A re-occuring dream

I have been having a dream, periodically, for about a year now, and thought I would write about it in an effort to deconstruct it, and then maybe get a sense of what it might be about.

The Dream:

I’m coming to the end of an academic course of some kind, and have worked really hard all the way through it, in expectation of a top grade and success. I’m now approaching the final module, and the final exam, but have let everything slip. I haven’t kept up my studying, I haven’t done the revision that I needed to do, and am now facing the prospect of failing the last exam, and thus the whole course.

But.. it wasn’t over.

The second underlying point of the dream, was that I still had 2 weeks before the exam, and knew, deep down, that I could probably still get the grade I wanted if I worked my ass off in that time. I would need to cram about 3 months of work and revision into two weeks- but I could probably do it, if I committed and didn’t waste any more time.

I would always wake up feeling apprehensive about failure and pissed at myself for being so dumb and seeming to fail miserably at the last hurdle of something I would have had in the bag, and could have aced, if I’d just kept my focus for a little while longer. Moreover, I knew that if I started straight away, I could probably catch up- but it would require a monumental effort right now.

So this is the dream, or the bare bones of it- for it has altered slightly at times.

In some versions the annoyance I felt at myself was less- and I was able to think, “this isn’t that important, exams aren’t everything.” In other versions of it I was more confident of my ability to power through the revision and the cramming and still get the grade I had been expecting.

But every time I felt that underlying sense of tension, and the vague sense that I had screwed up something important that I might have achieved.

Last night, there were other things going on around that underlying theme: I knew I had this exam looming, and that I had some intense cramming to do, but other things were happening as well which were just as important to the dream, and were offsetting some of my stress.

I have wondered about this dream quite a bit, and have tried to work out what it might be about. I’m not someone who puts loads of importance on the things your brain churns out whilst you are sleeping, but at the same time the frequency of this one, and the repetitious nature of the subject, has led me to wonder whether there might be anything in it.

At the moment, I am trying to get my book written, and get into a routine of writing regularly again. I am also contemplating a new career, a travelling trip with Ru, and, (this is the one that worries me) I am trying to smother the last niggling negative symptoms which I experience.

The dream freaks me out because, sometimes, the voices stress me out with stuff like-“you’re getting your head round your issues too slowly, you should have understood that by now.. you should be able to deal with those thoughts/emotions/memories by now..”

It’s some kind of strange pre-destiny freak out; the idea that there are times and dates that I need to “get better” by, and that I need to have grasped certain things and resolved other issues by specific points in time. If I don’t keep progressing at a certain rate, and reach certain “fixed points” of recovery in good time, the pathway I wish to proceed upon will be shut off to me forever.

Some kind of cosmic doorway will be shut.

This is the fear, and I am aware that it’s crap- but it still sometimes creeps into my mind and whispers these lies. Rationally thinking; it is all complete and utter bs.

There is no time limit; there is no deadline on when I have to feel better by- I am simply recovering, gradually, over time.

All I am doing by freaking out like this is putting undue pressure on myself; pressure which doesn’t need to be there, and is probably only feeding into the underling condition and the dream itself…!

The dream is most likely a representation of this anxiety; like a deep part of my subconscious is freaking out about leaving all the crazy bs behind, and coming up with new and frantic ways to exert stress, delusional logic, and reasons to freak out about the universes grand plan and whether or not I’m “keeping up with it.”

I’m working dam hard on recovery, on dealing with the issues, real and imagined; I am investing in the present and the future, and trying to do things which make me feel good. I don’t feel as though I’ve lost any focus, or need any kind of reminder about the continuous forward movement of time- and instead know that I am leaving behind all of the ridiculous stresses and worries which consumed me when I was seriously suffering.

My subconscious mind may just need a little bit of time to catch up.

The dream is a paradox within itself.. it’s like a dream about a dream, which is only making me worry on levels which aren’t healthy or conducive to moving forward. The central fact of the dream is that I need to worry and stress right now, or else I won’t move forward- but I think the truth is actually the complete opposite.

What I need to do is continue to focus upon relaxing, and leaving all the cosmic currents behind. What is important is finding my own current, my own rhythm and forward motion; all things that I am very much doing already..

So- my conclusion:

This was only a dream, nothing more and nothing less- and I think my time will be much better spent focusing on my waking hours, not those that I spend flitting around the mythical and indistinguishable land of Nod!



9 thoughts on “A re-occuring dream

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  2. Hi Alex.

    If there is one thing that defines what is wrong with our schooling system, it is the concept of the exam.

    In every way it makes life difficult. They are at specific times – something that annoyed me recently as I had to miss one due to my bad back. They were extremely concerned by this, and told me that I would have to re-register and pay the fees again.


    I love it when a bureaucrat shows just how concerned they are for your wellbeing.

