Thursday, March 18, 2010

Ego death

Strange, perplexing dreams last night. I started off in a swamp with other people, then moved further up the road to a very ordinary house, whose owners were allowing paid guests to view Christian themed tableaus acted out by their children. I didn't stay long enough to watch. I moved on to another interior where the owner ran some sort of volunteer, not-for-profit, talent agency/character search. We watched three groups of aspiring young women from behind the glass walls of the office. Her husband was hovering somewhere in the background, occasionally shouting out his approval of one character or another. I couldn't understand why my old friend from college wasn't considered worthy. The odd thing was, while I was dreaming, I felt that I had dreamed this dream before - the swamp sequence, the religious house, the talent agency.

In another dream later that night, I was driving my car along a frozen canal in a city where I used to live and the weight of the steamroller in front of me caused the ice to crack apart. I had enough warning and was determined to free myself from the seatbelt before my vehicle sank. I was floating above the vehicle at the time, looking down on it which gave me plenty of time to release the damn seatbelt before I landed safely on the embankment and the car sank below the ice. There was a press conference held on the embankment, but no one knew that someone (Me!) had survived the unfolding catastrophe on the canal.

I woke up, and lay there quietly. Then I heard a cat in heat, yeowling piteously like a new born baby crying in the night. I thought of Chris, and his first month of life, when my supply of milk was inadequate yet I was refusing to supplement. I was sure I could get it right and just needed a little more time. This logic was a reflection of the power of the "breast is best" thinking that was so widely promoted. It was almost considered poisoning your baby to think of introducing a Nestle's product into its developing immune system. So, I struggled on and Chris continue to yowl and not gain weight at the required rate. When I finally added bottled milk into his diet, he fell silent, a look of beatific joy on his face.

Walking to work this morning, I reflected on the intense conversation Chris and I had the evening before where he told me that he has no idea who he is. He had also been thinking a lot about the number three that day and noticing how it tied into many coincidences that he encountered. He didn't know what anything meant anymore, if it ever meant anything at all. I thought about my dream. It had three sequences (the swamp, the house and the talent agency). I recalled that I had "auditioned" once for the part of "receptionist" at the aptly named Three Characters Talent Agency and that there were three groups of people auditioning at my dream talent agency.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is holistic recovery from schizophrenia. I sometimes ask myself, even though it's all very interesting, are we getting anywhere? Are we knowing ourselves more or are we deluding ourselves into becoming bystanders in the game of life? I like to think Chris and I are getting somewhere, and that what we are experiencing is true healing, even if it doesn't come swiftly and has a habit of arriving disguised as something else.

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