My night-time dreams

Dreams are fascinating.

No one really gets them, nor understand where they originate from. When I was little, I used to sometimes have vivid dreams of both the nice and not-so-nice kind. I guess you could call the latter nightmares.

Sometimes, I even used to try to influence my dreams; my thinking was that, if I went to bed thinking about something in particular, it would then morph into a dream. Sometimes, this worked. Other times, it probably just stopped me from getting to sleep in the first place.

Recently, I’ve been dreaming regularly. Most nights. Or at least, I’m dreaming and recalling my dreams, in varying detail/ One school of thought says that everyone dreams all/most nights, it’s just that we don’t always remember them.

I’ve noticed that I seem to be dreaming more often (i.e. I am more lucid – great word, eh?) with the sertraline medication that I am on. I take this at night before I go to bed. I am aware that others who take sertraline, and other SSRIs/anti-depressants in general, also report ‘dreaming more’ as a side-effect.

My wonderful therapist has encouraged me to notice my dreams, and even to note down what I have dreamed out. A ‘dream diary’, if you will. In the last couple of weeks (at time of writing), I’ve kept a dream journal, where I basically write down what I’ve dreamed about the previous night. I’ve done 3 or 4 entries now. It has been interesting to note the themes that keep appearing at certain times; things that I am thinking about during the day, whether consciously or subconsciously, appear to be emerging.

My therapist tells me that dreams are linked to our subconscious, and I believe that – especially given the links I’ve been making between my dreams and what’s been coming up in my mind.

Our subconscious is an incredible, mystical thing. My feeling is that little do we know, but things which may have happened in our life which we can barely remember, are there somewhere in our subconscious. Perhaps buried, somewhere beneath the surface, but there nevertheless. These memories may or not float back to the surface, and appear in our consciousness – in our dreams, perhaps. They may be, unwittingly, tapped into after we’ve been somewhere, or listened to a piece of music, or had a piece of dialogue. The most curious of things can spark an insight.

Where I can, I am going to continue to notice my dreams as they happen, and see if I can make any linkages. I feel that our intuition is somewhat linked to our subconscious, and that our dreams even have the potential to nudge us onto the right course. Some might say this is wacky, airy-fairy hippyish sh*t, and each to their own. It’s just my own hunch.

On another note, Girl J once told me about a dream she’d had about us, abroad somewhere together, me with sand in my eyes and laughing and smiling. I took that as a sign that she’d been thinking about me, or us. Perhaps that was her way of sharing that. Who knows.

I also recall a particularly wonderful dream I had as a child – which has to be my favourite ever dream.

I’ll have to write about that sometime, too. I also feel that more sensitive folks may be more prone to dreams than those who are not. Perhaps as an outlet of some kind.

A final thought: perhaps our night-time dreams are a reflection of our day-time, real-life dreams…

by Jas

✏ Written: Tuesday, 13th March 2018 @ 9.20am

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What about you? 🤷🏽‍♂️
Do you dream a lot? Have you noticed any patterns or insights at all? Whether or not you feel dreams are important, I’d love to hear what you reckon 💙

poem: i’m on the train

I’m on the train,

On my phone playin,

Trying not to make eye contact,

Unspoken rules.

You know what I’m saying.

No one can blame a guy,

For wishing things on here were different.

Where we didn’t have to pretend to be so distant,

And were allowed to strike up a conversation in an instant.

Instead we’re like infants,

Glued to our screens & toys,

No talking to the other girls or boys.

To think these journeys could bring more joy.

So I continue to be a passenger,

On the train and in this carriage.

Not allowed to talk to the girl in this carriage,

No wonder we need apps like Tinder for marriage.

Not that I’d say hi to her anyway,

I’d just like to act on impulse if I may,

And say something or not,

Either way.

– – – – –

Written by,

Jas 

✏ Written: Thursday, April 26th 2018

PS. I recently sent out this month’s ‘the awkward brown newsletter’ – sign up for it here. It’s rad.

Am I bipolar?

In the last couple of years, I’ve reached out and reacquainted with a couple of others from secondary (high) school. Though I wasn’t really close with them at the time (with the exception of Dan, who was a best friend from day one – literally, we actually met on the very first day), we’ve found commonality as time has gone on.

