#290: NIGHTMARES, LEVINE, AND LADYBUG
I have been having nightmares every night for a solid week. This is strange for me, because I rarely have nightmares. I could probably tell you about every nightmare I have ever had since the first dream I remembered when I was five, because I have had approximately that many of them, five. I have doubled that number over the last week.
There is some stress that I am attempting to deal with, the first of which is work related. Although I am hired as a permanent employee in the institution I work for, my present position, which I like very much, is only a term until the end of June. If my term is not extended, then I have to go back to my previous department, and it's not my first choice of employment. I like the job I do and the co-workers I do it with, so I feel a little bit like gripping the doorframe and refusing to leave when the final day comes. I don't transition well from job to job, and I do not relish the idea of having to go through the mental anguish again.
Also, my St. John's Wort doesn't seem to be cutting it these days. I don't know if I should increase or decrease my dosage or continue at the level I am currently on and wait out the depressive phase I'm in. I'm in a seriously depressive phase, or I'm just heading into one, which means that this could get much much worse before it gets better. I do know that I always eventually get better, or at least that's what the Fiery One tells me, so I am willing to wait it out and try to treat myself well until then, but damn, anticipating what I can feel coming makes me feel like a cornered animal. I can see the predator approaching, it knows it has me where it wants me, and all I can do is feel the panic that would have me running if I had anywhere to go. I am experiencing levels of depression that I haven't been to in a long while, and it's putting the fear into me, I tell you.
And then, there is this sense that I am not doing enough. I should be writing more, I should actually paint like I said I would, I should finish that damn sculpture, I should keep a cleaner apartment, I should be a better person for the Fiery One, I should already be over the evils of my childhood, I should go back to school, I should write that novel, I should sew that quilt cover, I should have a baby and just stop freaking out about transitions, I should be healthier. This feeling of inadequacy is common and boring and really in need of a revamp. It's not very modern. I think that instead of comparing myself to other people whom I admire, I will start comparing myself to technologies in my life and judging myself accordingly. Man, that automatic door opens itself so gracefully, and my lack of grace has me stubbing my toe and bashing the door against the wall, or my toaster is so attentive to the heat and humidity affecting my toast when I'm too scatterbrained to remember that I even threw bread into it, or if my brain could remember even a quarter of the shit I threw onto this disc I'd be so much farther ahead now. It's a battle I can't win, but then at least this boring inadequacy shit would be more reality based and less a product of multiple neuroses stemming from an improperly balanced ego.
The nightmares coming from this stress all carry the common theme of social rejection and isolation in the midst of a flurry of activity. One of the first ones had some friends and I going camping. We were looking for a place to set up when all of these baby twisters started touching down all over the landscape. At one point there were nine of them immediately surrounding us. We sought some shelter in a copse of trees and became separated. When the storm of twisters began to abate, I was alone but flooded with relief at finding myself still intact. Several other small groups of people had also gathered in the stand of trees, and I moved over to a group of three to ask them how they were. They looked at me over their shoulders and then turned back to their conversation, overtly ignoring my presence as though I were some kind of social fungus. Another nightmare had me being ignored by even my best friends as everyone headed into a large room to have a thirty- or forty-person orgy. Although I wasn't going to participate, I wasn't opposed to the promiscuity in the least and was so hurt that people perceived me as being judgmental and prudish. Each person entering the room averted their eyes from me, isolating me as unwanted, an outsider.
I wake up several times every night filled with deep feelings of rejection, abandonment, loneliness, and isolation. It is as though I have been forsaken by all personal attachments each night at three and four and five o'clock. I'm not one for medicating for every little thing, but I'm starting to think that I would benefit from something that would keep me asleep and solidly for at least six hours. Hell, four hours would suffice with the way things have been going. Two Gr@vol can do wonders in that department. Or a pint of gin.
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