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Dreams Compensate

In dreams, I walk, no concern for the distance.  I ride a bicycle, or drive a car.  I move with purpose and direction…

…until lucidity snaps me back to reality and then I plummet into the despair of knowing these are no longer options for me.

In dreams, I confront life’s issues, face my foes, am determined…

…and then I awaken, and realize that my well-being is dependent on the charity of others, and that I am in no position to be rocking any boats, especially the ones keeping me afloat… and that in sickness, my emotional state is compromised.

In dreams, I teach, am engaged in life, and financially rewarded.  I am alive with the adrenaline of deadlines, lessons to be prepared, classes to get to…

…and then I awaken and realize that I am a student again, enrolled in a course I would never have signed up for, unprepared for the tests thrown at me daily: a monetary burden.

In slumber, I am everything I used to be – a compensation for this waking reality called ME/CFS.

Is it any wonder I prefer sleep?

(Photo from private collection)

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Categories: Chronic Illnes disability dreams ME/CFS nonfiction Uncategorized

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V.J. Knutson

Writer, avid reader, former educator, and proud grandmother, currently experiencing life through the lens of ME/CFS. Words are, and always have been, a lifeline. Some of the best adventures, I'm discovering, take place in the imagination.

3 replies

  1. if its alright to ask, what are you mobility options (list any you are willing to) in the waking hours? would you be more mobile if you had a wheelchair, for example?

    i am cerbral and sensual– i identify most with my body when its bothering me about something. the rest of the time, its just a car. “me” is me– and im pretty sure im real, all existential questions aside. my body is mine, like these keys im typing on– an extension of my body into the computer (handwriting? a marathon vs. a walk to the corner by comparison) and likewise, my body is an extention of me into the physical world. except when something aches of course– i dont have to tell you that!

    its our wiring that does it, you know. when a crisis in any form comes up, the brain says “HEY! THIS IS REAL!” to the point where anything good (to the brainstem) seems less so. moral of the story? good and leisure and all lovely things are real too, but they seem dreamier, dont they?

    cant tell you if dreams themselves are real. some people think so, some tribes claim to walk in and out of them. metaphor? im agnostic. i look at what people call reality, all the fictions and habits and vices and the loss of human potential in “daily life.” is reality more real, or is the mind? i prefer to think that reality (while important, like the brain stem tells us) is very important… that dreams are both underrated, and at least a more important part of reality than we are in the habit of giving them credit for. i live in the usa– a few hundred years ago, dreams seriously mattered. to this day we say things without being tongue in cheek like “the american dream,” “follow your dreams.”

    if you can follow your dreams (not your goals, but the meaning and the freedom in any small way whatsoever) then i advise people to try. that means you! dont just dream of freedom. try to imagine (the imagination is important too) a way that you can have a little more freedom this year. the pain will be there. the mobility will be limited. but above all: is there anything that can possibly increase your mobility at all this year? perhaps thats what the dreams mean. if not, then at least there is escape at night. best… ❤

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    1. Hello, dear friend. I sparked a response from you – that always makes my day. I am able to get around my tiny house okay, and can walk short distances (5 house lengths) with a walker. A wheelchair did free me up to do more, but depends on a willing person to push it. That said…. I am getting a scooter! This will give me much more independence (once the weather improves). This disease, Myalgic Enchephomyelitis (ME for short) causes the muscles to shift to the anaerobic state with very little exertion, so the days I can walk further will be followed by two or three days of confinement – quite the dance. I also have balance issues, and my muscles will just give out on me at any moment without warning, although I try not to focus on this too much. The spinal column is also affected and the best way I can describe it is that it feels like someone has pulled my plugged and I can no longer be upright. Two years ago, I couldn’t stand or sit for longer than minutes, but that has improved. I sit up more frequently in the day, and can get out of the house more. Small steps.
      Thanks again for your thoughts. Be well.

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      1. thrilled to hear about the scooter– thats exactly the sort of thing i hoped was a possibility. so perhaps the dream is not just for escape after all! rather it is also gearing you up for the added freedom and giving you a chance to get excited and used to the idea of moving around more.

        as far as fatigue (in the medical sense) is concerned, we are quite different but not altogether– at just under 40, i can tell you that some days i can cope energy-wise with about 1/2 a normal day, and other days i want to stay up all night (which i really try not to do.) if i could be “normal” in just one way more than i am, i would change the way my energy works. its completely out of whack, and always was. count me among the people very happy to hear the news… cant wait until it shows up at your door. ❤

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