Who can really say if my weirdly lifelike dreams can be attributed to Lamictal or this mixed depressive episode or whatever? All I know is they’re vivid and inclusive. Almost everyone I talk to regularly is in every single one.
I looked into the science of dreaming, and lets just say I got bored really quickly. Some people think they’re utterly meaningless and others think they help us process emotions by encoding/constructing memories of them. Maybe it’s my bipolar brain looking for ~ signs ~ again, but I’m inclined to think the latter given all my most pressing concerns are always in these types of dreams.
Sure, I have the run-of-the-mill “being chased by an animal,” “sinking ship,” and “missing a flight” dreams, but for whatever reason, my dreams are getting inappropriately personal. Like, come on. Can’t I have a break from my mind in my sleep? Why is that too much to ask? Don’t make me reckon with my subconscious, suppressed emotions when I’m not even conscious. That just seems like exploitation.
Basically, they start off in some place I’ve spent a lot of time like my first year dorm, my hometown home, or some sort of school. Then, everyone to whom I’ve given so much as one thought in the last day appears, and I walk from room to room “gathering” people until we all end up in a common room together.
All the things I do and want to do in waking life are taken to the extreme. Facebook stalking turns into actual stalking. Crushes go from silent pining to desperately begging them to take me on a date. Any morbid thought means I will probably die in my dream. Any irrational fear manifests in its worst possible form in someone else (like level 1000 vomiting), any desire to party means I will be coked out or on heroin in my dream, and basically any daytime emotion becomes hysterical. I know what you’re thinking by now. Sex dreams? No. Only the aftermath, like me getting pregnant or an STD, crying because I feel guilty (all that suppressed religious stuff comes out in my dreams too), or getting caught cheating. Plus, all this happens in front of everyone I care about.
So this might not seem like a big deal because it really isn’t apart from the fact that I then have to wake up thinking about the very things that made it hard for me to fall asleep in the first place. Again, I always romanticize sleep as a place I can escape from my mind for once, hence my desire to be put in a coma for like six months. But apparently as long as my brain can torture me, it will. It’s like bitch, you might be asleep, but I’m not. I’ve gotta process all that shit you refuse to deal with in waking life.
But is making a fake memory of me letting my emotions completely take over really the best way to process anything? Probably not, especially when there’s no resolution. I always wake up before I know if so-and-so likes me back, if I overdose, or if my significant other forgives me for cheating. So then I just wake up feeling like a terrible person, and all that religious stuff about “thinking being just as bad as acting” starts swirling around my head. And then all the things I was trying to suppress just end up plaguing me for the rest of the day as I expend all energy continuing my attempt at suppression.
Because, per my last post, most of my emotional release happens in the form of a panic attack. Like, oh shit, her guard’s down. Hit her with all those emotions at once. It’s like an indiscernible blob of emotion. None of the causes have an identifiable source. Basically, it’s a Big Bang: singularity to primordial soup in my mind.
I’m pretty good at introspection. My therapist is always like, “wow, you’re really good to even be able to recognize that stuff.” That stuff refers to me intellectualizing about my emotions instead of feeling them. Like, yeah, being made fun of as a kid definitely had an impact on my ability to feel confident in my identity, but I don’t equate my anxiety toward social situations with having emotions in social situations. I basically have two states when suppressing: apathy and anxiety.
So while I’m able to put two-and-two together, when I actually get around to feeling the emotions that two-and-two caused, it’s usually because I broke a pencil or forgot my notebook. At that point, I’m too caught up in being like “what the fuck?” at myself because the situation was so minuscule to see the actual source of those emotions.
It’s even what I’m doing right now. I can write about all those fears of rejection and abandonment for days, but that isn’t tantamount to dealing with them. I don’t know how to deal with them, which I guess is why I have a counselor on top of a psychiatrist. There are some things medicine can’t alleviate. I mean, shit, if I could take a pill to quell those fears, I would, but all the pills supposedly do is make me capable of dealing with the fears. But I’m not even close to that point yet. I don’t know how all that will work out right now.
Apparently, the combination of medication and mixed episodes think the best way to deal with emotional suppression is to dream about it. I guess they won’t stop creating scenarios in which I spill my guts to the people by whom I’m terrified of being rejected and/or abandoned only to be rejected and/or abandoned by them in the near future. I mean, those people probably don’t even know who they are because a lot of it stems from my obsessive, putting-people-on-pedestals thing, which is just another symptom. It’s an endless cycle.
Symptoms create emotions that literally cannot be alleviated in reality, which then create fears of rejection and abandonment that are ultimately corroborated because my symptoms don’t create realistic expectations for relationships. It’s like I’ve created an impassable test of unconditional acceptance for everyone in my life. When they don’t pass it (since they can’t due to my incorporation of new criteria every time I find a new way to feel rejected or abandoned), I retreat emotionally and physically out of fear and feelings of being annoying. So basically, are my emotions even real? Or are they just a product of my mental illness? Will I ever found out? All signs point to no, but stay tuned for possible updates I guess.