Day 33: Anxiety Dreams

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Photo by Kyle Smith on Unsplash

A morning of ups and downs

I am not a believer in dream interpretation. They probably mean something but there is no knowing what. But some are blatant and this morning and the previous morning I have had anxiety dreams that woke me up. Both about situations where I could not escape my circumstances, in spite of trying very hard. The root of that is pretty obvious.

I have not experienced a lot of anxiety this past month, in fact I’ve felt unusually resigned to where things are right now. But I guess some part of me is storing something up and it is getting out in my third sleep cycle. According to sleep researchers we sleep in cycles of 2–2.5 hours that end with REM sleep and deep dreaming. A good night’s sleep for me is three cycles, about 7.5 hours and I’m pretty diligent about getting it.

It is interesting to me that these dreams do not take place in the middle of the night. They wake me and if I’m going to be awakened I’d rather have the day ahead of me than face going back to sleep. So I guess a part of me is being protective. But it may be that I am supposed to remember these dreams and learn something from them.

We have been having cocktails each night around dinner and I have been indulging myself too much, after making progress prior to the pandemic. The message I’m taking away is that this is not the time for that indulgence. Obvious dreams lead to obvious conclusions that my conscious was quite aware of but not dealing with.

After walking home this morning and mulling this over, I had a very calming meditation session- the opposite of anxiety. Then, while writing, I got an email accepting an article proposal I did last minute for an old acquaintance, for a decent amount of money. Some serious ups and downs going on. I guess that is the nature of this prolonged experience.

I think the fact that this experience of isolation is almost universal is pretty interesting. To be isolated but to be sharing that isolation with everyone else is an anomaly. We are all so connected. This morning I’m texting with a friend in NYC who has survived the virus and emailing with a magazine editor. And getting Slack messages from a client in Hamburg Germany. A very different form of isolation.

I contemplated stopping my sharing of these daily entries, in part because few people read them and in part because I started out wanting to post something positive each day. But some days are just not that positive. People are sick and dying and there are families experiencing hunger and destitution. But this thinking about shared isolation has made me decide to keep posting whether they resonate or not. Just a form of self-therapy I guess.

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