They Said It Better Than I Ever Could...

These words that I write, they keep me from total insanity. -Charles Bukowski

Who is the happier man, he who has braved the storm of life and lived, or he who has stayed securely on shore and merely existed? -Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

Dec 19, 2011

Another Day, another 16 hours...

That's what I'm right in the middle of doing right now. Working a 16 hour shift. Started at 10pm and it'll be over at 2pm...Good times.

Haven't written in a long time simply because who wants to listen to some disgruntled GI who hates the life he came back to, bitch about how full of rage he is most of the time? I mean really, who the hell would want to do that?

So what have I been doing? Working. I bought a house with my girlfriend and we moved in there. And that's about it. Oh, and I started going back to the shrink again to talk about my "issues" we'll see if he can make any headway. Because I certainly can't. They've got me taking Ambien and Wellbutrin for sleep and mood problems.

Sleep problems = I don't.
Mood problems = I have a piss poor attitude about life and I hate everything, and I'd just really like to pour gasoline over all of it and light it up.

Its been fun observing the assembly line that the VA is. Come in, sign in, wait your turn, tell your problems, sign the paper, pick up your medications.

Pretty simple process really and you're on your way out into the wild blue yonder with a fresh supply of government issued happy pills. I even manage to get pissed off because of the pills. I actually get mad at them because I resent the fact that I need to take them just to get close to being normal. Actually, normal isn't the word. I have to take them just to not be in a constant state of extreme rage. And yeah, I hate the fact that I need them just to do that.

Then there's the Ambien that they give me. Its nice, but not in the dose that they're giving me. They let me take a half a pill a night. Or actually in my case a day, because I work all night, and sometimes all day too. But half a pill won't do it. Now a whole pill, that works just fine. Knocks me out for the duration. I can even sleep through the dreams/nightmares on this shit. However, I am given enough to take a half every night, not a whole. Which means I've kinda got to pick and choose which 15 out of the next 30 nights I want to sleep, until I can get back to the psychiatrist and ask him for more. We'll see if he gives them to me or if he starts to think that I'm turning in to an addict. Which I probably would, if the VA would give me enough to pull that off.

Then there's my wonderful job which doesn't help any of this. I mean, I suppose this would be a bit easier if I had a regular, "normal" job. But I don't. I get locked in a cage for 8 hours per day with a bunch of child molesters, drug dealers, and other assorted animals. I'm pretty far down the seniority list so my days off normally suck. About the best I can usually do is get one day of the weekend off. Perhaps a Friday/Saturday or a Sunday/Monday. But an actual weekend is probably another 6-10 years away. Plus, every 3 months I have to change shifts, and change days off. With the random 16 hour day thrown in for good measure. Plus, I volunteered (big fucking mistake) for an extra duty that I thought at the time would help me get a different job (because when you do this, different and better become synonymous.) I normally end up working one day shift per week. So I get 4 midnight shifts and one, sometimes two day shifts. Oh yeah, this is going to be wonderful for my sleep and my mood. My circadian rhythm or whatever the fuck they call that is going to be shot to shit.

Now I'll bring up the end with the thing that pisses me off the most. The thing that drives me absolutely fucking bonkers. And unfortunately for me and everyone around me its something that I hear over and over from so many different people that it makes me sick. I hear it from my mom, my brother, my aunt, my cousins, some friends (if I have any left), and my girlfriend.

"I understand"

I swear to God they say it just to drive me nuts.

I'll bitch about something, anything. And invariably somewhere in there, they say "I understand"

Fuck you! You don't understand. You can't understand because you weren't there with me. Maybe I am bitching about something that's going on here but do you understand that my head and my heart are in Afghanistan? No, you don't fucking understand that shit because while I was hip deep in Taliban shit and Afghani sand you were bouncing around here doing whatever the fuck. You think that I'm whining about things going on here, when I'm actually whining about the fact that I'm not with my buddies which is where I belong. You think I get this mad over shit that happens here, I'm mad because I know that there's guys over there right now that are hitting an IED. They're getting lit up from the mountaintop. They're dealing with another fucking round of rockets at night. And I'm letting another day slip away when I do nothing of value.

But I'm supposed to be nice and polite about it. They don't mean anything by it. They're just trying to help. So I bottle it up the best I can. Which isn't very well since I spend about 85-90% of my time seething with rage and hate.

So now I'm stuck. I've got my rage on one side and my hate on the other. And the only thing that can yank me out from between them is that stupid fucking pill that I'll take when I get home in the morning...oh wait, I shan't be home till the afternoon.

People have asked me why I stopped writing. I stopped writing because you don't want to hear this shit anymore than I want to write it.

To hell with it, I'll be following it forthwith.


I love you Mom...


  1. Sending Hugs.

    And you are right - there is no way that I would ever understand where your memories and actions and thoughts are coming from. My life is safe and secure and remains that way due to the actions and courage of others.

    But I *can* offer a shoulder to lean on - an ear to listen - stupidly silly australian things to try to make you smile. And will offer all of those if ever you need them

    Hugs and Gentle wishes for a decent sleep


  2. It is good to read your words. I miss you. Yep... even the angry, hating the world you. I will never pretend to understand what you and all who serve in that dusty hell lived, while serving our Country. I do appreciate your sacrifice, which is far more of a sacrifice than most realize. It was not only one year of your life over there... it is all of who you were and now who you have become... which has been sacrificed.
    Always know you have etched a very special place in my heart. No matter how distant we become, in miles and words... you are one of my kids. always.

  3. Sorry dude! I hate it but there isn't a damn thing I can do to help you. But I can read your matter how they come out. Writing might be your savior...or not. Maybe a support group of combat vets who do understand.

  4. Everyone who's on meds for psych reasons hates it at some point. And every damn day is a day we decide "do I take these today". And then there's the little voice that tells us of the side effects that come from not taking them...

    I cycle, wildly. I have great days and days where opening my eyes is hard, where I have to remind myself to breathe.

    You have your anger and your rage and you battle that. As best as you can. One step forward, two back, seething with hate...
    No, I don't understand. I barely understand myself sometimes. But I do know that if another friend tells me the military answer to PTSD at home is to deploy more often, I will go and hunt down that shrink and shoot him. And this from a chick who's never touched a gun.

    I'm glad you found someone to share your life with. Someone to settle down with.
    It'll anchor you, whether you want it or not ;-)

    My depression will be something I'll deal with every day for the rest of my life, your PTSD will be something you'll deal with every day for the rest of your life. Some days will be better than others, but we will keep going. Because there's just simply no other choice. People tell me to accept my mood swings, to accept my depression, to stick to a strict routine, to skip the meds,..... Fuck them. They don't know what they're talking about. If I could stick to a routine I wouldn't need the meds!

    All that said, have you talked about alternative treatment? EMDR?
    It sounds promising.. And I guess it can't make things worse?

    *hugs* nicole

  5. Glad to see your words no matter what they are. Peace