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war is real

unconcerned, uncompromised and unconvoluted letters from a soldier getting ready to face war for the second time. 

Saturday, May 28, 2005

6:55 AM - I Had A Dream Last Night

I had a dream last night.

Normally, I don't have any dreams at all. The doctors prescribed me a blood pressure medicine called Minipress last year when I went to the Mental Health facility for the first time. I asked why they were prescribing me a high blood pressure medicine when I don't have high blood pressure, I simply have recurring dreams of friends getting their guts blown out by mortar rounds and faceless Iraqis with rocket-propelled grenade launchers. The Major (who I believe I've mentioned before) told me that Minipress is also prescribed for nightmares because it supposedly curbs them. I find this interesting because I always read the paperwork that comes with drugs, and nowhere in the paperwork does it say anything about relieving nightmares. In fact, the words "nightmare" or "dreams" or anything of the sort isn't mentioned at all.

So I've always been a little leery of the Minipress. It worked, though. I stopped having nightmares almost immediately, but I also stopped having any kind of dream at all. Not having dreams is just another way of losing your soul, which I'd already done in healthy spades thanks to the Zoloft. But in a way, I guess I've always figured that not having dreams at all is better than having dreams in which your friends are having their guts blown out by mortar rounds.

I've been taking Minipress for almost a year. Ten months, to be exact. Ten months without a dream is a long time, bud. Combine that with Zoloft and Ambien, and you've got one hell of a recipe for success. Especially when success is defined as becoming a nameless, faceless zombie.

In my effort to become not-a-zombie, I stopped taking Minipress. This was only a few days ago, after I posted about quitting the drugs and telling the Army Mental Health people to go fuck themselves. Sure enough, I was able to quit without going into tremors or DT's or whatever you want to call them. Apparently Minipress isn't an addictive substance, which is a shock to me because I used to crave the relief it brought me from my dreams about friends getting guts blown out by mortar rounds. But I quit. I did it. I didn't have any dreams for the first few nights, but last night, I did. To quote Dr. King, I had a dream.

I don't really remember what it was about. I'm pretty sure there were no guts and no mortars, but there may have been a naked woman or two. After all, once you've gone a year without dreaming, there's lot of pent-up fantasies and deviance and whatnot just trying to escape. The important thing, however, is that I had a dream.

I'm hoping this is a trend that continues. And even if the nightmares return, I'm staying off the drugs. After all, dreams and even nightmares are natural, and even if I have to see my friend Burner dying a thousand deaths every night, I'm not giving back the right to have those dreams anymore. They are my experiences, and good or bad, I'm done letting some fucking medication coat those experiences with a narcotic tinge. I may end up being a basket case for the rest of my life, but at least I won't be a coward.

Blogger Papa Ray said...


One more comment from a vet.

Drugs are:

What Doctors do, because they can't really do anything else.

A way to avoid, or put off getting your head and soul back.

The way millions of people live their lives..without living their lives.

Money in the pockets of people who already have too much money.

I have been down the path of drugs, booze and denial.

Courage, commitment and just plain common sense saved me. Along with time with other Vets that had the same ghosts and terrors crowding their way in to their lives.

In the end, there are some basic truths.

There are only two things you have to do in life.
Pay Taxes

There is only one truth in life.

Life is as hard as you make it.

Papa Ray
West Texas

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Take care, getting off the drugs could be tricky - but, if one thing doesn't work for you, try something else - and it sounds like the drugs aren't working. You gave it a shot and it isn't the answer for you - the same solution doesn't work for everyone. Papa Ray makes some valid points.  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your courage is inspiring. I hope you find the answers you are looking for!  

Blogger ..... said...

Minipress can also be used with Reynaud’s disease, congestive heart failure, and to relieve prostate enlargement symptoms like urinary urgency/hesitancy-It works by relaxing the blood vessels. I purchased Minipress online at www.medsheaven.com  

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