“Memento Mori – Memento Vivere”
As I type this I am hitting on a joint of “Rolex.”
Over the last month, I have been fighting with the VA. I finally reached out about needing help with my headspace and timing being all jacked up and was in need of a gauge to set me right. The VA’s answer to my call for help was, of course, “Here’s a pill.” But, because I promised my lady that I would seek help for no one but myself (We all know—and if you don’t, let it be known to you now—that if you try to do this “in the name of someone,” you will eventually fail out of it), they lined me up for an evaluation to see if I had PTSD.
I know I have it. The being tased by the police, the bar fights, the explosive reactions to anything and everything that annoyed me, the failed suicide attempt… I know I have it. Anyways, the VA has the evaluation set up so that it has to come from “one incident.” It can’t be a slew of, or a compilation of, dates, times, locations, and situations. It is one event, and one event only, and you have to basically sit there for 2+ hours while some guy you have never met interrogates you and says things like, “So, why do you think this means you have it?” and, “Well, I have never been in those situations, but, I don’t think that sounds right.” Motherfucker, you just said you haven’t been there. So, how and why that fuck are you the one who gets to determine this? Anyways, still waiting for that to come back.
The VA at first put me on 50 mg. of sertraline. It worked for about a week, but then all my older problems became amplified and things started getting much worse. I told my VA doctor and he just tripled my dose. Didn’t ask me anything. Nothing. No conversation. Just, “Hey, let’s triple down on this.” It didn’t work. Things got explosively bad to the point where I am “Kyle’ing” drywall and not knowing where, how, or who to direct all this pain, hate, and anger at. So, naturally, I target those closest to me. It has been quite an annoying time.
So, I tell the doctor about what’s going on. Well, actually, I email him because I have no way to call and directly talk to him or any of his staff, because why would that make sense? Eye roll. One day goes by with no response, then two, then three. Then, over a week goes by, and, finally, I get a message from the doctor: “If you are having bad experiences, then just stop taking the medication. I will schedule you an appointment for three weeks from now and we can talk about it.” Wait, what the fuck?
I told a few of my doctor buddies and all of them, to a man, said, “You should not stop that medication cold-turkey. You have a cycle off of it slowly.” Then they would say, “He’s making you wait three weeks before he even gets you new meds? That doesn’t make sense. It will be at least a week after that before they can get you a new kind of medication to take.” I agreed, said it was fucked up, but that I was in it for the long haul and I would not give up until I had exhausted all options.
Fast forward almost two months later. I have cycled off sertraline, bought a punching bag to save the house interior, and have started my new meds, Bupropion, but am still waiting for them to be in my system long enough to take hold. During this time, had it not been indulging in many forms of pot, I would be in a world of hurt. It was, and is, the only substance I have that works literally every time, and does not give me long-term side effects. I can smoke myself silly at night and, by morning, I am refreshed and ready. There’s no lingering hangover like I got from booze when I used it to—oh, what’s the fancy word they use to fluff up being an alcoholic—ah, right, “self-medicate.”
The only negative side of my MJ smoking is that it is still federally illegal. I don’t get the full level of relaxation and recovery I wish I could get from it being legal. No worries of police and jail time, no worries of work firing me all because I am taking the medication that I have found works the best for me: pot. And, like many other vets, I find that I am a normal-ish person when I am high. I am able to just let go of those things weighing me down and enjoy life for a change!
After going through all this bullshit with the VA, I pray in the new future that it becomes federally legalized. Or, at the very minimum, federally legalized for medicinal use by veterans.
Wouldn’t that be the day?
NOTE: Due to my type of employment, I am unable to give my real name. This really pisses me off… but it is what it is. Drive on and live and all that… Anyways, if this turns into a “thing,” I look forward to using my real identity someday.