Pandemic anxiety has seeped into my subconscious.
Lockdown isn’t exactly a way to ease your nerves. Home-schooling is an exercise in extreme patience. The attempt to get work done on top of that is almost impossible and the thought ‘you’ve got things to do’ shadows most of the day. The best survival tip I got was from a friend who said ‘aim low’. I am and I think it’s making some dent in the mental state of things.
Like so many other people, I haven’t seen my family in months now. My kids haven’t seen their grandma, aunts and uncle. They’ve only met their new cousin once. As the daily case numbers go up, the reality is it’s likely to be months more. But I think the tipping point was the recent leap of daily infections in NSW going from the 400s (already a pretty horrifying number) to the 600s.
So, I’ve started having anxiety dreams again. I’ve only ever had three variations and they’ve neatly matched with eras of my life.
The first phase was the HSC exam dream. I had this for years after actually finishing any kind of study. I’d dream that I had an exam that morning which I’d forgotten all about. Even in my dream I would think I’d finished school already but the feeling in the dream was strong enough to make me disbelieve it.
I was happy when the HSC dream was retired. It was embarrassing to have something from school still lingering years later. The next one was the suitcase dream. I need a lot of time to pack a bag and I don’t like to be rushed. I also don’t do it well with any distractions or time limits. So, a dream that involves me suddenly realising I need to be at the airport in 20 minutes is just total panic stations. I flap about knowing it’s a dream and just hoping that I’ll wake up soon to end it all.
How cute for a holiday to be the cause of my panic and anxiety. Now that I’m responsible for little people, my anxiety dream is life or death. Ever since I was pregnant with my first child, my subconscious manifestation of worry changed from an unpacked suitcase to the neglect of a baby. I would forget that I had a baby. Forget where I’d left the baby. Forget to feed the baby or keep it safe.
Please let it be OK. Please let it be OK. Please let it be OK. It would run on a desperate loop. This week it was a baby girl. I found her. She had rings of grime around her neck but she was OK. I always find them in the end and they’re always OK. I have to thank my subconscious that even when it writes a horror story, there is a happy ending.
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