Escape

When I was young my dreams were vivid to the extreme. Upon waking I would be sorely disappointed that the images I had witnessed just moments before were a fabrication and not some reality vibrant in colour and utterly fantastical.

I remember numerous dreams of running, hands by my side, until momentum and will power projected me into the sky. As I flew, an amalgamation of familiar places would flow beneath – interwoven and overlaid in a way defiant of the actual distance between each discrete location, and despite only ever being witnessed from the ground. Those fantasies were my favourite. The freedom, untouchable, unbound.

Another recurring dream I had was both strange and baffling. To this day I cannot determine how a boy of six or seven could have had been exposed to anything that could form the basis. The scene is dominated by a field of tall grass, perhaps a crop, several feet high. Within the field a small clearing containing a low square structure, surrounded by a narrow soil path, with a pillar at each corner, no walls, a bare white floor and a four sided angled roof with a central apex. The pillars are adorned with carved designs that evoke intangible familiarity. In the centre of the floor dressed in orange cloth sits a young boy with a shaved head and no arms or legs. Somehow the boy is eating a bowl of rice or noodles using chopsticks. As the scene adjusts, moving closer, the boy raises eyes both clear and calm. The boy smiles.

My mind has played through a multitude of dreams that were subsequently remembered, from pursuit by nameless fiends to traversing wondrous environs, where emotions such as hopelessness, wonder, fear and urgency provide embellishment, enhancing the realism.

Of all these dreams there is one I experienced a lot as a child, but considerably less now.

In this dream I am floating in the centre of absolute chaos, surrounded by a maelstrom of flying rocks. The noise is a cacophony negating any interjection whilst the constant motion obstructs focus. There is no action to be taken and no discovery to made. Yet despite the turmoil around me I am calm. I am where I belong.

I rue the loss of my ability to remember my dreams with the frequency I once did. I believe that either the high volume of illicit drugs I took in my late teens, or the variety of prescription medications I’ve been taking since the age of 17 is responsible for this. Perhaps it was caused by the ECT I underwent during my 2nd breakdown 10 years ago. Whatever the case may be I miss the awareness of those brief escapes.

When wakefulness is an agony that can tempt the most extreme response, the absence of dreams is like salt in the wound.

I wonder then if this could explain my disdain for sleep, now it has almost been reduced to the purely functional, or is it my practical side simply seeing the benefit of more waking hours.

I detest the need for it and avoid as much of it as possible.

Although, I do want to fly again.

Yet I would rather be free of the BPD and depression and not need that escape at all…

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