Monday, March 18, 2013

In The Wake of Dreams


A marvelous, jack-of-all-trades kind of medication. The stuff of which whiny Bipolar writers like me are made.

Known as Quetiapine, which sounds suspiciously similar to Quiet Pine, those heroic little 25 mg pills do a dandy job of releasing some truly unique dreams. Did I use the word "quiet" a moment ago? Yeah, sorry about that. For my experience, the 'quel doesn't actually quell anything.

That's a good thing for me. Dreaming about getting into a shootout with crickets in my apartment is one thing. "Quiet Pine" goes beyond that. Far, far beyond.

First of all, I rarely dreamt before going on meds. Even though my racing thoughts, delusions of grandeur (I almost got into a huge fight in the New Mexico State University cafeteria, back in '93, with the entire NMSU Aggies defensive line over one of the lads kicking a chair out of his way. That chair bounced off of my leg. No apology was forthcoming, which began a progression toward an seemingly imminent melee rivalling that of Manchester United fans, until the defensive captain told his charge to "let it go. I've seen him around. He's crazy." Hardly a ringing endorsement for a psychology major. But hey, advertising gets you on the map, Barney.)

Sorry. That last paragraph was more inside parentheses than outside. I prefer my sentences to be free range, thank you. Anyway, it was about that time that I decided to go back on my meds and stay there. Mind you, that meant that life would be flatter than Dekorah, Iowa.

And that led to Seroquel. "Using as directed", it took all of three weeks before the dreams came. They're usually pretty funny, like the one which centered on cheering for the Falcons and giving a six foot tall beetle high fives whenever they scored. Sometimes, though, horrifying events created exclusively in the left prefrontal cortex of Robert Adcox Inc led to night sweats prolific enough to make me question the possibility of dehydration. Thankfully, those days are over.

The dreams aren't.

Seeing shadows in the dark flit across the room vaguely resembling human forms-an intuitive unlikelihood- is unsettling. Hearing them whisper, "Come Robert. Come. We're here" is enough to make this backsliding Christian hit speed dial for the 700 Club Prayer Line. And at four AM, when you hear spiders clicking across a couple of old newspapers which you've slovenly left next to your bed and you turn the night stand light on just in time to see two black widows scurrying for cover, you scream, flail, stomp, smack- you do whatever it takes to survive and to eliminate the threat.

And then it occurs to you: those spiders weren't real. Their abdomens alone must have spanned some three inches. Unless they grew up near Three Mile Island, they were just actors in a series of hallucinations. Still, perception is a very powerful experience. How one reacts to perception (or misperception) speaks to the degree to which one finds freedom from fears. My meds don't guarantee that I'll sleep like a baby, but they often allay enough anxiety for me to be able to control my dreams as I'm having them. It's nice to be able to tell your dreams, "Cut. Johnny, we're getting too much glare from the homicidal maniac's nose. How can he be expected to kill me if the glare ruins the scene?" And on it goes until the dream is complete and I'm bolt upright in bed, reaching for the phone (I do believe in God).

I can't wait until Seroquel is improved enough to reduce more anxiety. My admittedly odd ideation will flow like never before. I want to go back to the happy dreams, like the Boxer dog I once had. In my dreams I've seen him driving a delivery truck and playing a baby grand piano in a nightclub.

Driving a delivery truck?

I guess he was moonlighting.


No comments:

Post a Comment