Anxiety isn't something that you can turn on or off. If you're like me, it persists well past the awake part of your day, and shows up, frustratingly, in your subconscious. Nothing says "bright-eyed and bushy-tailed" like a night full of anxiety fueled nightmare, right? Right.
Snippets from my anxiety dreams this past weekend:
- I pull into the Einstein Bros parking lot. Some dude in a Nissan Cube is blaring Beastie Boys. Everyone in the shop is singing along. Dude looks at me, glares, and swings his car in front of mine (both of us still legally in the space) and glares at me some more, then pulls out. The rest of the shop glares at me, keep singing; I have no idea what I did wrong.
- I walk into the (same but different) shop, catching a climpse of someone who may be my bff of the last 27 years through the window. I walk in and, yep, it's her. Only she's doing (statistics?) homework with a pretty blonde girl, and won't tell me why she's in Colorado. She barely speaks to me, and seems put out that I'm speaking to her. She promises to call me later, but I don't believe her. The bagel counter has closed while I'm talking to her, so I walk out, hungry and unsettled.
- My apartment, but not my apartment. Bigger, prettier. As I settle in, I realize that small things are oddly out of place. My computer is at a strange angle, and has a bunch of those wrist/mouseguard pads strewn around it. My dresser is askew. There's an overhanging lamp where there wasn't before. I walk into my living room, and my coffee table is gone. I walk outside, and everything seems normal (except for there being 8 units in my building instead of 6), my coffeetable is out on the walk way. No one has seen anything, no one knows what's going on. Eventually, a van pulls up around the corner (a corner that doesn't exist in real life) and a tall, thin, scary looking contractor-dude comes out. He tells me that he's replacing all my furniture. I question him intensely, he is hesitant to tell me that my landlord sent him. Eventually my landlord shows up, in a truck, with his mom and sisters making christmas decorations in the back of it. They angrily insist that I help them while the men empty my stuff out of the apartment. The sister is angrier and angrier that they're not repossessing my car as well, even though my landlord has no claim to it. They try to take my computer as well. I tell my landlord I'm going to need a formal notice of eviction, and he laughs at me. Inside, 3 people my age (2 girls, I think I know, 1 I don't know, 1 friend of a friend who is in an improv troupe back home) are planning what they'll do with the property when they move in. They discuss calling my friend B to live with them as well. I'm appalled that they'd even consider him, let alone laugh about me being homeless, while I'm right there. They continue laughing at me.
- A different my apartment/not my apartment. A friend that looks like S (in bad overdramatic gothish makeup), too tall for the boyish, 1800s-esque clothes he's wearing, is yelled at by his mother. We go outside where a woman who looks like the evil fairy from Sleeping Beauty is standing regal and tall. She informs him that he is her real son, and will be coming with her. I am left alone, and informed by the groundskeeper that her other son, the human son she stole (not S, the changeling/real son) from the 14th century, is buried under the house. I will be joining him/taking his place. As I walk down the stairs to the sub-level apartment, I see credits rolling for a movie that is a collection of adaptations of short stories by DH Lawrence. I am, apparently, actually in this movie.
Is there a common theme running through any of those? Besides not understand what's going on as a participant in each dream, I'm not sure. Stress about fitting in? Maybe. (Are you a dream interpreter? Let's chat.)
The good news is that with time and distance, I can shake the cobwebs of residual reality that these dreams leave me with. My best friend doesn't hate me. I'm the maid of honor at her wedding, for chrissake. I'm not getting evicted. I've been living in the same place for the last 4 years, and my landlord thinks I'm a super easy tenant. And I'm definitely not a bit player in a crummy adaptation of a D.H. Lawrence story (though S definitely might be.)
I just need to remember that as real as they can feel, anxiety dreams do not, cannot, manifest in reality.
Unless I let them.
Which I have no intention of doing.
Because D.H. Lawrence is awful.