Monday, April 6, 2009



Emotional and behavioral problems had already become an issue because of drug and alcohol abuse. Then to have suffered 2 drug overdoses, resulting in coma, was like throwing gasoline on an open fire. My ability to respond was tending toward overly emotional reactions to everyday situations. Without warning I could become belligerent and prone to violent outbursts for little or no reason.

Because LA's County General Hospital served so many people, they kicked you through their system a lot faster. In other words, you didn't linger in intensive care the way I had in UCLA, because they always needed the room for another patient. The difference in waking up in UCLA and USC was night and day. In UCLA you felt the difference by the amount of attention given you, in USC you just felt abandoned.

As soon as I physically could, I was out on the street, probably signing myself out AMA or against medical advice, as it was called. I was not prepared for the preaching, by a religious zealot staff member I encountered, whose belief in my sins outweighed my need for medical attention. Because these 2 incidents happened in close proximity to one another I was basically a walking open wound psychologically speaking.

Emotionally explosive and highly combative, anger, for me, became the last outpost of self protection in a psyche that felt unwanted, unnecessary and broken. My opinion was, quite simply, that it was me against the world. At that point, the only place I'd felt at all safe in had been Edgemont Hospital, where I was taken following the incident on the Continental Hotel. I convinced my mother, who'd returned to L.A. by then, to put me there so I could have time to gather my senses and figure out what to do. Edgemont, being a private hospital, had to be paid for so she ended up with that burden. I stayed stayed there for 2 or 3 months and it may have saved my life.

During the time at Edgemont, different publications, such as Record World Magazine, ran stories about my battles with the industry and sanity. On one hand I was self destructive, on the other, I was being talked and written about. This dichotomy led me to a deep split within the framework of my own thinking. I was destroying myself for sure, but as a result, I was center stage to some degree. For someone who believed there was no such thing as bad publicity, it became darkly apparent that the attention I was getting was feeding my sick ego and spurring me on to successive fiascos of self annihilation. I spent a lot of time thinking about new and more dramatic ways to keep myself in the public eye.

While in Edgemont, one of the staff members kept pushing on me with regard to a pen and ink drawing I had done, of which there were many. She seemed obsessed with her version of the meaning of my drawing and would not relinquish her theory no matter what I said. This continued for over an hour and resulted in an angry response from me, where I punched a basket ball size hole in a wire mesh security window at the nurses cage door. As blood splattered the area from a gash in my right forearm I saw the nurse standing in shocked silence with her mouth hanging open.

I had silenced her badgering and that was all I really cared about. As a result, a staff meeting was called to review the incident and it's cause, at which I was required to be present. Dr. Wayne, the head of the hospital, told me I could not act out in such a manner or I would be thrown out of the hospital. I said in response, "So I'm in the nut house for being crazy and you're going to throw me out of the hospital because I acted crazy?" Dr. Wayne replied saying, "I'm not throwing you out of the hospital, but if you do anything like this again, you will be asked to leave." "OK," I said, "I got it. It won't happen again, I promise." I was serious. I didn't want to get thrown out. It was the only place on earth where I felt safe.

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