So I had this dream last night, one I’ve had variations of before. It’s also one that I wish I’ll never have again. It’s one of those dreams that sets me back in my recovery and improvement, partly because I think I was much younger than nineteen in it. I was maybe thirteen or fourteen–at least, I was treated that way. It is also weird because I have not been remembering any of my dreams when I wake up–thank you sleep deprivation, even though it’s mostly my fault. Here’s what happened:

I was with my family in a shopping center I’ve seen only in my dreams. It’s huge and I manage to get lost no matter how many times I’m there. The only real-life store is Macy’s, not that it matters. The thing about this setting is that the types of dreams it is in vary–happy, upset, etc–so my subconscious was curious as to which direction it would go in.

Dream Me was in a crabby, tired mood, which is one I am in a lot in my dreams that revolve around my issues with depression. My mom kept putting mw down in everything she said; she was mirroring my crabby mood, but hers was on purpose. I don’t remember exactly the things she said, but I did not like them. Dream Me started tearing up, and she called me dramatic, something I despise because it was always more than that. Then I did something I’d always dreamed of doing: I just ran away form her.

I turned around and went in the opposite direction in any hope to avoid her and the rest of my family. I ran in and out of stores, not knowing if my mother was following me or not. I just wanted to be away from her. This was a freedom my thirteen year-old self never really felt.

Except I wasn’t free. I could sense her looking for me and that scared me. Like, scared me in the way you would be if someone was stalking you. I couldn’t even imagine the trouble I would be in once she found me. Every minute was filled with fear as I wandered around.

I couldn’t find the exit of the building, I never can. The shopping center is a maze I will never figure out, I am convinced. Usually in these dreams, I accidentally make a wrong turn and run into my family (usually it’s my little sister I see first). Sometimes they aren’t looking for me, but other times they are. On occasion, I manage to escape without being caught until a later time or I am far enough from them that I can get away without them actually catching me.

The thing that was different about this time was that it didn’t feel like a game; I legitimately felt like I was being hunted. I was afraid my mother would find me and never let me get away (ever, like college too). This fear wasn’t just felt by Dream Me, either. I felt the terror eating me inside my stomach and my chest while I slept. My heart was beating–or rather, thudding. Dream Me couldn’t stop crying and feeling like she would never escape this trap of life. That’s what I felt life was: a trap only escapable by death.

I was completely powerless to the thoughts my depression came with. The idea that I was a worthless pawn in life and meant nothing to anyone. I was invisible to everyone in this dream except my mother, who was the evil. [Disclaimer: I do not think my mother is evil.] Why couldn’t I find the exit and escape this place, this life? I wanted it to end so badly, but I couldn’t manage to wake up.

Eventually I woke up, shaking and scared. I am shaking now, just thinking about it. This dream brought me back to the Bad Thoughts I have fought so desperately to erase from my mind. I have come so far, even just in the last month, so why was I dreaming about this? I want to move on, and until then, I thought I had. When I walked out of my room, I felt relieved. So, so relieved. I was still scared because I didn’t know why I dreamt that or what it means.

Honestly, I think it’s because of the last chapter I read in health. It was about mood disorders and depression. We talked about suicide and eating disorders. That was the first time it’s been talked about since I felt real progress in my recovery and it made me so uncomfortable. I wanted to leave the room–or burst in to tears, whichever came first. I want to be past this.

I guess I’ve always known that things like that will make me feel awkward and weird. Talking about the past always has. But I feel like talking about it means thinking about it, and I never want to think about depression or why I felt like that ever again–at least in a setting like that. I just felt like another statistic, not a real person. I’ve tried so hard put those thoughts or worthlessness behind me.

So where do I go from here? I am afraid that I will have that dream again next time I go to sleep. I am afraid of the Bad Thoughts coming back. I am afraid of feeling meaningless. I am afraid of wanting to end my life again. Was coming to college just like me running away in the dream? When I go home for the holidays or summer, am I going to go back to feeling like before I left? There was a reason I left in the first place; what if I go back and all my progress goes down the drain? I don’t know what I’d do…

So what do I do? How do I get past this? Because I can’t stop thinking about the dream. I guess I’ll just take this one day at a time.

I hope y’all have a better day than mine was yesterday.

❤ A


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