Days 26 & 27 – Fluoxetine & Wellbutrin

[9/23, 9/24]

I’m doing fine – but not nearly as well as I have been doing recently. I’m not sure why – there are a number of factors that could be the issue – or it could be the combination of all of them.

The weekend was very busy for me – and sometimes I have a hard time when things are very busy for me. I had several difficult meetings/discussions over the past few days…and I took only one dose of Wellbutrin on Saturday.

This past night I had a dream that hits upon the recurring theme of my dreams throughout my life. It is fairly rare that I remember my dreams – but these dreams I remember – I’m guessing b/c they represent a significant disturbance in my psyche – an ongoing and underlying concern.

The dreams aren’t the same, they mutate over time.

The earliest I remember began in second grade. I was in darkness. There was no floor, no ceiling, no walls – just blackness everywhere. Then there was a puppet and it would appear out of nowhere and attack me. It didn’t matter what I did, I could never get away from it.1Over time I learned that if after I woke up I lay in bed and rewrote the ending with a victory/resolution, the dream weakened over time – and eventually disappeared completely.

The next dream I remember is fighting demons. I’m at my home in New York and there is a demon who has occupied the property and is harassing my family. I fight it – and fight it. It is a physical/tangible being that can be stabbed – and I do – and there is blood everywhere. But it doesn’t die. No matter how many hours I spend stabbing it, it always comes back to life.

I tried pinning it with stakes to the ground – so that even if I couldn’t kill it, at least I could contain it – but no matter how securely I fastened it to the ground, it always became free and began to harass  my family again.

Interspersed throughout the years have been dreams of a more plausible nature. Murders, gangs, human opponents of whatever sort have invaded my life and I am seeking to protect those I love. I do not fail – that is, the ones I love don’t die…but I don’t succeed – that is, there is never an end to the danger, it just continues.

After this the dreams moved from more abstract and representative opponents to a real and human opponent. I would try to reason with them – but they were fixed in their ways, in their thoughts. No matter what I said, no matter how much evidence I saw them – they were stuck in a “reality” of their own making.

I’m a very calm person – but in my dreams I would eventually escalate to yelling and finally to hitting. I don’t use physical violence to communicate my point in reality, but in my dreams I do. While the violence is in one sense an expression of my frustration, on the other hand it expresses my desperation to see the individual wake up from their stupor and return to reality…but I can’t…I never want to hurt them, just to snap them out of this stupor they are in…bring them back to us.

Last night it was essentially the same as the last dream, but the person had changed. You might think you know who I was conflicting with – but it wasn’t. Instead I was conflicting with someone who I’ve struggled with in the past – but with whom I’ve had a stable relationship with for some years now.

In this case, as opposed to past dreams, I feel ashamed of how I act after the fact. Before my anger and my desperation and my desire for the individual to experience what is good (reality) justified (in my dreams) my actions. In this one, I’m not choosing as much to respond as I am reacting. They are pushing my buttons and causing me to lose a grip on who I am.

I have some thoughts on what this specific dream means.2I don’t look for “meaning” in the majority of my dreams – but I do believe that our dreams can provide us with insights into our waking life. Sometimes it seems dreams are the result of rather random processes in the brain, but sometimes the narrative is of such clarity and the action paralleling other dreams and reality, that to dismiss them as simply random processes seems naive.

I also tend to be a “parabolic” rather than “allegorical” interpreter of my dreams. That is, my dreams don’t always literally correlate with reality, but the major figures/events run parallel to my waking life. An allegorical interpretation looks for secrets in the details – I’d consider this to be what C.G. Jung’s dream analysis is like…and while I find much interesting in his thought, I also find much that seems fanciful and the connections between object and interpretation seems tenuous at best. I can’t really talk about it though…but I can note that the overall “meaning” of these dreams seems to be:3I do not mean that these are healthy interpretations, simply that this is the story my brain seems to be telling and the underlying “meaning” that accompanies it. I see these dreams more as an opportunity to change the way I “think” than some sort of instruction manual on how I should act. I see that at some level, my mind believes things which I consciously reject. Call it the subconscious, habit, whatever you like – there is a part of me that still believes lies…and so I find in my dreams that what I know in my waking hours to be untrue, still roams the halls of my mind.

  1. I am the individual who is tasked with the responsibility of defending others.
  2. The fight to save others continues forever and there are no pauses in the conflict.
  3. No matter how often I think I have overcome the enemy, the enemy always comes back. Every victory is a hollow one.
  4. I never win, yet I have no choice but to continue fighting.

All that to say, I’m still okay. I’m doing fine. I’m not doing “good” in the sense that emotionally I am stable but not happy. But I’ll take stable over what has been before any day – and I’ll celebrate that – being happy is a bonus I haven’t learned to expect.

Footnotes

1 Over time I learned that if after I woke up I lay in bed and rewrote the ending with a victory/resolution, the dream weakened over time – and eventually disappeared completely.
2 I don’t look for “meaning” in the majority of my dreams – but I do believe that our dreams can provide us with insights into our waking life. Sometimes it seems dreams are the result of rather random processes in the brain, but sometimes the narrative is of such clarity and the action paralleling other dreams and reality, that to dismiss them as simply random processes seems naive.

I also tend to be a “parabolic” rather than “allegorical” interpreter of my dreams. That is, my dreams don’t always literally correlate with reality, but the major figures/events run parallel to my waking life. An allegorical interpretation looks for secrets in the details – I’d consider this to be what C.G. Jung’s dream analysis is like…and while I find much interesting in his thought, I also find much that seems fanciful and the connections between object and interpretation seems tenuous at best.

3 I do not mean that these are healthy interpretations, simply that this is the story my brain seems to be telling and the underlying “meaning” that accompanies it. I see these dreams more as an opportunity to change the way I “think” than some sort of instruction manual on how I should act. I see that at some level, my mind believes things which I consciously reject. Call it the subconscious, habit, whatever you like – there is a part of me that still believes lies…and so I find in my dreams that what I know in my waking hours to be untrue, still roams the halls of my mind.

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