Perchance to Dream

"I can almost touch the soil beneath your whisper
I can almost feel the hopes you left behind
I can almost touch the soil beneath your whisper
I can almost feel the hopes you left behind
Words that fall like distant rain
Words that echo with your eyes"
-Nostalgia, Nitin Sawhney

I am haunted by some terrible dreams. I wake up from them like falling, my pillow sometimes wet with tears, sometimes with sweat. Sometimes I have been locked onto a hospital gurney and am waiting for the medics to come and drug me while I scream that I'm not crazy. Sometimes all my teeth have fallen out, and I am worried about how I'm going to afford the care. My dreams are filled with navigating bureaucracy, having emotional crises, and trying to balance my finances. I'm not always sure if it was, in fact, just a dream.

I wish I had dreams of flying like normal people do, but when I fly in dreams it is always an escape. I am frantically trying to learn how to control my flight so I don't crash and burn, or get captured, or something unspoken but dreaded in my gut. Even in my dreams I can't give up control, I still have the sinking feeling that there's things I need to do, that people are depending on me to behave correctly.

My family, I think, has the impression that I'm a wild child, partying it up a lot and generally reckless. Little do they know, really KNOW, how much of my time is spent carefully calculating next steps for myself, balancing my checkbook, or frozen in place on my bed because a wrong move could mean a total lack of stability. For all that I give the impression of being devil may care, I spend a lot of my time trying to overcome emotionally exhausting amounts of severe anxiety. I am so accustomed to sitting, feeling bile rise into my throat and my gut clenching tight, without any particular reason, that it's just part of daily life and not a medical concern anymore.

I am reasonably good at juggling responsibilities, and capable of survival under some pretty rough circumstances, but god, how I wish I could just let go sometimes. I wish I could give up all these feelings, all this compassion, all this heart pain I carry around. I long to have control taken from me, but am too wounded to give it up. I don't really know how to relax, even when asleep. I'm always doing something, always frantically trying to hold my shit together.

Last night I dreamed that my lover dumped me and got back together with an ex. I tried my damnedest to smile and be gracious, happy for them, even though I felt like I was being ripped apart by wolves on the inside. In the dream we lived in the same apartment complex, and seeing them together was unavoidable… so I spent much of my dream in my tiny studio, fixing the plumbing which kept bursting over and over again, a lump in my throat.

I didn’t cry in the dream but I woke up teary and sad. It was just a dream, I knew it was just a dream, and yet I still felt shaken and lost and abandoned. And it was hard to let it go. I FELT it, so strongly, the loss, the strain to feel compersion that someone I loved was happy, my own disappointment in myself for just not having the strength.

I feel so flooded with feelings. I want sleep to be restful but I don't know how to turn my brain off even then. Why does my subconscious feel the need to force me to confront such dark yet mundane fears every night, leaving me tossing and turning? It's frustrating, especially after a particularly heartwrenching night when I can't find myself capable of leaving my room because cobwebs of the night before are holding me back. I worry it impacts my relationships, that these horrible processing sessions lead me to miss ex lovers who were toxic, or to suspect current lovers who have done nothing wrong.

I don't have any stability in my life, not really. I suspect that's part of why I'm so haunted by the past and the possible futures... if I drop one plate, the impact on the rest of my life could be devastating. I am afraid, always, that sometime I'll misstep and everything will come crashing down. I want to cling to something, like a barnacle, while the floods of emotions crash around me- I could weather them then- but to cling to a person is codependent, and to cling to a job is absurd in this climate. I feel like I live my life as honestly and as vulnerably as I can, but sometimes I feel laid bare, still alive as ravens peck at my entrails. But I don't know how else to be.

So instead, I drift, both awake and asleep, unsettled, unprepared, ungrounded. I hope that one day I will find some safe space to curl up in, even just for a night, where my mind and heart can be at rest. Sometimes I just want to be loved, and love, and for it to be easy for a minute, for me not to feel like I have to fight or run. I wonder if I will feel lonely until I die, but then isn't that human existence?

I just want to trust and I worry that I may never really again.

It has been a day, and a lifetime, of too many feelings, and I am tired. I am afraid of being tired, of admitting my weariness, because being present is what I'm good at, being a place of stability for so many others is what I do, and to admit I feel lost is perhaps the dropping of that first plate.

But I want to lay this burden down. And I am falling asleep alone tonight, and wish I wasn't.

Categories: anxiety, dreams, fake it til you make it, not feeling well, personal, psychology, self care

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