#239; To sleep, perchance to dream.

This hasn’t been a good week for my sleep cycle. Post-Thanksgiving saw work rather forcefully punch me in the gut, holiday parties to be planned, a conference demanding my attention 24-hours a day, my surviving grandparent very suddenly in the hospital, and so many friendship/personal conflicts pop up that my head is spinning from the sheer volume. Needless to say, even with the help of more than one cocktail Tuesday night, I haven’t had a solid nights’ sleep since South Carolina.

When I lack sleep, the consequences are immediate and obvious. My mood turns sour no matter who I’m near, any concentration and memory retention (which I have problems anyway) disappear entirely, I feel aggressive and angry at the drop of a hat, and I have no balance in my battle with Bipolar Disorder. Fighting such a disorder on a daily basis requires concentration, energy, and calm. I have none of those things, and so I tend to throw my hands up in defeat and tell the BP “Okay, have fun, run free for a few days, I give up for now.” I continue to do my work (both at my job and outside of it in my volunteer roles) to the best of my ability, I get out of bed in the morning (which is an extreme challenge with those Chemicals running amok), I try to be supportive of friends and family, and I put what little energy I have leftover into my attitude, because if I break down and yell at my boss in frustration and exhaustion, I’m in deep trouble!

So yeah, that’s my week. Luckily this doesn’t happen often. I protect my sleep hours (even on the weekend) with all of me, trying to get at least 7 1/2 hours a night. But, what’s the point of putting all this in a post? Last night, while I was tossing and turning and unable to fall back asleep after one of my wake-ups (was it the loud noise or the sick cat that time?), I had a bit of a dream. I dream in incredibly vivid detail. And this dream has me thinking today.

In it, I woke up in what I thought was our bed. Piece was there and everything was normal. But it was our bed in a different room, in a different apartment, one that, as I got my bearings I was completely unhappy with. There were people living there with us, family and friends and strangers, a lot of noise and activity, and I just needed to get ready for work without having a total panic attack about the situation. Piece said he’d moved us there because it seemed like an awesome idea. I couldn’t articulate what I found so awful and obvious about the situation, so I tried my best to get ready and get out before I freaked out. I woke up feeling disoriented after this dream, but feeling like maybe I know what it was trying to tell me.

I think, and this tends to be the way my dreams go, Piece represents Boston. Piece is the reason I’m in Boston today. I may not have moved here to be with him, but since we’ve been back together, he is my reason for staying, for building a life here. I’m sure he represents Boston in my dreams. I think this dream was about the feeling that since moving to Boston – where life is chaotic and making friends is difficult and I feel like none of my history or experience does me any good – I have felt that my life is out of my control. Not out of control but out of my control. The distinction is important. It’s not that things are falling apart or anything, it’s that… I feel so little direction, so little confidence, so little control. I feel like the forces of Boston just sort of whirl around me, pushing and pulling as they feel like. And I think, without sleep and with so much work and with uncomfortable Chemicals flooding my brain, this week, it just feels like it’s getting to me.

It’s like when a friend tells me that I’m obviously faking how much I enjoy being around them, that I must hate them, I don’t want to argue anymore. When people tell me I’m not good enough for something I want to say “Okay, so I’m not, can I go nap now instead?”. I want to stop fighting so hard for this life that I’ve always lead, and just say “Okay Boston, we don’t like each other, but we have to put up with each other, I get it, so give me a break.”

I want my life here, I love Boston, I want to build a life in this city, so please don’t get me wrong. I’m just wondering, when do we get to the part that dreams and reality become one? When does the struggle calm and the voices in my head shut up?

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