Thursday, May 9, 2013

The Importance of Dreaming

Some days just suck. 

You make up feeling irritable, and from then on nothing seems to go right. You might be depressed or anxious, you might feel out of control or overwhelmed. 

Waking up depressed too many days in a row takes a toll. As I've mentioned in previous blog posts, the time frame your brain can manage steadily shrinks until you are living moment to moment. Stringing along these moments to create minutes, and then hours, and then maybe a day or two. When there are too many moments you seek refuge in your bed where you can sleep hundreds of moments away and ignore the world under your duvet. 

The land of Under Covers is not foreign to me. Today was a relatively good day, but I still hid for about an hour after school. I pulled myself into a hole too deep to make it to yoga. The place that makes me feel the safest also makes me the most vulnerable. When I'm at my worst, I beg my parents to just let me go to bed. Sleep provides the comfort of not being. 

Now I'm getting to the point where I am comfortable being most of the time. I've had a full week of good moods 5 and above on a scale from -10 to 10. 

The first sign that I was feeling better was my ability to think about the future. I wasn't debilitated thinking about going to college, and I'm even turning into a bit of an optimist. I'm getting excited about life.

When I was depressed to the point of wanting to end my life, my therapist helped me make a list of things I liked and that I was looking forward to. Things that made life worth living. Things that I'm curious about. Things that can push me to see one more day.

The things we look forward to, the things that push us on, don't have to be legendary or epic. They can be simple, like a puppy's wet nose or a strawberry milkshake. I would encourage you to make a list of things that make your life worth living and things that you are looking forward to.

Here's an excerpt from my list:

- Mânnlein and Sisi (our dogs) getting excited when we come home
- Becoming a teacher
- Going to the zoo
- Crepes with Nutella
- Becoming a blogging sensation (haha)
- Maybe having a baby someday
- Monarch butterflies
- Getting married
- Designing and organizing my own living space
- Learning how to bake/cook
- Reading
- Cuddles
- Studying in Paris

I can't stress enough the importance of dreaming. Our dreams can be as large or as small as we need them to be. When our current moment is too dark, a dream can transport us to a place that is lighter, where it is easier to breathe, and that gives us the energy we need to move forward. Dreams are like promises we make ourselves without consequences. If circumstances change, or if we change, our dreams can transform just as fluidly. A misconception of dreams is that they have an expiration date. Dreams are ageless.

"Dream your dreams with your eyes closed, but live your dreams with your eyes open."

- Eric Collier