I’m in a fog, first anxiety then depression. Not completely disabling, but I’m not getting much of anything done. I start to do a necessary chore, then stop and just stand there. The vacuum has been out in my bedroom for about a week – all I have to do is move it around for maybe five minutes, then put it away! Why does that seem so difficult?

Trying to accept and not be mad at myself.

I dream I am an assistant cook, then after three months, the cook fires me. The cook is a difficult and kind of messy man with dark curly hair. I have to find a new place to live (apparently I live above the kitchen).

Both my current boss and my ex have dark curly hair. My ex is extremely untidy. Aha. I know I haven’t really been fired, but it feels like it. Emotionally I feel as if I’ve been fired. Realistically, no, my contract is running out and  they’re simply not renewing. I don’t believe they’re replacing me either. Just this new boss came in, and we didn’t work well together. I find things about him difficult. He wishes to be entertained, and assumes we all want that, so he launches into irrelevant comments whenever he is bored, which is pretty often. While he is probably irritated with my focus on content, and difficulties with small talk. Of course, I don’t know that for sure. I just know my part of it. But when we have to chat, while waiting for others for instance, it feels painful and unnatural. That’s a fact.

Whatever the reason for not having work, I am feeling rejected. I’ve been here so often before. But – I am getting contacted for different contracts. It doesn’t look at all as if I won’t find something soon. However, depression has been a guest here for so long – it likes to come back at the slightest hint of trouble. As if depression helps.

Getting out of the house helps. Today I sat for a long time at an outdoor cafe, reading, and felt better. But now, I’ve been home for some hours, and am down again.

I got a recorder which I keep beside my bed for recording my dreams. I am getting down a lot more dreams and in a lot more detail than I used to, just trying to write them down. I’m always groggy and low when I wake up, so writing is a challenge at that time. And often, the dreams are uneasy making, though not downright nightmares, and I am reluctant to remember them. The recorder is helping with both of these.

I want to bring in some dreams to Ron. He is amazingly adept at dreams. Last session, I had brought one in, but by the time I thought of reading it, a part had taken over, and she didn’t want to read it out. Very irritating for me afterwards. I have a lot of dreams though, so it will be a challenge to pick which one I want to work with. I wish I dreamed mythical dreams, or dreams with animals, or dreams that seem mysterious with magical characters. In fact, my dreams are kind of mundane – just people and buildings mostly. But, it’s interesting what comes up when I look at one in therapy.

I wonder why I dreamed of myself as an assistant cook. Maybe I feel I was fired from my marriage also? But, I made the decision to leave. My ex was definitely a cranky individual though. And he was always the boss – my wants where not really considered in any major decisions. I did have a lowly job in a kitchen as a student, also.

My mother appears in my dream also. I bump into her walking about outside, and ask if I can live at her place. In real life, when I left my marriage, I did move into my parents’ place for a while. And I probably asked my mother if I could, though I don’t remember that.

Perhaps being fired, I mean being without a contract, is reminding me somehow of when my marriage broke up. It’s a new thought at least.

  1. Gel said:

    Hi Ellen,

    You wrote:

    ” I start to do a necessary chore, then stop and just stand there. The vacuum has been out in my bedroom for about a week – all I have to do is move it around for maybe five minutes, then put it away! Why does that seem so difficult?”

    Boy does that sound familiar. I have been in those spaces a lot. And then I’ve spent a lot of time feeling bad about myself in reaction to seeing myself unable to do the most simple tasks like vacuuming for a few minutes. I still can go into a downward spiral when I see myself in that state. But now I’m finally realizing that when I’m in that state, it’s a time to feel radical compassion for myself. And I can sometimes shift into compassion rather than self criticism or despair.

    I also dream a lot. Buildings and lots of people are common for me. A lot of mundane dreams and repeating themes that make me feel like I’m just doing the same stuff over and over….what am I suppose to learn?…..I’ve decided that a lot of dreams are not telling me anything important. There are a few that do seem astounding and significant. I hope you do take some dreams into your therapy sessions. I’ve found that just telling someone my dreams out loud can take me to a new level of understanding. Even if the listener doesn’t give any input…just telling the dream is a type of processing of it and getting a new level of understanding it might have to offer.

    You sure have a way of writing that articulates things I also experience. That is interesting since I think we are pretty different from each other….You wrote:
    “However, depression has been a guest here for so long – it likes to come back at the slightest hint of trouble. As if depression helps.”

    My depression mode comes back at the slightest hint of trouble too. I’ve wondered if I go along with it because it is familiar and it doesn’t take as much energy to go with it does to find a different response. After all, one of the aspects of depression for me is a lack of energy and a disconnect from creative clear thinking.

    In your dreams it seems there is an overlapping of different issues, people and time frames. Like maybe unfinished business is a repeating theme in different areas of your life. Do you ever just hone in on the feelings that are coming through in the dreams? I place a huge importance on the feelings in my dreams. I always look at the feelings first. I get to experience feelings in my dreams that I don’t in wake life. Sometimes I think that is a big purpose of dreams..to go through the feelings that I don’t have the safe context to experience in waking life.


    • Ellen said:

      Hi Gel – I’ve found the same benefit, just telling someone a dream, or writing it here, helps make it more meaningful. Your idea of pursuing the feelings seems good. Lots of times, I just feel one feeling, mostly fear, though. I can see how it would help more if I felt different things about different aspects of the dream.

      I think I agree on the purpose of dreams. I find in general, if I process bad stuff in therapy, I sleep better and have less troubled dreams.

      Currently I’m recording dreams when I awake, then transcribing them later, so I’m getting down a lot more. I don’t so far have much solid ‘meaning’ from them, but I still find it valuable to consider the images in my dreams, for some reason, even though I don’t have a meaning available. There’s something about dream images that makes them inherently important and worthwhile to me.

      Thanks a lot for commenting. xox

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