Fighting a Chronic Nightmare

Fighting a Chronic Nightmare

Nightmares often trigger unwanted emotions.  They may startle us, make us anxious, or terrify us.  Our first instinct may be to distract ourselves by thinking about something else.  However, through the many years of my life I have found dissecting and analyzing them to be more helpful and to my surprise I have learned some pretty interesting things about myself.

The other night I woke up screaming. Although I was having a nightmare, it wasn’t the dream that made me scream, but instead that I had bitten my hand! You see in this particular nightmare I was being attacked.  No matter how much I tried to fight off my attacker, I lacked the strength to release their hold on me.  Instead of giving up I bit them!!

While I could come up with a million reasons to explain this dream, there is one point that was very clear.  That point is that I am a fighter.  I refused to allow my dreamland attacker get the best of me.  Not only did I fight back in my dream, but I actually physically fought back by biting myself.  My husband and I joked that we now know why our dog chose to sleep next to him all night and not by me like she normally does.  I don’t always fight back in my nightmares.  Sometimes I run or hide, yet this is still a sign of strength.  Running and hiding aren’t the same as giving up.  Instead they are ways of protecting myself.

How does all of this relate to your chronic life?  As long as you are not giving up on living the best you can with a chronic illness you are fighting. Fighting isn’t always a physical fight. Sometimes it entails running to safety, like searching for a diagnosis, a new doctor, or treatment plan.  It may require hiding in a quiet place in order to give yourself time to create a plan of attack.

You might think that the lesson in this post is that sleeping next to me when I am having a nightmare is dangerous, but the real message of this blog post is this:

Every day that you choose to open your eyes to face another pain filled day, you earn your warrior status.  Whether you are running, hiding, or physically fighting, you haven’t given up.

Keep up the fight my friend and never forget that you are not alone!

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Published by Cynthia Covert

Diagnosed in 2001 with psoriasis, followed by fibromyalgia, psoriatic arthritis, endometriosis, and later a botched hysterectomy turned her world upside down. Cynthia shares her experience, advice, and tips for how to make life with chronic pain easier and less painful.

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