I have always dreamt vividly. Not in the metaphorical dreams-as-aspirations sense but the literal how-our-brains-process-life sense. I have often described some of my dreams as “epic” because they often resemble surreal fantastical blockbuster hits with major storylines, characters and intense visuals. They’re only really lacking a soundtrack!
I have bad dreams fairly frequently, and outright nightmares are not uncommon (though neither are chronic).
Occasionally, the emotions I experienced during a dream are still with me when I wake which can be a bit of a downer because if I’ve experienced great love or happiness in the dream, I really don’t want to have to let that go. If I’ve experienced fear or an otherwise negative emotion, it can take a few minutes to fade.
But nothing I can recall has ever been quite like the feelings I experienced within my dream, and after, last night.
Without going into details, because let’s face it nobody is actually interested in hearing about other people’s dreams (unless they’re in them, Sometimes..), in last night’s dream I was so terribly, agonisingly crushed by stone cold hard devastation, panic and complete and utter despair I sincerely feared I’d never stop feeling it. It was paralysing. It was how a depressive episode can feel such as the one in my post last week, but magnified by about 100.
My dream was all of my self-loathing, perceived failings, flaws and inadequacies confirmed in the most brutal of ways. I thought “My God, I suspected it was the case that I’m so repulsive and useless but now it’s actually true!”
I saw this tremendous grief stretch out before me for the rest of my life and it was unbearable. I have never had suicidal tendencies, I still don’t and I didn’t even in my dream, but I did simply just want it to STOP. To end. I Needed it to. It was paralysing. It was cold. It was oppressive. It was agony. And it was endless.
I woke in the dark earlier than usual and these emotions were still with me. My brain hadnt yet caught up. My chest was tight and my heart an uncomfortable lump. I thought, again, that they wouldn’t go away. Believed it, in fact. This was my life now.
And as for the actual events in the dream…I realised as I took in the familiar surroundings and my brain caught up with reality that no, they hadn’t actually happened. But they could. And all of my worst fears about myself would be confirmed. And then my life would just be this paralysing grief from then on. I felt pinned to my bed. I couldn’t move. I honestly thought I wouldn’t be able to get up for the school run. It took 40-50 minutes of reassurance and comfort from S before I even began to feel like I could move again. A little longer for the feelings to subside completely. In fact they still haunted me faintly as I went about my morning routine
The bizarre thing is that my depressive feelings have never intruded upon my dreams so dominantly. Usually sleep is the place I get a reprieve; rare disruptions aside. Even the bad dreams in which I’ll feel fear or upset are not the same as depressive feelings I feel during my waking hours
Even including the very worst of my depressive episodes and crashes and the most crippling moments of low self esteem I have never felt anything so devastating loathsome cold and crushing as what I felt during that dream.
I’m baffled it didn’t set me up for a downward spiral. I’ve no reason as to why it failed to. By all logic it should have, but as stated before depression doesn’t do logic very much
I hope I never experience it again