More of that dream crap

Lots more dreaming of the usual variety. Super intense, wake up soaked in sweat and completely disoriented, takes a while to remember who I am and what is real.

I had to make a concerted effort to tell myself “I don’t have to deal with any of that any more because none of that was real” this morning. That kind of thing frightens me terribly.

Perhaps it;s different for people with rich, deep personal lives which contain plenty of real life stimulation and input, and thus the distinction between the dream world of imagination and the real world is comfortably sharp and distinct, and their dreams do not haunt them.

But for me, with my life already at least half imaginary, with days spent on the Internet playing video games and chatting with people thousands of miles away, intense dreams like that frighten me so much because I feel like the line between my imagination and reality is already dangerously thin, and so anything which stresses it too much makes me feel like am in danger of entering my own personal hell : being trapped inside my own mind forever, with no way out.

One nice thing about being as old as I am : I am well out of the usual age range of the onset of schizophrenia, one of the definitions of which (there’s many) is : a breakdown of the mind’s ability to tell what is imagined from what is real.

Usually, if you are not showing signs by the age of 25 (coincidentally, the exact age when your age-related brain development ends), you are out of the woods re: being schizophrenic.

Being damn near 40, I am reasonably sure I will not go there. Or at least, I am rationally sure I am out of the woods.

But that does not eliminate the very powerful subjective feeling that I am at constant risk of a descent into utter madness, and hence, I live every day clinging to sanity by my fingers while dangling over a cliff face overlooking the pits of Hell.

Maybe that is an entirely false idea, and if I “let go” I would not fall into the heart of darkness, but just come to Earth, safe and sound and calm and collected and no longer so freaked out by life.

But that is just not going to happen. At least, not all at once. Perhaps it is this terror of madness that is truly driving me insane… I don’t know.

But it is an integral part of my psyche now, and I do not know how to live a natural life. I am my own construction, artificial and illusory, with thought substituted for emotion and a constant imposition of artificial concepts of order onto a living, breathing, organic being.

Thus, I craft my own cage, and squeeze the life out of myself, all in the name of trying to make sense of things. Truly, it is tragically absurd and absurdly tragic to be me.

But you had probably figured that out by now.

And the sad thing is, I will probably go right back to sleep when I am done this journal entry. Apparently, my dreams are not done with me yet. I am still quite tired and need more rest.

Hopefully, I will have enough time to get some editing done today too. It should not be a problem. I can’t imagine I will sleep all afternoon. But I figured I should get the day’s blogging done first.

I suppose another sort of person might think “Well, you are editing, do you really need to keep blogging as well? Isn’t the editing enough?”

And another kind of person might be able to make that trade. But not me. I can only maintain any sort of discipline if I make it absolutely rigid and unforgiving. And that means writing new words every day. A thousand words a day minimum. Anything else I do has to be in addition to that.

Otherwise, I will lose all discipline and end up sliding into a steep decline, at the bottom of which I will be even more depressed than usual because I am no longer even writing any more, and I will feel even more pointless, useless, and futile than ever before.

So, a thousand words a day, come what may. I do not always feel like doing it, but I am always glad I did. Even just bleating out my injuries like this does me a lot of good.

Editing, on the other hand… get used to hearing this… is so damn hard. Writing, all I have to do is… write. Editing, I actually have to start thinking about the work as a whole, and that is very hard for me.

So I suspect I largely… won’t. There is no point in shouldering a burden you know will crush you, and so I will be a while working on my editing muscles before I can handle taking on the whole thing at once.

Instead, I will just go through and make what changes I can. Tighten up the language, correct continuity errors, proofread, and so on. Little stuff.

The bigger picture (usually my strong suit) will have to wait. I will go forward on the assumption that while I can’t guarantee the whole thing is brilliant as a whole, it is all good enough to be fun to read and interesting to get into, and let the rest sort itself out.

Perhaps that is all I can reasonably expect of myself. No magnum opus of tight, muscular prose building to a mind blowing thematic conclusion that propels me into the annals of literary giants and changes the world and how we look at it forever.

Just a good read that leaves you feeling good even after you are done, and makes you eager to spend more time in my little sandbox.

Put that way, it seems like a much more reasonable goal, and one I think I can achieve.

I will leave it up to future scholar to figure out what the hell I was talking about all this time.

One thought on “More of that dream crap

  1. My, with your real and imaginary parts, you sure are complex!

    But math jokes aside, you seem to set up “real” and “imaginary” in opposition to each other. I think rather that the experience of reality and the imagination are orthogonal (or at least, independent), and add vectorially to give an overall experience, part real and part imaginary. Our experience of reality is generated by our brain, separate from (or in parallel with) our imagination.
    (I am distinguing the experience of reality from the objective reality that we infer exists from said experience.)

    When we are dreaming, the real component is missing (or maybe there’s an internally-generated stand-in for it), leaving just the imaginary part of the total experience. For the schizophenic, there may be a malfunction in the processing (or generation of the experience) of reality, but the imagination is more or less intact, so the imagination dominates. My point being that a strong, well-developed imagination does not necessarily mean a weakened grasp on reality, but rather it adds to ones total experience.

    The farther one gets away from the experience of reality in terms of the scale of space or time, the more one relies on the imagination to infer what objective reality is. This has been the story of science in general up to now.

    I am also reminded of Jill Bolte Taylor’s description of her stroke.
    ( http://www.ted.com/speakers/jill_bolte_taylor.html ) In particular, her distinction between the part of her brain that experiences the present moment, from the part that assembles the past, present, and future into a coherent, unified whole. The future is imagined, the present is experienced as reality, and the past is remembered… in combination, they make up ones total experience.

    Anyways, just a few random thoughts. They could be total bollocks for all I know.

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