To Sleep, Perchance to Dream

The dreams can just suck sometimes. I’ve always been a vivid dreamer, able to remember my dreams, not just when I wake up but for years afterward. I still remember a nightmare from when I was four years old. I dreamt that I had gone down the drain after my bath and I was stuck in a dark room with shelves everywhere that seemed to be some kind of store. There was no color, only dark greys and blacks. I was crying because I was all alone. Writing this dream down makes me wonder if I’ve actually been depressed my entire my life.

Dreams are hard to deal with sometimes. You let your guard down and your subconscious takes over. This gives Depression a field day. Talk about great stomping grounds! This morning I woke up after a night of interrupted sleep to a dream that started out with my best friend showing up with half-frozen brownies for my birthday which she promptly started giving to everyone but me. Then it switched to me talking on the phone to my mom and she was telling me that my child gone into hiding and she wouldn’t tell me where she was because Libby didn’t want me to know to where she went. The last part of the dream finally ended with me watching a commercial like a political ad but the point of this commercial was every single person talking about how ugly I am. Thanks a lot, subconscious! Now I not only feel unattractive but unwanted by friends and family.

I know this is not true. To begin with, my best friend always makes carrot cake for my birthday, not brownies. My child is too much of a mama’s girl to disappear completely without telling me and I’m too much of a mama’s girl for my mother to keep it from me. Finally, I know that I am not so unattractive that there would be a commercial with people I’ve never met, including Sam Elliott saying how ugly I am. But that asshole, Depression will put it right there in my mind. Almost like it’s spitballing ideas to see what sticks to the chalkboard of my mind.

It is hard to deal with an illness that is completely inside of you. If it were something like cancer, it could be excised, but not Depression. I can go to counseling, I can start on meds, but even though I will get better, because I always do, I know it will always come back because it always does. The counseling and meds help but it’s always there, ready to whisper in my ear or show up as I sleep. It cuts me open to throw salt in my deepest wounds and finds ways to scratch  out new pain.

My only recourse is to be fighter. I have to stand up, look that lying bastard in the eye and call, “Bullshit!” The dreams will come because is inevitable and necessary. Did you know that can survive longer without food or water than you can without sleep? You have to let your guard down, whether you like it or not. So here’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to remember that dreams are just subconscious manifestations and that depression is a fucking liar. Then I’m going to hug my puppy, because puppies equal love. Especially mine.

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