I am not sure if I have mentioned this before, but for as long as I can remember, I have had bad dreams. Almost every night. I have dreams of being chased, being pursued, being in areas of natural disasters, etc. It is almost always a true relief to wake up. Sometimes they are so bad I don't want to go back to sleep after they've woken me up. But this has been my normal forever. I just live with it.
Last night I had a particularly bad one where I had murdered and dismembered a small girl and was then trying to hide it from everyone so I wouldn't go to prison. Oddly, I didn't feel so bad about murdering someone, but just wanted to make sure I didn't get caught - and apparently it was the second time I had done it. Not exactly my personality.
Anyhow, I was extremely stressed trying to dispose of the remains and hide it from the authorities. By the end of the dream I was convinced I would go to jail and was considering killing myself with a bullet in the head.
Okay - so it was dark. And I've given you the short version of a dream that seemed to last for hours and was extremely graphic. Nice, eh? I do occasionally have good dreams, but they are very rare. I like the ones where I can fly. (After last night I'm wondering if there is an unsolved murder somewhere that I'm tapping into ... or if I'm just crazy).
This week, I was reading a book that mentioned something called "Nightmare Disorder" - which I instantly looked up. It's in the DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders). Unbelievably, there are others that have this problem - or: unbelievably, my normal is not normal. They say that if it affects the rest of your day, or prevents you from living a normal life, there are things you can do about it. Drugs, meditation, yoga. I've known for a long time that I should meditate - even bought a pillow a few weeks ago to sit on. Time to use it, I think.
I also think I might talk to my doctor about it. Dreams like the one I had last night stay with me for days - sometimes weeks. And needless to say, they are very disturbing.
So if anyone else out there has the same problems, there may be a solution - or at least a way to ease symptoms.