I had an extremely vivid dream a few days ago, right in the aftermath of returning from Utah.
Often my dreams are placed in old houses from my youth or young adulthood, signaling to me that much of the trauma I experienced was felt there, or at a minimum – something was left unresolved. Or, maybe it’s just as simple as being haunted by a past that I wish I could reroute.
I’m no dream expert, but what I experienced in this most recent one is a visual wrestling between me and a blonde man in my mom’s old bedroom, on her King-sized bed. I have no idea who he is, he doesn’t have the face of anyone I know, but his features were specific and defined. He looked malicious and every time I tried to move away, he would grab me by the neck and push me down. I would find some will to do the same to him, but this went on for what seemed like hours.
I woke up disturbed and thought about this gift of a dream. It showed me as clear as day what I’m struggling with. Not a real demon who happens to be blonde, but a manifestation of all my fears in an unfortunate male figure, attempting to keep me down.
I suppose if my life had played out a bit different the figure very well could have been a woman, but regardless of my demon’s gender, the take home is the same:
I’m in a battle every moment of every day to take care of myself. In taking care of myself and not allowing my negative, stifling voices to win, I am being the example I want to be to current and future generations. Not only the ones I am personally raising, but those around me and all over the world who need to know there is a way out of debilitating depression, anxiety, mood and eating disorders. As tedious, painful, maddening, meticulous, and slow as it is, it just IS.
This is recovery, and if it takes a few years of self-reflection, falling on our faces multiple times, slip-ups, and rock-bottoms then let it be. Allow your process, enjoy it for the highs of awareness and applaud yourself for getting through the lows.
I can do this. WE can do this!