Sleep brings no joy…

Yes, I get it, Emily Bronte. Sleep should bring respite, offer the chance to recharge. It’s haven. It’s a refuge.

Unless you’re me.

In what might come as a surprise to absolutely no one, I’m not the most confident and self assured person. I carry considerable worry, concern, and fear that at any given moment I’m letting a whole lot of people down. Fortunately, my sub-conscious is there for me. It rakes in all of the angst and self-doubt and packages it neatly into gut-wrenching, exhausting Stress Dreams. So far, these dreams have slotted themselves into three very tidy categories.

1. Packing/clutter. These dreams involve packing up and moving from a hotel room, a dorm room, an apartment, a house. Whatever I manage to pack is continually dwarfed by what still remains to be sorted. This dream is defined by frustration and a whole lot of tears.

2. Unattainable destination. These dreams find me on a journey that will never be finished. There may be epic derailment (“so sorry, have to go fight a manticore”) or something more mundane (“This ticket is only good for a Sunday that lands on an even number. You’re going to have to wait.”). I may be sent on a path that finds the stones eroding beneath my feet, where I fall into fathomless waters to literally find myself out of my depth*. This dream is defined by deeming myself to be less important than everyone else, and to the destruction of foundations.

3. Claustrophobic entryways. These dreams deny me entry into places of security/creativity/comfort due to tiny portals, points of entry though which I would have to squeeze and squirm and hold my breath. Just typing this sentence made me uneasy. This dream is generally defined by inability to move, make a decision, or breathe without hyperventilating.

There are variations on a theme. Sometimes the unattainable destination involves getting to a rehearsal or performance on time/with matching boots. Claustrophobic scenarios might place pets in peril**. Clutter might find my dearest love disgusted with my inability to Get Things Done, and deciding to leave me***. Haven’t even touched on the zombie invasion theme.  I’m down with the idea that dreams are a way to sift through the crap your mind accumulates on any given day. I own that I’m sensitive, that I shoulder more worry than I ought.

But then again, every so often, there’s a night where I make lifelong friends with a unicorn. Where I hang out and watch Downton Abbey with my mom, holding my breath because I don’t dare to mention that she can’t be here, but so grateful that she is. Where Ewan McGregor asks me out, but even in Dreamland I can’t accept because my real life sweetie is just that great. A night where I’ve kicked off the blankets and am cold and hovering on the edge of wakefulness. And then, my brain gives me Poe Dameron (real life: pulling up the sheet over my shoulders) curled up around me and  BB-8 (real life: my one-eyed kitty Esme) snuggled up in the crook of my knees

Sleep may bring you respite or joy,challenge or gift. Make of it what you will.


*honestly, brain. you could try a bit harder.
**this went horrifically dark
***took me days (in the waking world) to realize we were good, that he wasn’t going anywhere




2 thoughts on “Sleep brings no joy…

  1. Joan Miller

    I quite literally empathize with every single sentence of this post.

    My traveling dreams involve missing flights or bein on unsafe plains or not being able to control the car because I’m in the passenger seat or my feet are too short for the pedals. Oh yeah and the occasional fleeing the apocalypse, zombie, alien or otherwise.

    I’ve repeatedly dreamt about discovering that we’ve been neglecting a litter of kittens in the basement and the whole floor is covered in excrement and I’m not sure they’re all still alive or where they came from or when.

    My claustrophobic dreams are usually abut squeezing through a narrow passage, especially fast food play places.

    One category you didn’t mention that I have are escape dreams, where I have to escape a prison or a lab or the house because someone is trying to kill me. I’ve also had versions where those someone’s are an army with planes and bombs.

    And then of course, every once in a while I dream that Grandma made it to thanksgiving one more time.

    1. saucydryad Post author

      Oh, escape dreams! I’ve had them, too, but they’re not featured as often in the regular rotation. I also occasionally have tornado dreams, where I’m trying to round up family and friends and animals to keep them safe from the oncoming storm.

      I’ve had several dreams since losing Mom that she’s actually alive and well, but even in the dream I know that she really isn’t and shouldn’t be there and am terrified to say anything because I’m just so grateful to have any moment with there that I can.

      Stupid brain. :/


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