We’ve all had that feeling, you know the one. You fall in a dream and you wake up with a start bracing against your bed because your stomach actually dropped from the sensation in your dream. It’s a feeling that leaves you waking disoriented and perhaps a bit embarrassed. Your dreams and your reality merged into one another for a moment. You lost control of your body and until you woke up there was nothing you could do to break that fall.
Sleep is a funny thing in that way. You give your body over to a greater force. You rejuvenate but you let rationality go and your inner workings take over. Perhaps that is why many fear sleep, or resist it. That’s why you hear people glibly say, “I’ll sleep when I’m dead.” Sleep takes a hold of you, exhaustion forces your hand. You can’t stop the dreams that come.
Often when I close my eyes, I feel like I am falling. I like to think its my body relaxing as I feel like I fall through the mattress floating in some kind of in between space. In reality it’s my vertigo. Without my eyes to regulate my balance my body enters a free fall, only it’s not part of a dream. I have not dreamt that I am Superman flying through the sky nor have I dreamt I jumped out of a plane. There’s just darkness, a floating sensation as though my body goes up and down over invisible waves that threaten to keep me awake. Sometimes I manage it. I spin it into something beautiful, like it’s my spirit falling but then taking flight. Other times the fear takes over wondering if this slow fall through the universe of my mind is another drop in function. I suppose next weeks MRI will tell.
Sleep is a funny thing. I can often sleep through my pain, waking only at its most severe point. The point when even my most inner self needs my rational body to take over. To medicate, to meditate, to interrupt the pain. I crave sleep but often I dread it. Having tried so hard to cultivate a reality within my reach, giving myself over to something so profound each night is daunting. I am never sure how far I can fall before I need someone, something to catch me.
It’s #braintumorthursday today. A day of advocacy for those who have experienced brain tumors in some form. And today, as I write, I advocate for all the people who didn’t get any restful sleep because the dreams they dreamt while awake were no match for those they dreamt when they were asleep. I suppose when we slowly fall all we can do is prop each other up.
Peace and love-