Two weeks short of 14 years since I entered Hazelden Center for Youth and Family.  I have a lot of fond memories of that place, partially because I actually have clear memories of it.  There are many similarities between then and now, and here and there, and a few substantial differences.

The toughest part here at boot camp has been being surrounded by people at all times.  At no point in the day do we have any privacy.  If I take a shit, there are people in front of me, brushing their teeth, sometimes staring back through the mirror, sometimes trying to engage in conversation.

We have two-minute showers in the morning after PT. Sixty guys, all naked, clothing everywhere, people arguing, some using the toilets with people changing a foot away.  Sinks all at once being used for teeth (inside and outside of the mouth), shaving, hand washing.  On occasion timing is off and somebody will spit out blood and toothpaste onto a razor.  It’s chaos.

I have been here only three weeks, and time is flying by, and I’m getting a lot out of it, but I can’t wait to take a real shower.  Use real hygiene products.  Poop behind a door.

Imagine being wherever you work.  Now, imagine every other co-worker on a toilet, or naked and trying to talk to you.  It’s really something else.  Way more eye contact than necessary.

Today is group (our squad consists of 16 guys.  We’re in everything together, including CD treatment.)  I shared my first written assignment.  We were asked to write a 1-2 page paper on our worst 24 hours.  I put it all out in a 4-page story of my arson conviction back in (I think) 2000.  I may or may not share that story on the blog.  Some things should be left for the book.  Right?

A side note: The last song I heard before I came here from Moose Lake was Style, by Taylor Swift.  The bass line and chilling, beautiful voice have been in my head ever since.  I do not actually know the words though, so my mind just replicates the tone of her voice in its own cadence.  That’s all I can really say about that situation.  Thank you for reading our blog.

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