    It’s not as if an exam can really tell you what a person knows. It only tells a bureaucrat the answers to the kind of thing that rattle around in their heads. Few of which have anything to do with reality.

    So here’s my kind of exam. This worked until a few years ago because my Dutch is accented but well spoken these days. All I needed ask them was how good my Dutch was. Just that. The point being that I wasn’t actually asking them about my Dutch.

    I was asking them if they were able to make a decision for themselves based on the things they saw in front of their face.

    It cut through all the crap: if they screwed their toe in the sand, I knew they’d failed the test.

    Bureaucrats will fail this test because they need things to be written down on pieces of paper for them to read. Take away their pieces of paper and they look at you with glazed eyes and a lolling tongue, wondering why you took away their life support.

    In closing, I want to mention that no few mental disorders arise from being put under pressure to pass exams. Too many people have an inferiority complex instilled when they fail too many… or worse, accept that the way we’re taught by authorities is the only way to teach.

    There! I can ramble too 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha.. I still think I’m better at rambling than you are, your rambling has too many valid points in it!! 😉 And yes I agree with you, exams are an absolutely ridiculous way of testing what somebody knows, and only work to reinforce a specific “type” of ability and “strength.” Though, in doing that, they work to convince people that if they’re not good at exams they’re not “clever,” which literally makes my blood boil, and as you said, creates inferiority complexes…. is all just ways of keeping the system the same and the status quo rolling forward. (And lol to your comment on the spam above, I literally had no idea whatsoever what that comment was about….)!! xx

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The problem isn’t the system. People say things like this, as if there were people who genuinely strove to form this ‘system’. The real point of a system is that you don’t know when you’re in it, it’s the perfect “inside the box” thinking. You don’t know there’s an outside… yet you don’t know why you do things.

        That’s how the system works.

        People simply don’t know they’re keeping it fed.

        To me the problem of inferiority complexes has a lot to do with this level of unconscious behaviour. And, as with all unconscious behaviour, trying to convince anybody to make it conscious is nothing short of a monumental task! Try convincing someone who habitually thinks of themselves as inferior… and try to change that! They’ll wriggle, they’ll bite, they’ll do ANYTHING but do anything but live an inferior life.

        Why? Because life’s so much easier if you’re inferior. No decisions, they’re all made by the boss. No worries, the boss takes care of all that. No bother, because everybody tells you what to do. You don’t have to take any risks as an inferior creature. Life’s a beach.

        They’ll keep pushing the system until they die. Or worse, it kicks them out, and they’re left standing naked in the middle of Trafalgar Square at peak rush-hour. That’s when they go nuts.


      2. Hmm i think this might be where we disagree.. I think there are very likely people who spend quite a bit of time thinking about keeping ‘the system’ as it is, control in the hands of other like minded people, and the status quo basically unchanged.. but i agree with you that those very people likely don’t realise how controlled they are!- by the very system they promote to control the people they “lead”… Also.. i don’t think most people with inferiority complexes would say their life’s a beach. People who are stamped down in school (so early on!)get a raw deal.. one which i believe most would jump at the chance to change. Psychology is tough, and overturning said inferiority complexes, when they run do deep, can be nion impossible.. people may wiggle cos they know how hard it would be a thus would prefer to leave the issue along and try and focus above it..!


      3. Now: “but i agree with you that those very people likely don’t realise how controlled they are!” It is this element that creates the system they use to get their way.

        “i don’t think most people with inferiority complexes would say their life’s a beach” Okay, so just try getting one to make a decision for themselves. They will do everything they can to stop the circumstances in which they have to express their own feelings. Life for them is a beach: broad, flat, often windy and only the waves for entertainment. These are not happy people. But nor are their bosses. Between them, they make the world unhappier.

        “people may wiggle cos they know how hard it would be a thus would prefer to leave the issue along and try and focus above it..!” And what good will ‘focussing above it’ do? That would be like re-arranging the deckchairs on the Titanic. If you are going to deal with a problem, either you go to the heart of the problem or you’re wasting your time. The really important thing to note is how easy this is to do. The other thing to note is how resistant most people are to change: that is an aspect your book does not as yet acknowledge. They want to rearrange the deckchairs because it means they’re doing something whilst it doesn’t hurt them. By the time the deck’s tilted and they can see the water they know it’s too late. That’s when they lose their mind.

        And all because they preferred playing psychology rather than actually doing it.

        There’s a lot about inferiority complexes here:


        (It’ll be posted as soon as I’ve had time to edit it; in about an hour).

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi,
    I think you get the dream because of pressure from your day, either because you have work tomorrow or we need to head out to London or we have something big planned in the future. These things may translate into you getting this dream, although why it is always an exam I don’t know.

    Liked by 1 person

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