Thursday, March 6, 2014
As an adolescent, I had bad dreams --I assume from hormones. I'd heard it was common for dreams to become weird and repetitive during puberty. These dreams would involve things like a landscape with enormous holes, which fell down to nothing (the universe?). As I tried to make my way somewhere, the holes would get larger and larger, leaving less and less space to walk between them. The reason I remember this dream so well is because I had it frequently. There were others, where the visuals were a bit different but the feelings were similar.
Then I got older, and my bad dreams became more normal --I'd dream of relatives blowing up, being raped, running down dark alleys from some criminal element. I rarely had good dreams. I didn't remember my dreams every night, but when I did they were almost always really unpleasant.
Then I had Emma and my undiagnosed generalized anxiety bloomed into panic attacks (thank you pregnancy hormones). These always involved Emma in some way --if she coughed at night, I was irrationally positive that she was going to die from whatever it was (while the rational part of my brain (and my husband) was telling me otherwise) and I spent the night with my jaw and stomach clenched, staring at the ceiling. If Rob forgot once (just once) to pick Emma up from daycare while I was working, I immediately assumed he was lying dead along the road somewhere. I arrived at her daycare in tears, and looking back I'm sure the teachers thought I was insane. Rob certainly did :-) Finally a good friend held a one-on-one intervention, and I saw someone and got some good meds.
So, no panic attacks, and suddenly --NO bad dreams!
Now my dreams are so incredibly ordinary that I find myself wondering if I dreamed something or if it really happened. The handle to my crock-pot top fell off, and that night I dreamed Rob had replaced it as he'd told me he could. I only know this was a dream because the next morning it was still broken. This morning I was thinking about how I can't really wear necklaces to work because I have to have my key-card around my neck on a lanyard. I thought --hmm . . . maybe I could use a safety pin to attach my card to the bottom of my shirt every once in a while so I can wear a necklace. I remembered coming across a safety pin recently, but I can't remember whether I really unpinned something, or if that had been part of a dream. Sometimes I'll dream that I purchased something at the store --but not a cool new item of clothing, but instead a loaf of bread. And I have to check the kitchen to see whether I did that, or just dreamed it. These are incredibly boring dreams --so boring they blend right into the most boring aspects of real life.
It's been a relief to say goodbye to the bad dreams, but I find myself getting rather annoyed at the nature of these dreams. It would be nice to have something in between. And the scientist part of me really wants to know why calming my anxiety would have such an impact on my dreams. I wonder if other people on anti-anxiety meds have had a similar experience? I wonder if anyone has done any research on it. Okay, I'm off to do a little googling.
How are your dreams?