Bad Dreams

I’ve always been a vivid dreamer, and my dreams tend to be very detailed and complex. For instance, I’ll wake up from a dream in which I take part in a Doctor Who adventure and I won’t only remember the story, but know everything about the world we’ve been on – its geology, evolutionary history, geography; its sociology; the history of the people we’ve interacted with. Quite frankly, it’s exhausting. 

This morning I had some bad dreams. They weren’t nightmares, but were unpleasant dreams which touched on my deep-set fears and anxieties: being hated because I failed to adequately care for a relative’s daughter, even though my “infraction” was minor (a dropped glass, spilled drink); a gunman in a department store (which makes no sense, because I live in Australia, not the States) and somehow being responsible for the wrong photo being published on the front page of the paper, which was rather unfortunate as it showed a woman being carried over the shoulders of a fireman and her bum was showing. 

My dreams can cling to me, lingering into the day. It’s important to steal their power from them. So I tell the dearly beloved, I analyze them, I take them apart and reduce them to an object of study, a curiosity, a thing to wonder about rather than be ensorcelled by. I mean, sometimes I wake up and truly believe the dream I’ve had was real: I might dream I was back in a former job, and have to ask the dearly beloved whether I still work there or not. 

The flip side of being such a strong dreamer is that I have a mind which lends itself easily to visualization and imagining. I have a stock of “go-to” visualizations for relaxation and well-being. It’s wonderful to be able to turn the power of my mind to good, rather than not-good. 

Do you dream vividly? Do your dreams impact on your life?

19 Comments

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19 responses to “Bad Dreams

  1. I have really vivid dreams too. They’re usually pretty crazy and I often post about them here. Sometimes I come up with poems in my dreams or use my dreams as inspiration for short stories.
    I have problems with the reality of dreams sometimes too. Some of my dreams are so real and recurrent that I wonder for a moment too long if they really happened. I have dreams of an entire relationship which I know never happened but then I catch myself thinking, did I date that person?

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    • Some people say their anxiety medication make s them dream more vividly, but I’ve always been a strong dreamer. I often think about turning some of my dreams into stories (or TV scripts!) but there’s an abundance of riches, and I never get around to it 🙂

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  2. I usually don’t dream.
    If I dream I don’t remember it.
    .
    But, woah, one time I was on some pills that made me dream a LOT and fucked up stuff. I used to have like 5 dreams per night… or nightmares.
    It was incoherent stuff… but also horrible events.
    I couldn’t sleep.
    I practically begged my psychiatrist to give me something else.
    I was also eating a LOT. Freaking pills.
    Oh, they were called Mirtazapine/Remeron.
    On the internet a lot of people posted about weird dreams, too.

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    • Yes, I’m on mirtazepine – I’ve found it to be an effective antidepressant, but it does help you stack on the weight, and when my medications bloke decided to run me through some med changes last year it was hell to come off. I’m back on it now, though, and it’s working again.

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  3. I’ve also always been a vivid dreamer, characters and locations having back story. It never occurred to me to really harness that imagining to fuel a peaceful experience. I like that! There are universes from my dreams I would love to revisit. And anyone is welcome to join me on that karaoke space cruiser.

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  4. Also, sorry, is it Monday in Australia?

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  5. I’m a very vivid dreamer too–but I’m not a visual person, so what’s most vivid for me are motifs and emotions. (Well, I have spent more than a year trying to recreate a knitted shawl pattern I dreamed.) Unfortunately, nightmares are what stick with me most–the fear and shame often stick with me all day, or several days for the really bad ones.

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    • Ooh yuck, I know that feeling.
      I’m not usually a visual person either, though I do remember pictures from my dreams. I also remember music and emotions and even physical sensations.
      Say – that must’ve been some knitted shawl pattern! Hope it comes back to you : -)

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  6. Only recently have I been having such vivid dreams – and sometimes I sort of know I am partly awake but prefer to stay in the dream… I had one dream where I beat the crap out of someone – and trust me – that is not who I am! Often I forget them really quickly… like a lifting fog… and then my real world reality hits… lately dreams have been preferable…

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  7. I no longer remember my dreams as I once did. The worst were the ones in which I would actually write: poems, prose, songs, entire articles. I wouldn’t see the words on paper, I’d just have to hold them in my mind. In my dream, I could retain a ton of information. I’d dream a stream of words & go over and over them, editing. I never remembered what they were when I woke up. So frustrating!

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  8. Pingback: Inside Holden Caulfield’s Head | In & Out, Up & Down: Dysthymia Bree's Musings On Mental Health and Psychiatric Wards

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