The most difficult aspect of having such an active mind is when it falls asleep at night and it curves down roads that leaves you waking in a panic, fearful of another closed eye slumber.
I am sitting here writing this in effort to not fall asleep, because last night I had a nightmare. What do you think of when you hear the word nightmare? It seems most people write it off as a bad dream and perhaps they’re able to wake up and shake it off while drips of water coat their dry mouth and they casually fall back asleep. I am not one of those people.
My nightmares leave me in a daze, often unable to comprehend how to trust closing my eyes again.
I get nervous. I get anxiety. It feels so real. I remember vivid colors, textures, and voices. I remember the sheer panic huddled in a corner trying to find my hands because I know that’s how I’ll wake myself up.
I don’t really know what happens to my body while I’m in the dreams, though I have been told by ex’s it’s often a physical struggle. When I wake up alone however, I am only aware of my faster heartbeat, sweatiness, and the aching of my limbs.
The problem I face is carrying on. I am transfixed into this horrific place in my sleep and as a result I spend the next days or sometimes weeks afraid to look out my peephole, fearful of any loud noise in my hallway, or terrified of a stranger too close. It goes beyond the initial 5 minutes of terror when I wake from this dream trying to ensure I’ve woken up and it’s not real.
I’m ok. I’m ok. I’m ok….
I don’t know what the answer is. I try falling asleep to funny television. I’ve tried falling asleep to white noise, Navajo sounds, ocean waves…. I’ve tried medication though the nightmares are difficult to predict and over the counter sleep aids leave me groggy (except for THC pills which obviously you can’t find in New York but that’s another subject).
I try to rationalize – I live in a secure building (on the 5th floor), I own a weapon, I have two secure locks, I have neighbors – I repeat “you are safe” under my breath – but if only rationalizing helped anxiety, the pharmaceutical industry would cease to exist. So there it is….another ramble, another peek inside one of the no-so-glorious pieces wrapped up inside me. It can’t all be magic and glory, right?