‘Ello ‘Ello ‘Ello!
Today’s post marks the 12th day straight of me rambling at you all, haha! Are you all keeping up? Anyone still awake?
Speaking of sleep – today I wanted to talk about my experiences with nightmares. Although it is the month of ‘all things spooky’, this is something which is a part of my life all year round.
When you think about it, adult nightmares isn’t something we hear being spoken about very often. I genuinely thought that everyone had nightmares most nights like I do until I discussed it with my fiancé and he said that most nights, he barely even dreams. That b o g g l e d my mind – what does he do all night?! Even when I was at uni, my flatmates might have had the odd strange dream, especially if they had been drinking, but mine are different from that.
I didn’t realise that having them as frequently as I do was ‘unusual’ for some people, especially considering its such a consistent part of my life.
I guess that when we talk of nightmares, most would think of children. Being tucked up in bed and being greeted in their dreams by the Bogeyman and other scary mythical creatures. But mine were never like this. Mine are always about very real things.
I suppose that is in some ways, why people don’t like to open up about their nightmares, they presume they are juvenile or embarrassing. I just view them as inevitable.
I will either have a restful night sleep, with no dreams whatsoever good or bad, or I’ll have a nightmare. There hasn’t been much middle ground for a while now. I’ve learned to not wake up screaming now, but I sometimes still wake up crying and shaking from being so scared.
My brain is quite interesting in a way, it will sometimes recycle an old nightmare that I’ve had days, weeks or even years ago or it will create a whole new one from scratch. Sometimes, I will start by having a familiar nightmare, but my brain will mix it up and change the ending to keep me on my toes. I’ve noticed that I can’t wake up from them, no matter how hard I try. I can only wake up when it lets me.
Sometimes I know they’re not real, but other times I feel like they are VERY real. There have been horrible times in my life when I’ve been having a nightmare, woken up, and spent the next two to three weeks questioning what is real and what isn’t because it seemed SO real.
I don’t look forward to going to sleep most nights anymore. I have had nightmares almost every night since I was little. Regardless of what happens in my life, whether I am happy or sad, they never seem to stop.
I’ve been told for years that I just have an active imagination and that’s a good thing. I guess you could say that I had bad dreams as a child because I saw a lot of stuff I shouldn’t have seen. But even after therapy, they didn’t slow down. One period of time I was taking a high dose of medication just to knock myself out rather than sleep.
I have often wondered if my nightmares are so persistent because of all the medication that I take. My nightmares do seem to change depending on which medications I am taking at that time. In my experience, taking antidepressants make them SO much worse.
Some days, I wake up from them and I can tell you word for word, frame by frame what happened in the entire nightmare, others it’s like a horrible distant memory.
Whilst most of my nightmares have never happened, and most have the possibility of never happening, I can’t help but be gripped by the part of me asking – what if it does happen?
If you are unfortunate like me and still experience persistent nightmares as an adult, what has helped you have a peaceful night’s sleep?