[Cheever] spent most of his time in group therapy correcting his counsellor’s grammar. “Displaying much grandiosity and pride,” they wrote in their notes. “Very impressed with self.” Eventually he fell silent. Four weeks later he emerged, shaky, fragile and subdued. “Listen, Truman,” he told Truman Capote. “It’s the most terrible, glum place you can conceivably imagine. It’s really really, really grim. But I did come out of there sober.”
Gee, the place I went to was pretty pleasant, actually. What Don Newlove says is right on the money (and Those Drinking Days is probably the best book on the subject):
First you hang on to all your old romances about your illness, then you suck your old grandiosity for every drop that’s still in it, you vigorously emphasise your uniqueness among the clods who might be recovering with you, and then you defend to the death your right to self-destruction…Starting afresh meant that a massive part of his work so far was self-pity and breast-beating. That was the last mask he couldn’t rip off. It was like tearing the beard from his cheeks.The copyeditor in me compels me to point out that the palpitations associated with liver disease are heart palpitations not liver palpitations. You can palpate the liver, though that is something quite different. The liver does not palpitate.