Monday, June 26, 2006

Dreams. Damn them.

I had a bad night Saturday. Went to bed about 2am, woke at 5 when the birds started and didn't get back to sleep for a good hour. When I did my sleep was very unsettled, tossing and turning and waking up often - I eventually got up about noon feeling like crap, and weirded out by some fucked-up dreams.

More than anything it freaks me out that my dreams are so detailed.

One that I remember involved me being asked questions by a room of people and trying very hard to answer them in the right way. It seemed I did answer them properly, as they looked pleased, and someone started to spray me with something that slowly paralysed me over a few minutes - it got more and difficult to breathe and move and I was trying to plead with them to stop but I never finished the sentence. Once I was fully paralysed the spray dried to a kind of plastic seal which covered me like I was shrink-wrapped, and someone told me that I was exactly the right kind of person and that I'd be used as food for the Army soldiers who were fighting a war, as people are a cheap supply of meat for their pre-packaged dinners. Then I was cooked. I' not sure why I was still alive, and mercifully I wasn't aware of pain, but I watched as the cooked meat from my thighs was removed and cut up. I'm also pretty sure Michael was there and knew what was happening, but of course he couldn't do anything about it as there was no way to stop these guys, they'd have just cooked him too if he'd shown any signs of disapproval.

Just before all this happened there were other incidents where I was misinterpreted and the people I was with became annoyed at me and I didn't know why. Small bad things were happening to me and they weren't at all sympathetic, almost as if they thought I deserved what I got, and made no attempt to comfort or help me. And later on, after the cooking bit, I had the same dream again but this time I saw what they had seen, and their responses were perfectly rational in the context of how they'd experienced the events - it did look to them like everything was my fault.It isn't only the content of my dreams (and the acccompanying thoughts about how messed up my head must be to produce something like that), but the complicated nature of them also weirds me out - it surely can't be normal to dream the same events from different perspectives, it was like a clever film. Dreams aren't meant to be so involved and structured and intricate.

When I wake up from stuff like that, it is a bit like when you've seen one of those really good horrow films that sticks in the back of your mind for days - I don't just mean when you jump every time you catch something move in the corner of your eye or lie in bed scared that that creaky noise is the monster coming to get you, I mean when the horrible ideas you've been exposed to continue to squirm away in your head and your belly - it's an actual physical feeling that something's not right, and now you know about it you've lost another little bit of innocence, another piece of your soul, another locked box is thrown into the sweet clean well of your mind where it leaks and poisons the water (to steal a metaphor from Stephen King), and the world will never seem quite as shiny and pretty again.

Needless to say, this makes me feel pretty weird, and it's not a nice feeling. It will take me days to get back to my "normal" state of mind. With my past history I suppose it would be easy to chalk all this up to depression, but I don't feel depressed. I feel what I've come to think of as "out of it".

Anyway, as often happens, the aftermath of this dreaming session was that as late evening approached I felt more and more uneasy, and more and more awake. Why? Because I didn't want to go to sleep.

I decided to read for a while until I felt sleepy. At 5am I gave up on the sleepy part and went to bed anyway, because I was tired (which is completely independent of sleepy, as any good insomniac will tell you). An hour and a half later I finally dozed off after marvelling about how uncomfortable my pillows are when I can't sleep, shocking myself when the thought of suicide momentarily fluttered across my mind (so not serious, it was immediately dismissed and I feel no inclination towards that course of action at all, so please don't worry), and deciding that 5-6am is always the time when I feel the most shit (circadian rhythms at their lowest ebb I guess). I woke at 12, with clear memories of dreams that although not on a par with Saturday night at all, still left me with a sense of unease.

I know that dreams are just dreams and don't necessarily mean anything, but my gut doesn't listen to such nonsense as logic and common sense.

Today I continue to be unsettled and vaguely unhappy and a little frustated. What I can't work out is this: am I not feeling great because of the dreams, or am I dreaming like that because I don't feel great?


  1. With my past history I suppose it would be easy to chalk all this up to depression, but I don't feel depressed. I feel what I've come to think of as "out of it".

    I was having nightmares that were so vivid I would throw myself out of bed—I did this on several occasions, and hurt myself once or twice.

    I also had the "out of it" feeling—like everything that is familiar around me wasn't really real.

    And too, the fleeting thoughts of suicide.

    It was ALL traced to the anti-depressant I was taking, called Paxil (I don't know what it is called in the UK, but the chemical name is paroxetine). I had taken it for several years, but the dr said that it can suddenly have "paradoxical" effects—that is, counter-productive to its purpose.

    Since I know nothing about you other than this blog and your beautiful red hair (blush), I thought I would tell you my experience.

    I will check your other blog, but I think I will like this one.


  2. You know I have very vivid dreams as well. I don't entirely remember what I was dreaming but in part of it the floor I was trying to step on was too week to hold me. I could feel the texture of the floor, I could feel the texture and the fact that all the tile were peeling and curling around the edge.

  3. I've had nightmares for years now, I don't think they're related to medication. Often they're just mind-fucky, but sometimes actually terrifying. I think it's just me. They still happen despite the sleeping pills I take at night to help with my fibromyalgia.

    Yup anti-depressants can do that - it really sucks, and thankfully it never happened to me.

    My "out of it" feeling is like I don't connect with anything. Almost like I'm watching myself doing things, it's not actually happening to me. Like I'm half asleep or numb.

    I'm sorry to say my hair isn't red anymore, it's brunette now!

  4. Cindy

    I've heard similar dreams from quite a few different people.

    I've had a quick trawl for information about interpreting dreams, and I interpret yours this way.

    The floor is your base, your support. You're worried that you don't have the support you need and you'll experience a major struggle (represented by the possible falling).

    Does that sound right, or is it just the usual psychobabble? ;)

  5. Interesting.

    "Dreaming of a cannibal or cannibalism shows that you are being tempted into doing something that you should not do leaving you with the feeling of regret 'eating you up', inside. It is a warning to stay out of those kind of situations if you have not already been tempted into it."

  6. I know bad dreams or nightmares can leave you feeling like crap, but not all dreams are bed. Some dreams inspire you and some leave you feeling amazing.

  7. Ghostlion - hi, cool name!

    My dreams are never good unfortunately, always either neutral or scary or disturbing or just plain weird.

    I wouldn't mind if I had good ones occasionally... is a night with Keanu Reeves and a bucket of KFC too much to ask?

  8. They still happen despite the sleeping pills.

    I would suspect the sleeping pills, then: They are central nervous system depressants, and therefore are psychoactive substances.

  9. I would suspect the sleeping pills, then

    I can't see that they make any difference to me at all to be honest, but I've only been taking them for a few months.

    I don't think they affect my dreams because the dreams have been this way for years.