Sleeping Dreaming Mind

In the moments before I wake up, I am afraid.

abstract watercolor illustration of a swirling bad dream above a bed
Image created via Midjourney

My dreams have disturbed me lately.

I thought I had finally moved on from images of babies and being gripped by fear, but over the past few days they have re-emerged.

In one dream, I had lost Iris and then went to the doctor several weeks later complaining of stomach issues. An ultrasound showed that I was still pregnant – that I had been carrying twins, but that the surviving baby was growth-restricted like Nelle.

In another dream, I was confronted by a pregnant friend. I had been trying to avoid her but she invited me to her baby shower. I tried to explain to her how I couldn't, how it was too painful, but she didn't understand.

I often wake from dreams like these, my mind screaming "no! no! NO!" wanting it to be over.  

Last night, I took a long bath and a melatonin and while I fell asleep easily, the disturbed sleep had me awake and shuddering at 1:00 a.m., then again at 4:30 a.m. So I began writing.

What is my dreaming mind doing to itself? Why is it torturing itself in this way?  Why – when I finally thought I had moved past such disturbed sleep – am I being dragged into the worst moments of the past 8 months that I would rather forget?

I have been weaning from my anti-depressants for the past few weeks. Not sure if that is the cause of my increased, vivid dreams, or if there is some other trigger in the background that I have not realized.

In a state of exhaustion today, I wore a prayer bracelet I bought for myself (while on the hunt for a new yoga mat). I place no particular significance on the prayer beads; they are more of a reminder to take a deep breath.

In the moments before I wake up, I am afraid. Even in the innocuous scenario of a baby shower in my dream, I am gripped by my own fears. Waking, breathing heavily, sweating, makes for long nights and longer, exhausted days.

When you're dreaming with a broken heart
The waking up is the hardest part
You roll out of bed and down on your knees
And for a moment you can hardly breathe.
-John Mayer
Dream On
I have had so many bad dreams.
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