI contacted us about a former dealer, and we had to meet an agent at their headquarters. I made a Zen garden on our rooftop deck. And one day I wondered off into Chinatown without any shoes and had to stay at a Hyatt”

“You are hard to follow”

“That’s what they tell me”

I stare blankly out his picture window and can see a CVS in the distance. I know if I call Dr. G’s office they will refill my Xanax script early.

“Do you want to get better?”

“Monday through Friday, nine to five”

“That’s not how this works”

“I know, I know”

He writes me a handful of scripts, nothing I actually want to take, but pills that will help.

“You will only fill my prescriptions from now on,” New Psychiatrist tells me before I leave, “don’t make me call your pharmacies”.

Ugh, he’s such a downer.

Back in the district, I head for the pharmacy and collapse into a chair as I wait.

When they call my name the pharmacist’s assistant tries to make conversation with me.

“My that’s a lot of pills” she jokes.

“Yeah, my mom said recently she’s just waiting for me to die”

I smile, and she looks horrified

I can be such a downer.

I’m home again, and I guess it’s time to throw away all the empty pills bottles I’ve hoarded away in the bedroom closet. I like a full accounting of everything I’ve taken.

It’s time.

No more doctor shopping. No more hospitals. No more terrorizing my wife. No more detoxes. No more crying.

And definitely no more downers.


  1. This post was gut-wrenchingly sad, even as I laughed with the sarcasm. It’s sad because it’s real and I think you know it. This time it’s REAL. Your head and heart and entire body know it’s time to kick this shit for good and that’s fucking scary. Life-changing scary. But you got this my friend. I know you do! I think of you all the time and wonder how you’re doing so I was happy to see a new post today!

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