My sister, Lindsey once sent me a link to a public radio story about three things you should never talk about. One of the three was dreams.
But, sometimes even public radio gets it wrong.
Last night I had two dreams.
The first took place at a work function. Maybe a fundraiser, maybe a concert, I can’t say exactly. All I remember is that it was an event for work and I was expected to be at my best and instead I was shitfaced.
Legless and shitfaced.
I was both in and outside of myself – though both places felt pretty awful. Inside I was dizzy, spinning with all of this self-loathing witty banter that just wouldn’t come out right. And outside I was raging with disappointment and judgement.
The outside me was holding my hair back as I hurled again and again – in between puking cries of “I’m sorry” and “I’m a fucking idiot.”
Then colleagues started siphoning in – none of them outwardly condemning, but instead conveying genuine concern or helping me devise moderately believable excuses. Both made me feel even worse.
Then, hunched over the toilet, I concentrated on my reflection in the shiny flush – met my own eyes and said, “I do not believe this is happening. Wake up.”
And I did, safely in my own bed, with my son buried in between my husband and me and not a trace of vomit, or booze, or unfixable mistakes anywhere.
I took a deep breath and returned to sleep.
This time in a mall of sorts – but not for pleasure. I was there for business. A potential partner meeting with Briggs in tow. We went into a store, but not the store where my meeting was and so…this is painful to write…so, I left Briggs, on purpose with someone I didn’t know and then went to my meeting.
Soon after, I allowed myself to fully feel that I had just abandoned my son. The feeling was worse than empty…rather, permanently empty. I raced back, but he wasn’t where he was. And as I’m on the brink of a catastrophic undoing from which I am certain my pieces will never quite fit ever again, I stare hard into the floor to ceiling glass walls and this time I scream:
“I WILL NOT BELIEVE THIS IS HAPPENING. I WILL NOT BELIEVE THIS IS HAPPENING. WAKE UP!”
And I do – sweaty and crying and remarkably grateful for Briggs’s foot jabbing into my ribs. (Again.)
This time I do more than breathe. I pray:
Thank you. Thank you for helping me build, out of the lumber of my life, something that is this strong, and good, and kind, and loving. Thank you for the lessons, and the challenges, and the troubles, that are not really troubles at all. Thank you for the power to wake up from what is dark and terrible and be surrounded, wrapped up even, in all of this love and warmth and light. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.