Read This When Sleep Is No Longer Restful

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Krista McPhee / Unsplash

Sleep is usually the one place where we feel we can finally escape from the harshness of our reality. We can use it as a time to recharge and regroup, knowing that when we wake up in a few hours, we have the chance to start over and make everything right. But lately, sleep has been one of the things I have dreaded the most. It is not that I’m not tired, I am absolutely exhausted 99% of the time, and it’s not that I do not want to sleep. I would give anything for a good night’s rest.

But turning off my brain at night has become an almost impossible task.

Some nights I fear that sleep will never come, and I know that I will have to face another work day, no matter how drained I may feel. And on those nights where my exhaustion overpowers the anxiety plaguing my head, my stress has found other ways to manifest itself. Lately, I have had the most vivid, unsettling dreams that seem more than a step too close to reality. It is not just a dream of my teeth falling out or the world slipping out from underneath me; they are dreams of him coming back into my life or of the texts I have been dreading to receive from you for months. It is seeing my house on fire and being upset that someone is trying to help me. And most strikingly of them all, it was having two glass doors shatter on me and watching myself still try to work through the pain, regardless of the suffering I knew I was going through.

I know that our dreams are often a reflection of everything that is floating around in our mind, but for once, I wish that the optimistic part of my brain would overpower the nightmares.

Yes, I still think about him way more than I probably should, and maybe this is my brain’s way of showing me my trauma. You can only pretend something is fine for so long before your body rats you out. My current fears range from being fired from a job I have given everything to, to losing the first person I have had strong feelings for in years (and these are just the major ones). Maybe if we faced our fears head-on in life, we would not be seeing them in our dreams. But facing a fear is so much easier said than done; what if you have the conversation you have been dreaming about, and the outcome is exactly as you dreamt? I have been struggling so much lately with whether or not it is sometimes better to live not knowing the truth about everything.

Sometimes, maybe, it is just easier to be oblivious in order to guard our own hearts.

Honesty is so important to me, but so is my own well-being.

I don’t know whether it is slightly amusing or just plain pathetic that I cannot even accept help from people in my dreams without getting upset about not being able to do something on my own. I have always overworked myself and very rarely will I reach out and ask someone else for help. But what does it say about you when you realize that you are the fire in your dream, and even when you are in obvious danger, you still cannot accept that some things you just can’t do on your own? Not even broken glass could stop you from working in your dreams, and I am getting to a point where I am realizing that overworking yourself is no longer admirable. It’s scary.

Success is a beautiful thing, especially when you have worked so hard for everything that you have, but if you are always so busy worrying about what needs to be done next, you will never even get to enjoy your success. Being lucky enough to work in a career that you are truly passionate about is a blessing, but even the things we love can eventually become toxic for us.

If your dreams are telling you are doing too much, then most likely, you are. You need to take a step back and really analyze the effect your lifestyle is having on your well-being and realize that the quantity of achievements you have means nothing if you are not happy with what you are doing. If you will not listen to the people in your life, please open yourself up to your dreams. I promise they really are trying to tell you something. TC mark

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