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dream explosions

Retract your minds from the gutter please. Titles are made to grab your attention and pull readers in to the story about to be told. Read on, I promise its not what you originally thought (filthy people!). So I know the title may sound like Im a teenage boy with sticky sheets, but I assure you this is not the case.

For the past few years I have been sleeping each night and waking with no recollection of dreaming. The only nights I was positive I dreamed were when I was plagued by nightmares. Even then I didnt always remember but Shawna had told me several times that she was awakened by me fighting in my sleep. Sometimes I wake up with the sweats, other times I dont know where I am and it takes a few seconds for me to orient myself. Still other times it literally feels like I have just worked out or gotten in a fight I am so tense. This has been the norm for me and I fight off the demons in my head many nights. I do all this without ever seeking out someone to talk to. Over the past 12 months the nightmares have progressively gotten worse and have escalated when Im being startled awake. It sometimes took minutes for me to calm down and realize where I was. This truly had me alarmed and I was worried that I would do something in my sleep to harm myself or worse Shawna and not even realize it.

Deeply worried that this was spiraling out of my control I finally went to the VA for help a couple weeks ago. Better late than never right? Is four years too long to wait? I would think so, but I just didnt want to have confirmed what I already knew. I canceled my appointment with the VA twice in the months leading up to this post, but after sleeping at Shawna’s for the last time, I knew something had to give. This instance is just a reference to the fact that I have an extremely hard time sleeping in places that I am not familiar with. She had just moved to a new apartment so everything was new to me including her sheets, bed, and even the pillows. I dont expect you to understand, but this had me worried all day though I tried not to show it. Going to bed that night, I knew there was no sleep to be had. I heard her start to breathe heavier and drift off while I starred through the ceiling and wished that I was somewhere else. Not because of her, I always love being near her, but because of the situation I had placed myself in. I figured that her place cant become familiar until I hang around, but I knew what I was in for as I laid there that night. It turned out to be one of the longest nights in recent memory and even when I did finally find minutes of relaxation I forced myself awake for fear that something was going to happen. Crazy? I dont think its that, but I knew something was there and I was tired of it consuming me.

I’ve slept in many random places throughout those four years of denial, but guaranteed it was after a night of drinking with friends and subconsciously preparing myself for the possibility of sleeping at a friends or friend of a friend’s place where I wouldnt be familiar. People think that I can pass out anywhere and I am fine, but in all reality this only happens if I have had some drinks and am just looking for a place to lay my head. Otherwise, I am at home in my bed by myself…where I know I am fine. I had never truly realized this until talking with friends about my condition prior to bed. Most of the time it was “how wasted were you last night?” or “I have a funny video for you, do you remember…?” After these comments became more frequent, I became more alarmed and realized that I each of those nights as we discussed actions for after the bar, if we were continuing to hangout instead of going to bed, I put more effort into drinking. A sad truth about myself that I am now just coming to terms with.

While at the VA, I spoke about things that I have never uttered audibly from my mouth. I talked about things that have plagued me that no one else on the planet could even guess were going through my brain. On one hand it was a relief, on the other it was opening the gates to my troubled thoughts. The counselor prescribed me Prazosin to help with my nightmares. Originally used to help fight high blood pressure, they found that it also helped to suppress nightmares. There’s a pill for everything I guess.

I have been taking this every night before bed for the past two weeks in the hopes that my nightmares will stop and that I can sleep comfortably through the night. I have had no nightmares in those two weeks, but have had extremely vivid dreams to the point that I am not sure which is worse; the nightmares or my dream explosions (sin hojas pegajosas, gutter minds) . Many nights it feels like I am dreaming for the very first time and that my mind is making up for all that lost time. I dream so big, so colorful, and so off the wall that I am not sleeping bc of an overload of sensations. I still toss, I still turn. I even wake up 5+ times a night just like before. I am perpetually tired, a possible narcoleptic , but at least my nightmares have stalled for the time being. I AM worried though that when my nightmares do come back that they will be more intense than before bc of this pill. I still get nervous about going to sleep and I feel that this will never change no matter how many pills I take or how much of this I choose to talk out or not. I was hoping to sleep over 2 hours ago yet here I am still awake, 45 minutes after taking my pills and trying to ward off sleep as long as possible. I know that it is going to take more than 2 weeks of pills and one session with a shrink to get my sleeping back in order, but I hope this is the start to a positive change. Now if I could only close these eyes and fade away…

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