Thursday, March 6, 2014

Dreams of Dylan

I've had some trouble sleeping lately, and there are a few reasons for that (staying up to chat to people about things like their theses, talks they have to give, and having jumbled up my sleep cycle last week with a night shift.)  However the main reason that I'm still having trouble sleeping is that I dreamt of Dylan again on Monday.

Another night so late it turns into morning again.

This isn't new, I've dreamt about him many times before.  The dreams would always be the same.  Dylan would turn up somewhere and I'd usually be one of the first people to realise he wasn't dead after all.  Then I'd get a terrible feeling that something was deeply wrong.  Dylan's dead.  I saw the coffin.  We cremated his body.  If he's still alive then that means that we burned someone else.  There was nothing in me, even in my dreams, that thought it would be a good idea to bring Dylan back to life.

I'd heard that it's natural to dream of the dead, and that it's asign that your brain is adjusting to the idea and accepting it.  So I don't really think anything of these dreams, I just make a note of them and move on.  I used to keep track of the dreams of him, but stopped after a while.  (From what I remember there was only one dream that I didn't write down, so let's write it down here.  For some reason I was at the Brunel campus and Dylan showed up.  I told him he shouldn't be there and then we went outside where there were some washing machines and inside one of them was an award for something.)

Monday's dream was different though.  For the first time, Dylan appeared in my dream, alive and well, and it took me a few seconds to realise that quite a few years had passed since he "died".  This time I was happy to see him.  He told me that he had faked his death and that he was ready to come back to us.  This was the first time I'd dreamt about him and felt good about it.  I'd love to have him back.  All the pain and anger associated with the grief would be forgiven and he'd be welcomed back.  This time, even though it no different to what happened before, it was a relief to see him.

Of course I woke and realised that reality is different, and that I'll never see Dylan again.  This didn't make me sad, and in a way it amused to have this dream.  It's as if I've moved on into complete acceptance of the situation, but somewhere, in the deep recesses of my mind, part of my brain hasn't quite realised this yet.  If that was the end of the story it would have been fine, but unfortunately it's not.  Every night since then I've had problems getting to sleep, waking up about an hour after drifting off with what feels like an adrenaline rush, and then struggling to get back to sleep.  I wake up later than usual feeling more tired than normal and the cycle repeats.  It's made me "late" for work all week (not that this matters too much in this job) so as it's starting to impact on the rest of my life it's time to get it off my chest.

The problems with sleep patterns are not new to me, and for a long time when I lived in California I felt much the same way.  Today has been a bad day so far.  My whole body feels sad in a way that's hard to explain.  I feel like I want to take a nap, but I'm not tired (and in the past I've tried taking a nap like this, it doesn't help.)  I feel this tension within me like I want to cry, but that's not quite what I need either.  It's as if my body is caught mid-sigh all day and if I can just find what I need to do to release that tension I'll be okay.  Today is an unusually sunny day, which doesn't help.  It feels like I'm in California again, isolated, with enough time on my hands to ponder my feelings in a lot of depth.  It turns out the only thing that will make this better is time.  I won't let it grind me down, I'll smile through it all and in a couple of days time it'll pass.

I still miss Dylan from time to time, and that's okay.  The bad days are getting rarer, but they do come back every now and then.  I've had enough practice to know how to get through this, so I'll be fine today, I'll be fine tomorrow and I'll be fine until whenever this passes.  In fact, I probably won't even notice when it does.