great white shark, shark night, shark attack

Anxiety dreams: When worry goes wonky

Sleeping is hard. So far so what? But when your brain plays that slyest of tricks on you with an anxiety dream, it seems brutally unfair. You don’t want be awake because of the worry and then you don’t want to be asleep because that worry mutates into a weird, trippy version of itself. Here’s a cross sample:

  1. Trying to take your top off and getting stuck in it. Oh God, the panic.
  2. Anything that involves feet – like watching an ENORMOUS pig get slaughtered in a warehouse and its blood gushing over your feet and slipping in the blood while – inevitable – wearing flip flops.
  3. Swimming at night (I would never do that in real life. Who would ever do that????) and, of course, knowing there is a HUGE Great White in the water. That you can’t see. Because it is night – which is very black. You can’t see when it’s very black. I need to stop remembering this one.
  4. Beating your grandmother to death with an iron bar in front of your father, only for him to say at the end, “That wasn’t very nice.”
  5. Needing to run away from something, but not moving even an inch. And feeling hysterical.
  6. Trying to scream – and sounding like Kate Winslet at the end of Titanic when she’s floating on that door, nearly frozen to death and whispering “Help” in the quietest voice of all time.

Now is not the time to go into what it all means. It’s obvious. My brain is evil and wants to destroy me. Except every now and then it throws me a bone – and I dream that I can breathe underwater. Big, deep breaths through my nose that fill my lungs. And I swish about thinking, “Ha! I knew I was invincible – now, where is that shark?”

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