Saturday, March 1, 2008

Dream Date February 28, 29 and Thoughts

Dreams from February 28th:

Dream 1:

A. wrote me an email saying, "Sometimes it's really hard to love people." I was typing out my response, saying that I know how hard it is, and that I've been trying to find someone on the Internet to love but I can't seem to find them.

It's uncanny how real this dream seemed. I woke-up and had to force myself to try to remember if he'd really sent that email or if it was just a dream. In the dream, I had the same rainbow-colored background that I use on the real email service that I use to talk to him with.

I don't know what the meaning of my response is. I'm guessing it has something to do with my fruitless search to find a spiritual teacher. I know that there is (or I would hope) a loving bond between teacher and student.

Dream 2:

Before I get into the dream, let me give you a little bit of background information. A couple weeks ago, as you'll probably remember, I was suffering from the flu. My husband was ill with the flu, too, so neither of us were well enough to go to the grocery store to buy some more orange juice. I called my dad and asked if he'd mind getting us some. The next morning, he arrived with two gallons of orange juice which he placed on our front porch. I had him place the juice there instead of handing it to us because I didn't want him to get our sickness.

In the dream, my dad called to say that he and my stepmother were ill with the flu. He wanted to know if we could bring them some orange juice. In the dream, my dad lived across the street from us, in the house that was across the street from the house I grew-up in during my teenage years. I asked my husband if he'd mind getting my dad's garbage cans for him, and could he please put them on the curbside. Later, my dad showed-up with a package and told me that I couldn't open it yet. He said to "open it when you get to xxxxxxx-town", the town being where I grew-up my teenage years. When I went back inside the house, I went into the kitchen. Orange juice was spilled all over the white linoleum floor.

Dreams from February 29th:

Dream 1:

I don't remember many details of this dream, but there was a very old book laying on a side table by someone's couch. Inside of it in the back of the book were medals and pins from a soldier. The pages were yellowed so I know the book was pretty old. I was going to buy the book. But it turned out that I couldn't buy it because in the front of the book was the name "Edith", meaning that the book belonged to the man's wife, whose name was Edith.

Dream 2:

I am sitting in the backseat of a moving car. There is a Muslim boy wearing a kufi cap hanging on to the outside of the back car door, riding along. I ask him to come inside with us, and he says that he's "not allowed to". He's playing on some sort of drum. I beat on a basketball along with his rhythm. We are drumming together. Eventually he comes into the car and sits in the backseat. So he won't get into trouble, I take a blanket and wrap it around my face so that only my eyes are showing. (The blanket is a quilt my grandmother made for me in 1984. I still have it.) The boy is carrying some sort of pamphlet in an Arabic language. There are signatures all over the front of it. We want to become friends, and I ask him for his address so that I can write to him. He wants to give it to me written in pencil on the pamphlet, but a Muslim man that is riding in the passenger seat in the front of the car tells him that he can't give the pamphlet to me because it talks about secret locations. We are driving in the city somewhere, and we pass by a tall post with an electronic megaphone on it that is blaring Muslim prayer from it. There is a sign below it in an Arabic language. We drive-up to a landing beside a river. There are hundreds of giant salmon that have beached on the road, and some of them are rotting. People are walking on top of them, and driving over them in their cars.

The funny thing about this dream, is that it seemed to go on forever. Many dreams are short, but this one went on and on, and at one point I think I even became semi-lucid because it seemed as if I knew I was dreaming and that I forced myself to stay asleep so that I could finish the dream.
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OK, that's enough of the dreams. Now I'm going to just chat for a little bit since I haven't posted in five days. I was down and out again and feeling quite apathetic towards everything, having no interest in anything, not even my own spiritual development or maintaining my Internet contacts. During this time I thought to myself that no spiritual teacher is going to want to work with someone who falls into depression so regularly. My absenses would be too frequent and sometimes quite unannounced. The reason I am here tonight, speaking on this blog, is because I seem to be momentarily coming out of the fog. I am used to this constant up and down behavior, so I know only too well not to expect tonight's contentedness to last. It might be here for a few days, a week, who knows, before the depression hits again. I've tried all sorts of medications, as everyone who reads my blog knows. I seem to be what is known as "treatment resistant". For almost two months I've been weaning onto Lamictal, so we'll see how that goes. Because a life-threatening rash can develop if one weans too quickly onto it, I'm having to go very slowly, so it could take months before I'm on a therapeutic dose.

