Note: Given the climate in the United States right now I want to tell you that this article uses a short description of a dream-scape shooting. It is not graphic and is very short.
Do you remember your dreams? Are they vivid? Do you write them down?
Maybe you’re one of the people who analyze them, look through books and websites about what a symbol means, what your subconscious is trying to tell you. These can be fine things to do, up until your subconscious tells you to quit your job, buy a unicycle, and ride around town throwing turnips at people. I might not take that one literally.
I come from the place of the mind not the supernatural, as I’ve written about before. Your subconscious is telling you something you already know, something that is hidden for some reason, even unacknowledged. But it’s from you and your beautiful, powerful brain.
Sometimes that brain gets pissed.
Years ago, before I got sober for the I think second time, I was lying in bed in that not really asleep sort of blacked out state, the one where you stumble to the kitchen, drink orange juice right from the carton, and in the morning wonder how the hell a carton of orange juice got in your closet, that sort of thing. It’s not the most enlightened time for a person, is my point.
This particular night though, I had a dream that I remembered, and it was not subtle.
I was on the porch of a sort of farm style house somewhere in the desert, a place surrounded by swirling dirt and scraggly brush.
Anyway, a person came out of nowhere with a rifle and was mercilessly shooting everyone in the way, until arriving at the porch. I had hidden behind a large rocking chair, terrified and crying, waiting to die. The shooter came up and pointed the muzzle at me. I reached out, grabbed her wrist, and pleaded with her to not kill me. “I’m not done yet.” I recall saying.
The shooter, coming as a surprise to no one, was me. I told you it was not subtle.
From that moment on, I was clean and sober and never had a manic episode or a depression ever again. The End. <credits>
That’s not how things work, of course. But it helped, and that always matters.
So what dream are you having that you need to wake up from? Try to search them for a clue, and when you find it, look at it with unblinking eyes. If it is painful, try to look at them even more. You may want to do this with a therapist.
A common defense mechanism for us is disassociation and we are good at it. But try to stay present, try to hear what it’s saying to you, and be gentle with yourself.
Below is a link to the National Helpline. If you decide your dreams are telling you something you don’t want to face alone, if you are finding your carton of orange juice in the closet even one time really, or for whatever reason you need help and support, please give them a try. It’s free and confidential.
And if you feel like it’s too much, if you’re having dark thoughts and considering a way out, I’ve also included the Suicide Prevention Hotline.
It will pass and the world is better with you in it.
SAMHSA’s National Helpline is a free, confidential, 24/7, 365-day-a-year treatment referral and information service (in English and Spanish) for individuals and families facing mental and/or substance use disorders.
National Suicide Prevention Hotline
We can all help prevent suicide. The Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals.