The Hollowing Out Created by Dreams

I’ve been wanting to write this post for a few weeks now and perhaps it took hearing Port St. Willow’s, “Hollow,” to finally be “inspired” to do it. The title of this blog post is obviously inspired by the song.

Does anyone else listen to music while they write? I do most of the time.

Sleep sucks. I mean, it’s the thing I often look forward to the most, but it still sucks. Because I never feel rested. Instead, I wake up and need to be reassembled by coffee and coffee can only maintain that reassembling for so long before I need a stop-gap nap in the middle of the day (if I can) before coffee or hot tea in the evening.

And sleep also sucks because I’ve resigned myself to the fact that I’m perpetually going to have some sort of aches or pain from the way I sleep, mostly in my neck. Yes, I could change this awful habit I have of looking at my phone sideways on my pillow before falling asleep, thus killing my neck and annoying Morning Brett, but well, that’s a hard habit to break; ergo.

But sleep mostly sucks because sleep means dreaming and I’m sick of the dreams I’m having. My apologies for how whiny this may come across, but I’m sick of the way my real life grief and longing and loss manifest in my dreams and then loop back onto themselves in my waking reality.

Specifically, as I’ve briefly alluded to on the blog, my ex broke up with me in December 2019. More than two years later, I’m still “dealing” with that. I put dealing in scare quotes because for the first year and a half, I decidedly did not deal with it; instead, I left that unprocessed grief sitting in the back of my head like a mold in the walls of my brain. I knew I’d have to deal with it, because its mold, but I didn’t want to; avoiding it was easier. Compartmentalizing to survive was easier. Or so it seemed.

As I got better and healthier from my severe depression, anxiety and suicidal ideation in the summer of 2021, I began to process that grief, to sort of take a hammer to the walls concealing the mold, to keep the metaphor going. I’m still not entirely sure what dealing with one’s grief means. What actually taking a hammer to the wall means in a literal sense: Allowing myself to think about it more, perhaps? To not compartmentalize? To not rush to the bottom of a spiral when I see her face on social media? Which itself seems simple enough and yet, that took me a while, too. Sometimes it still hits me.

The worst manifestation lately though, and it’s what’s been bugging me for weeks to unload on the blog about, are the dreams. I’m sick of having dreams about her or the kid or both. I’m sick of the fact that it’s been more than two years and still, those dreams exist. And then I wake up, frustrated and downcast.

Having to start the day utilizing the tools I’ve gathered to fight back against depression gets exhausting sometimes. I’m glad I have the tools and I’m glad I often can tamper down the depression from taking over first thing in the morning, but it still sucks, hence my whining here (yes, I know, maybe I’m being too hard on myself by calling this whining).

Maybe there are things I can do to mitigate the dreams I have. That is, by not looking at my phone prior to bed, or having white noise playing or something. I don’t know if any of that would mitigate such dreams, but I’m just brainstorming out loud about my brain.

Brains are quite the SOB, aren’t they? Marvelous little squishy grey matter, but also malevolent little squishy grey matter when it wants to be.

I’m not sure what’s up with the horse, but this is a Creative Commons photo of ‘The Nightmare’, by M.Z.D. Schmid. Mood.

4 thoughts

  1. break ups suck. the pain from them eventually with time go away (i know cliché but it is the truth) . and you will find another love that might break your heart or you might break her or his heart or you may live forever together till one of you are no longer on this earth. I have experienced break ups and it is not a good feeling. It does eventually go away and soon someone else catches your eye. i hope this helped. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. It’s not really the same thing, but the nature of my dreams changed substantially after I quit working (retired, a little prematurely, but it was a mental health requirement). Suddenly all of the dread that accompanied whatever I dreamed about went away. I had always been in some difficult situation, working toward some elusive goal and enduring the unpleasantness along the way. I see now that it was my frustration/anxiety/terror about working that crept into my dreams. Now that’s gone. I still often dream about striving toward some goal, but I get to go along with people I know (I NEVER dreamed about people I actually know IRL before) including having fun with my grands.

    Also, my depression is in remission for now. I’ll take that for as long as it lasts.

    Maybe when you’re able to process the break up more fully, the nature of your dreams may change.

    Also, I think brown noise is better for the brain that white or pink noise. Don’t quote me on that.

    Liked by 1 person

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