(Art by Becca Lazo)

Thoughts are endless and needed, but focusing on something for too long can either drown you or make you understand something (whether it is something you feel is important or something you don’t want to worry about but do anyway). The thought of doing something that might upset you can seem scary but also exciting—like talking to someone new. If you spent everyday moving on with your life missing specific moments on purpose, because you knew they would only result in trances of living in the past or future, would it result in dreams?

Having dreams that are realistic usually sounds wonderful, but only when good things are happening.

For the past few months, I have been plagued with realistic dreams that result only in anxiety upon waking up. The dreams are subtle embodiments of things that are happening in my life, except much worse. If you painted a picture of your day and only drew the beautiful and good things, your life would possibly be much more positive and happiness can be simplified in a sense of well-being. Focusing only on the present, living would be easier and moments of struggle would only be moments of struggle, and nothing further. If you painted a picture of the ugly and depressing things, your life would seem way worse than it actually is. And your mind would focus on every little thing that upset you that day— making it harder the next. Only creating a tumbleweed of negative thoughts involving the past, present, and future.

They say a dream is like a film. Unexplained often, and memorable in feeling. A long take of a scene in a dream might help you remember it when you wake up. A short scene can even stand out to you if it does something that shakes you. A scene that was cut abruptly might confuse you or make you forget it.
I have often paid much attention to my dreams because I love to talk about them and think they are very interesting. But lately my dreams have been a constant curse, not a beautiful film, and not something I want to talk about. My dreams wake me up often from sweat and a racing heartbeat. My dreams are the moments I don’t want to focus on, the moments I don’t want to worry about, the thoughts I think about but don’t think are healthy for myself. The dreams that only make me scared because of my past and future—scenes that should be forgotten about and scenes that haven't even been made yet. Below are example scenarios.

A scene from my life: I am scared that someone who is in a relationship with me is cheating on me. Something triggered this, or it’s just subtle insecure paranoia. If something triggered this, it was small. Like learning that the person you’re with still talks to their ex. Once in awhile, and only through text.

A scene from my dream: I am still scared. I find out that my boyfriend is cheating on me. I climb through a fire escape and break in their ex’s apartment to find them having really passionate sex—that we didn’t even have. I see love that I think I will never receive or pertain to. I am yelled at for breaking an entry, I ask to use the restroom. In the restroom, I find pictures of other men they have slept with together.

I wake up disorientated and anxious. I am always confused and baffled by my mind and how it works to fuck me up, even while sleeping. My actions and words in my dreams are 100% accurate, which freaks me out. The shitty part about this is that I don’t even care about most of these moments in my life to even dream about them, but I do dream about them.
These dreams are not nightmares to me, because if I called them nightmares that would only give them the power to haunt me and make me fear sleeping. And further my train of thought. Like watching A Nightmare On Elm Street and becoming paranoid that Freddy Krueger is going to come and kill you.

Instead I am trying to see these dreams as scenes that are unimportant, scenes that shouldn’t matter, scenes that make me feel only worse, scenes that are meant to be recognized but not for long, scenes that should be—