Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Stress and Nightmares (or the "I really wish other people were up at three in the morning" blog)

I will admit it - I get seriously stressed at times. It's very easy to do; it's easy to let our problems run away with us. I believe stress is something that everyone deals with at some point or another. The interesting thing is how everyone seems to deal with it differently.

For me, stress makes itself clear in sleep. I start to have nightmares and as I become more and more stressed out, the nightmares become more and more weird or vivid until I am actually holding conversations with my sister in my sleep. Or I wake up at odd hours and can't shut my mind down enough to get back to sleep, which is just as bad. It's at times like these that I find myself wishing that there were other people up that I could talk to.

Nightmares are no fun. I honestly can't remember the last time I had a good night's sleep. That's really sad, if I do say so myself. The nightmares that bother me the most are the ones about my loved ones, where everything is going wrong and there's nothing I can do, and I wake up crying at three in the morning. Those are the worst. The second worst are the ones that make absolutely no sense, but that are so vague and weird that you wake up exhausted from them.

The funny thing is, I am not concious a lot of the time about the stress I am carrying around. It just comes, like so many other things, subconciously. However, there are times that I am very aware of the stress I carry. Like this week, for instance - I have been freaking out about whether or not I am going to get accepted to the college of my choice or if, once I get there, it's going to devour me. I've been worried about the ACT test, my job, one of my relationships, the fact that I'm going clothes shopping on Saturday, and the decision I made today to apply to another college.

And the worry eats at you like a cancer, and the stress gives you headaches and nightmares, and it becomes a cycle. A horrible, vicious cycle.

The funny thing about all of it is that I know things will work out. They always do. Even if I end up at the wrong school, I can always transfer out. Even if my relationship never changes and I never date until I'm in my twenties, I at least have a really good friend. Even if I lose my job, at least I can say I did my best. And even if I have a meltdown, I will always have a good support system.

I just have to keep reminding myself of those things, and everything else will fall into place.

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