If my complaints haven't managed to lose your attention thus far, I'll continue to go on, and announce that this week I made the decision to put a pause to my career, meaning that I'll not be at work anymore. I made this decision because I am unable to maintain my reliability nor my dependability at work due to my horrible attendance record. I really hate to say that I've allowed this mental illness to ruin my life, but it's something I'm going to have to accept for the time being. I'll go from living a comfortable middle-class life to living poorly, as I did when I was going to college. I absolutely dread this, but there are no other options unless I happen to meet a millionaire who sympathizes with my sob story and gives me a windfall. In the meantime, I can only hope to muster-up enough motivation and interest to enter sweepstakes on the Internet when I'm feeling lucid enough to do so.

Thanks for the comments you left while I was away. I am going to try to respond to them tonight, but if I don't get to them, I want to get to them this weekend. I like to keep-up with my responses because it's something I enjoy doing. I certainly enjoyed reading them.

Now on to some odd thoughts that I've had the past couple days:

Do people born on February 29th celebrate their birthdays on February 28th or March 1st during non-leap years?

Why are there piggy banks? I mean, why piggies and not horsies or doggies?

I looked at my hand this morning. I thought it a marvel that I was able to observe my hand, to be aware that I was observing it, and to be aware that I was aware. How on earth did that happen?!

16 comments:

Vincent said...

Sophia, your writing is clear and vivid in describing those dreams - it is always, but the dreams especially carry a sense of reality. I won't attempt to suggest any meaning to them.

As for your persistent search for a teacher the gods will surely hear your prayer and send you what you need if not what you want.

Your decision to leave work sounds a very positive one, if you can survive without that additional income: for you are heeding the prompts of your organism that tells you that something needs to be given attention.

Thanks for sharing so much and I hope the experience of sharing, and the comments you get, will help lift you to a good place in consciousness that will prove sustainable.

Alexander M Zoltai said...

With my history, I'd have to applaud you for sacrificing a mere job for your mental health !

Back on Tuesday the 26th I posted a small set of "Depression Meditations" and one of the commenters gifted me with this:

http://tiny.cc/MWVYr

It starts off mentioning Bipolar but it swiftly becomes focused on a spiritual solution and perspective for depression...

Mossy said...

It was the result of your efforts of course.

Nina said...

just a piece of advice for you, which I gave to a friend who also sufffers from bi-polar and was in a similar situation like you re job and development etcetera..Do not for one thing assume that the spiritual excludes the physical reality we live in. They are both intertwined. The physical needs the spiritual as much as the spiritual needs the physical. When we die we will have enough of the spiritual only to last a lifetime. When we are here, in body, we need to work with what is here. We have to make a living, we have to further our minds..To have a job to focus on, discipline your mind on, balances out a lot of things mindwise. It might be hard work doing but it is worth the effort, otherwise you will sink into your own wandering restless mind. If that job is no good for you then please find another one as soon as you feel up to it..you need something to focus on physically as this will balance off your energies very nicely. you need to find a balance there and then you will feel so much better. The spiritual does not exclude the physical. They are together. Always remember this!

Sophia said...

Vincent,

Thank you so much for supporting my decision to leave work! I'm glad you don't think I'm trying to be lazy. Many people don't understand depression, as I once didn't understand it, so I know how it is to be both on the outside and the inside of it. Those that don't understand think of us as weak or lazy, and call us complainers. I've seen some of that in the support newsgroups on the Internet.

This will allow me time to get stabilized. When I get better - and I certainly plan on getting better - I can always go back to face the work world that is waiting for me.

I don't really have the income for this right now. I've had to take money out of my retirement savings, which was small to begin with. I had almost $20,000. I took $10,000 out to help with the mortgage until I get approved for disability through my job. I am also applying for disability through the SSA. I am scared to death that I won't get accepted, that they'll not think me ill enough, but I know that I can't maintain a decent work record so I'm going to try hard to get them to accept me. But I won't let it beat me. I'm going to win someday and I will get cured of depression. These good days, like today, prove to me that it is possible.

Thanks so much for always listening to me. I hope I'm not taking too much of what you give through your heart.

Sophia said...

Alex,

Would you say what you've had to sacrifice so far for your mental health? Please say as much or as little as you like. I probably shouldn't ask; I'm sure it's not appropriate, but I wanted to feel less lonely in my decision to stop doing something that is otherwise very important to living a normal life. You know how much our society focuses on working a daily job.

