I am tired.

I am so so so so tired.

I think I’ve been tired for a long time, between stress from the pandemic, and the stress of the past few months. Almost everything major in my life has been up in the air for the past few months – job transition, divorce paperwork, refinancing my house – and I said earlier this summer that if one of those things settles down then I’d feel better. Well, I’ve left one job and started another, and the paperwork for my house has been signed. My divorce documents are working their way through a seriously backlogged court system, but effectively complete but for a Justice’s signature. But I am still very very very tired.

In times of immense transition like this, I tend to have stress dreams. They’re super awful in their own way because they are things that could conceivably and realistically – if not likely – happen. Over the years I’ve had dreams that my partner has left me, stalked me, or tried to hurt me. I’ve had dreams of loved ones dying. I’ve had dreams that my house burned down in a fire, or was destroyed by a flood. I’ve had dreams I’ve been fired from my job, or had nightmares that I was back at a toxic work environment that I only now realize still haunts me in some less than helpful ways.

And what really really really sucks, more than having these dreams in the first place?

I get one of them, wake up (usually at 2:30 AM), stay keyed up for two hours, finally get back to sleep again… only to have another one just before my alarm goes off.

The weirdest part about them is that when I wake up, I realize they aren’t true… even if they potentially could be. In their frustrating real-life yet immersive-movie ways, they bring a sense of healing. They bring out a fear or a worry or a trauma that I can’t consider in real-time because I’m so busy hyper-focusing on what’s actually going on in the moment. For whatever reason, they give a voice to those little niggling doubts that there’s something lurking under the surface. Even if there really is nothing to worry about, I’ve got a healthy-ish involuntary sieve that filters out the little worries and lets me get on with things in my real life in an actually healthy way. They’re my healers, even if they hurt in the middle of the night. Because in vary short order, what’s caused them in the first place gets dealt with in the real world, and even if it’s not the way that I would prefer, it’s never ever ever as bad as my dream was.

So tonight, I will sleep like a baby who’s just started sleeping through the night, and tomorrow I’ll be able to face the world with a little less uncertainty and a little more determination. Those niggling worries have faded, and now I can tackle the real and practical issues in my world.