"How is the medicine working?" Rose asked as she peered over her reading glasses to get a better look at me.
This over the glasses look made me feel like I could not lie. They probably teach this method in Therapist School. I bet those glasses are not even real.
"Good. Good. I feel much better." I said trying not to make eye contact.
I like Rose, She is a good therapist for me. I am not sure how she would be with other people but she worked for me. Rose would call "bullshit" when she needed too. But that was what was funny about me. In therapy I did not bullshit. I learned early in the process that I was paying her for her educated and experienced opinion. Me bullshitting was a waste of MY time and money.
"Are there any side effects?" she asked,
"Yes. A few. One of them we are looking into with my family doctor. But it could be something else." I said. "I have to take some tests. I am not ready to talk about that one just yet."
"Okay. What are the others?"
This is where it got tricky. I already kind of knew that I was an outlier with one of the side effects, the one I was not ready to discuss. But I was not sure where I was in the spectrum for the one I was ready to discuss with Rose.
"Rose, I do not know how to explain this except to say" I took a deep breath, "my dreams are real"
She crooked her neck in disbelief. "What do you mean?"
"Every night I have the most normal dreams. I dream about work, about coaching, about family, about anything. And when I wake up I cannot tell if it was a dream or if it really happened."
"So you are having very lucid dreams?"
"Yes. No. I thought a lucid dreaming meant you can kind of control your dreams. I do not control them. My dreams are so normal and vivid that I am not sure if the situations in the dreams are real or not."
I could tell from the look on her face I was confusing her. I was confusing myself.
"Rose," I said in a lower voice to convey the importance of what I was about to say, "I have dreams about me getting into arguments with friends. Then while I am awake and in real life I apologize to those friends and they look at me like I am a freak."
"What do you mean?" She asked.
"I apologized to a friend of mine about a disagreement we had only for my friend to tell me that we NEVER had that particular disagreement."
"Oh." Rose said looking down at her notes.
"I realized that the disagreement was in a dream. It never happened." I took another deep breath. "I also have good dreams that never really happened either. I had a dream where I found a bank mistake in my checking account in my favor for like 300 bucks. I was in the bank lobby ready to ask about it when I realized it was just part of a dream."
Rose sighed. "We may need to find a different medication for you."
"No." I said " This is working for me right now. I will figure it out."
I continued to take the medicine. They way I felt in real life out weighed the questions I had about what was true and not what was not. Some mornings during the early stages of me taking the meds, I would ask my wife if certain things happened. Did you and I fight last night? Did I call my mom and ask her to baby sit the kids? Did I go into the school and demand that my kids get A's. These were all dreams but I needed clarification, just in case.
Due to this lapse of reality, I started to withdrawal from certain public situations. Volunteering at the kid's school, hanging at kids birthday parties, or even just attending certain functions. I did not want to feel embarrassed if I were to bring up something that never happened.
The social awkwardness is not listed as a side effect on the prescription bottle.