edvard munch, scream, painting

Six popular anxiety dreams

1. Getting stuck in your clothes

You’re in a massive rush. Not just late, but REALLY, stressfully, sweatingly late. And yet you have a pressing, unswervable, urgent need to get changed. You know it will only make you later, but you are unable to stop yourself. All your clothes are on the floor. Someone is shouting at you to hurry up and you’re shouting back, “For God’s sake, I’m coming!!!” You find yourself halfway through taking your top off – and it gets TOTALLY stuck. You’ve got your arms crossed above your head. You are trapped. Probably forever.

2. Someone in your room

Waking up to find someone in your room is about as bad as it gets. It’s right up there with Benefit’s tinted moisturiser being discontinued and the stupid road layout round South Kensington tube station. You wake (except you don’t, you’re dreaming) to find a looming figure in your room. It’s a fear that grips you by the balls you don’t even have and shakes you like a rag doll. You are totally incapable of taking control of the situation and politely/not politely asking them to please vacate the area. You’re just a cardboard cut-out of a human unable to move or speak or defend yourself.

3. You have to run

It’s important. It’s life or death. Except you can’t. The exertion to even get your limbs moving is off the chart and yet you’re rooted to the spot. Thanks for nothing, brain.

4. Scream for help! 

As loudly as you can! People need to hear you! You throw your head back to prepare for a leonine roar. What comes out is quieter than air escaping from a bicycle tyre. Pathetic.

5. You didn’t finish school…

“But wait – I did my A levels years ago. Years.”
“I’m afraid you didn’t. You didn’t even start Sixth Form.”
“I did, I remember sitting my exams.”
“No, you didn’t. And now you have to go back.”
“But I’m so much older than everyone else. This is humiliating.”
“You’re a charlatan. A fraud. You have no qualifications. The way we see it, you don’t have a choice. You deserve to suffer.”

6. The uber that never arrives

When you order an Uber, it’s because you need to get somewhere. OK, so in a dream, it might be to your cat’s funeral/Saturn, but it’s still somewhere. So when your Uber then doesn’t turn up, that is a problem, even when you’re asleep. You start to get angry. Where is the bastard? How do I express my disapproval of this without reducing my rating? Why is the phone I booked it on now a brick made of cheese and what’s my old piano teacher doing here?

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