I read some of the article on Bipolar that you sent. It's long so I'll read more later. I don't know how many chapters there are.

I also checked out your depression meditations. The most wise of them all was the one that said we alone are responsible for our own lives. I commented on your blog about this, but for others that read the comments here I'd just like to say that no matter how much I dream of having someone make all my decisions for me, someone who can be solely responsible for my life, to tell me what to do in every situation, it all comes down to reality: I alone am responsible for my life. No one is going to wave a magic wand and make everything better. I have to do the work, as hard as it seems.

Sophia said...

Mossy,

I'm glad to see some of my efforts come to fruition!

Sophia said...

Hi Nina,

Thanks for your visit.

Sometimes it is so easy to exclude the mundanities from the physical world from the spiritual. But as the saying goes - the saying we've heard many times over - "We are spiritual beings living human lives." As infinite as the Universe seems, I believe it is contained within an even larger concept, and that is Spirit. The Universe is only a piece of Spirit!

I know I sometimes forget even my own thoughts on this. Out of habit I'll exclude the physical from the spiritual just because it seems impossible that anything mundane can be spiritual. I don't know why I expect that anything spiritual has to be out-of-this world, amazing, magical even.

I know that when I get to feeling better, and am stabilized for a period of time longer than just a couple months, I will get another job. I want to work; I want to be normal like most everyone else. I enjoyed working, even.

Thanks for your comments. Please visit again, Nina.

Alexander M Zoltai said...

Whst I've had to sacrafice for my mental health:

The apparent conviction that I'm always right...

The apparent conviction that I'll be wildly famous...

The idea that I could be Normal...

An understanding relationship with my daughter's mother...

My ego's opinions...

Sophia said...

Alex,

Thank you for sharing your sacrifices with us. You've had to sacrifice a lot, and I'm sure there's more that you haven't mentioned.

Something that we have in common is that we both had to give-up thinking that we could be normal. I think this is depression manifested in the form of hopelessness, which seems to be one of the major symptoms of the disease.

Alex, do you suffer from any other psychological illnesses? I know sometimes there can be comorbidity. I'm wondering if you - as a victim of depression - have ever read the short book by William Styron entitled _Darkness Visible_? I'm reading it now and it brings some comfort to know that someone else is describing exactly the things I go through sometimes. Most outsiders don't understand, so it's nice to get a perspective from an insider. I don't know about you, but it's difficult to describe what I go through. Well, Mr. Styron seems to be able to come-up with some descriptions for it that hit the nail on the head.

Alexander M Zoltai said...

Sophia,

Apart from having Chronic Depression for nearly all my life, I'm fairly well-adjusted to my abnormality...

I would hate to think I could be "cured" and end up "normal" -- Arrrrrgh!!

I haven't read Styron...

Sophia said...

Alex,

I wonder how long it takes one to become "adjusted".

I think I'm just now beginning to accept. Hopefully adjustment will come later. There is a sort of comfort that comes with the acceptance of this. I accept that I'm going to go through depression, but only because I know I'll have good days, like today. They're worth waiting for, and I hope you have good days, too.

Yeah, I wouldn't want to end-up normal, either. I just want to be abnormal and sane at the same time. :)

I haven't read any of Styron's other works, but maybe you've heard of _Sophie's Choice_. If you haven't read the book maybe you've seen the movie with Meryl Streep. As far as I know, _Darkness Visible_ is his only auto-biography, and the entire thing is about his fight with depression.

Heheheee... I just had a good laugh. I was watching this short YouTube video that you have to see. This guy... well.... he cracks me up: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MkpLR4WzIBc&NR=1 If that doesn't give a depressed person a good laugh I don't know what will!

Vincent said...

Ah, yes, I watched that YouTube video. Wonderful! YouTube was invented just for that camp young man with his eye-shadow and pyjamas.

Does his recipe work? It looks as though it should.

Sophia said...

Vincent,

I'm up at 2:20am just laughing away. I watched more of his videos. hehee He's a character.

I have to say that dancing makes me feel good. The hard part is getting the motivation to dance, and since I haven't listened to music in months, I have nothing to dance to.

But I can watch these videos and laugh and laughter makes me feel good, too. :)

I hope you're doing well. I've missed you!

Alexander M Zoltai said...

Huge laughs from the video !!!

Sophia said...

Glad it brought you some joy.

I was making so much commotion from laughing that my husband had to run into the room to find out "who [I] was talking to".