I have also realised who I am, and the people I get along with. One of these, Harry, who also happens to be a brown guy (Sri Lankan), has a similar story to mine. He is the eldest son in a family of four, also with a younger brother, has had an interesting relationship with his father, was similarly ‘intelligent’ at school, and dropped out of university. He’s also dealt with his own demons, and mental health issues.

I actually shared my blog with him recently and he sent me this message:

Screen Shot 2018-05-17 at 17.36.46

After months of radio silence, he got in touch – and I should be seeing him soon. He confessed that he’d had a scare, but was back on the up, and we’re going to catch up when he’s feeling a bit better. When we last met, I remember him saying, “Sometimes I wonder if I’m bipolar, man. I have these ridiculous mood swings”.

We were both comparing how sociable we were around people we were (though reigning myself in at time of writing), yet were introverts and could shut away and turn into hermits for a while. How we experienced real ups and downs. How we seemed to be a couple of weirdos in a world were folks just seemed to be happy in jobs that they really couldn’t give a sh*t about.

As I’ve been paying more attention to my mood and mood swings (e.g. how I tend to feel better in the evening after I’ve ‘warmed up’ during the day – getting out of the house helps), I’ve begun to question whether I am on the bipolar spectrum. I mean, I guess we are all somewhere on the spectrum, but I mean significantly on the spectrum, or at least significantly enough. Aaaaaagh. #overthinking.

It was actually something my psychiatrist suspected and mentioned at one stage, though was reluctant to give me the diagnosis – and then he later backtracked, saying “I don’t think you are”.

Update: I actually saw my psychiatrist last week, and talked to him about this as I’ve been reading others’ experiences online and connecting some dots. He told me that I may be ‘slightly’ bipolar, but that it could also be seasonal affective disorder, or SAD (I feel better in the summer, and get low in the winter) or just this thing beginning with ‘c’ where I just have cycles in mood. Either way, I don’t want any medication as such for the bipolar, I think it’s more just because I like to categorise and make it feel like I have ‘something’ that others have and am not just a weirdo!

The last thing I want to do is incorrectly diagnose myself. But I was thinking about this yesterday. I googled it, and clicked on the first link to take a short test. There were about 10 questions, and I selected a mix of ‘sometimes’ and ‘often’ options for each one. The result was that I possess a ‘moderate risk’ of having bipolar – though continues to say that this was just a test and – of course – could not replace the opinion of a medical professional.

Whilst I’m sure everyone can relate to changes in mood, my swings can be pretty monumental. I can also get hyper when I’m around people, and music. This is also linked to my high-sensitivity (HSP). One of the questions on the test particularly stood out, asking about whether I swing between low-confidence and over-confidence. I thought about this time last year, when I was travelling and watching various sporting events (ah, dreamy), and I became convinced that I was going to become this big-time sports coach and that I had ‘the gift’ – yup, there’s those ridiculously high expectations again. I was in Europe and the US watching tennis and boxing. Acting the part and lapping up the mystique and attention I got from being this guy there on his own. I put on this swagger and this front, tryna act like someone special.

I like it too much. I became a person I’m not used to being. I went ape-sh*t when I thought someone had stolen my wallet at one of the tournaments, and then again at the train station when I missed my train and they couldn’t do something as simple as giving me another ticket at the kid – instead, asking me to go online and booking my ticket from there. It was ridiculous thinking about it, but I really got angry at them, made a scene in the whole place, and it was out of character. I usually avoid conflict or any form of tension at all costs.

I felt like I was an actor playing this part. It felt like O was important, and respected, even though I wasn’t being myself and was actually distancing myself from those around me (kinda like I do now at my gym – a post coming up on this soon). It felt good. Before it all got too much + then it came crashing down.

by Jas

✏ Written: Tuesday, 13th March 2018 @ 9.20am

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What about you? 🤷🏽‍♂️
Do you find that you have moodswings? Are there any patterns that you have picked up on? Whether you’re bipolar or not, I’d love to hear your experiences – or anything that you feel like sharing 💙