Monday, April 13, 2009

Restoring My Dreams

Many of us are aware of the importance of dreams, particularly if we've read anything by Carl Jung. While it's not a subject I'm well versed in, for most of my life--except when I take Ativan for sleep--I've had a rich dream life. Unfortunately, when taking Ativan, I either don't dream or I don't remember my dreams. I'm not sure which.

But, having been off Ativan for more than a week, I'm back to dreaming. While I know next to nothing about Jung's archetypes and the symbolism of dreams, what I do know is this: Dreams enable me to solve problems. When I'm writing a book, I often have started thinking about a chapter I'm having difficulty with before I go to bed, and by the time I awaken, I've usually figured things out.

Dreams entertain me. After a great night dreaming, I wake up with a smile on my face, and a bounce in my step.

Dreams allow me to remember people I love who have died, and I gather it's a common occurrence. Years ago, I went to a lecture by Isaac Balshevis Singer, a famous Yiddish author who won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1978. While I don't remember much of what he talked about, what I do remember is that he said one of the reasons he could write about people who died is because they're with him all the time in his memory, and in his dreams.

I often feel that way, and it's particularly nice when I awaken having dreamed about someone I love who's died. Last night, I dreamed about Grace Kahn, one of my grandmother's best friends, with whom I spent so much time in my youth. Her husband Gus (who died before I was born) was a famous lyricist. They met when she was playing one on his songs on the piano in a department store window in Chicago. In those days, that was how you sold sheet music.

Although I'm not going to share the particulars of my dream, I can't tell you how nice it was to remember "Aunt" Grace, and when I awakened to think about her and my grandmother Anne Levee.

While I've often written about medication side effects, I've never included "loss of dreams" in that description. And I'm truly grateful they've been restored...again.

8 comments:

Mariposa said...

My post today is about odd dreams...but that is way off topic from this one.

I love my dreams, would you believe, like you it let explore some solutions...it let me do the stuff I'm trying to do in my head, so that when I get up, it's just like I'm following a plan or a blue print.

Maybe I'm weird. :)

Btw, yesterday I posted some photos and I have my favorite coffee s hope there!

Wellness Writer said...

Dear Mariposa,
I don't think it's weird because I'm the same way! :) I'll drop by your blog tonight so I can read everything.

Susan

Gianna said...

the only therapy I'm doing right now is dream analysis with a Jungian...it's really wonderful...I love it...and right now it's the source of my most sustaining hopes.

also I too love that my brother and other people who I've loved and lost to death routinely show up in my dreams...it really is very special.

Cami Black said...

Susan...I envy you for remembering your dreams. I usually don't and for years, I never knew or thought I knew the people in my dreams.
I so long to dream of my family, especially my mom. Wonder what that's about..that I don't seem to dream about those closest to me that I've lost. Anyway, I love that you do and that it helps you solve problems. Wow...now that I'd like to tap into. Love, Cami

Wellness Writer said...

Gianna,
How interesting that this is what you're doing! I'm always struck by how we seem to be in step with each other...although in different parts of the country and on different paths.

And yes, it is special to have people we love show up in our dreams!

Love,
Susan

Wellness Writer said...

Dear Cami,
I can imagine how much you'd like to dream about your mom, Charles, your dad, and others. Maybe, it will still happen. I am always hopeful that we'll get what we want!

Love,
Susan

Periwinkle said...

HI Susan,

I just started reading your blog yesterday and added it to my favorites. :) This is the best blog on bipolar I have found. Thank you. My dreams are wonderful, rich and full of meaning since I have been taking Lunesta for more than 6 months. My mother died of cancer 17 years ago, and I had a wonderful dream this morning of her helping me on my wedding day getting dressed in an antique white, all lace halter top style dress with black lace accenting the neck line. I woke up feeling so happy to have a dream with her in it. I guess there are some benefits to this illness.

Periwinkle

Wellness Writer said...

Dear Periwinkle,
Thanks so much for the lovely compliment. Your dream about your mother sounds wonderful. My father died almost 20 years ago, and I feel blessed when I dream of him as well!

Susan