Easier said than done.
This is the first article I’ve written for Medium in months. My absence has been mostly unintentional, and you will discover why as you read. But, yes, it’s good to be back.
Last night, I had a strange dream. As someone who has had more than 45 years of dreaming, I can confidently tell you that the content of the dream can be deceiving. You could dream of the most beautiful, pacifying location and situation, yet there can be an underlying feeling of impending doom that will destroy it all. And the terror is what you wake up with.
In my dream, I was taken as a prisoner of war by the Chinese Army. Well, that was my brain’s consensus, anyway. The people around me were all white and English-speaking, and there was nothing in my environment to suggest that I was anywhere other than somewhere in the United States.
Furthermore, my “captors” were relaxed and joking with me. There were no restraints. They only alluded to the future torture I would be forced to endure, which is arguably the most horrifying part. I remember them discussing how it would happen, and I expressed that I didn’t want it to be prolonged; I would rather just be executed.
When I awoke, I was terrorized by my own brain, again, for sure. My cerebrum has a history of doing that. I was also quite relieved, obviously.
But it didn’t take long for me to realize what the dream was telling me: stop getting so upset about the news.
Of course, in my situation, it’s not an easy task.
For starters, I’ve dealt with anxiety all my life. I am a worrier. My mother once told me I should stop worrying so much, or I will suffer heart problems and die. This naturally prompter my brother to mock me by screaming, “oh no!! I’m going to die?!?! I’ve got to worry about not worrying!!!”
I’ve written before about my anxiety. It has caused me problems with my health, landed me in the hospital with a bleeding ulcer, and ruined or “enweirdend” uncountable amounts of relationships (I made that word up, and I love it). It probably played a large part in my divorce, and nearly derailed my career. It most likely prevented me from realizing my dreams, such as playing in a band (I turned down so many…