Today I heard a little anecdote: sleep is the trial version of death.

I am infinitely surprised by the content that my brain is able to come up with while I sleep. My dreams are filled with not only the obvious and hidden desires I have daily, but also address of deeply buried issues that I am unable to address in reality. Most of the time I wake and forget all about what my brain has brought forth while I slept. Sometimes the content of the night sticks with me throughout the following day or days, but eventually it fades away. Why are dreams so temporary if some of them are important? I feel that some credit is due to my dreams for some of the psychological development (if any has been made) that I have made throughout adulthood. If cuts didn’t leave scars, how often would you recall ever bleeding from them?

When I was first dealing with depression in adulthood, my dreams would be vivid imaginings of how wonderful life could be for me. I’d dream about a beautiful house filled with intricate furnishings and all the things I couldn’t afford in real life. I’d dream of a man who was all the things that a young woman could hope for in a mate. I’d dream of being beautiful and having a body one would only see in the likes of a neoclassical painting. It would be hard to get out of bed most days. Sleep would be my refuge. After time, depression took even this from me and my dreams turned to mush. When I could sleep, I’d be deep in a dark colorless forest with wet feet and running from someone or something, or I would be in complete nothingness.

Luckily now my vivid dreams have returned to me. My brain deals with all the things I am unable to deal with in reality. So much of expressing myself ends up only coming out in the actions of the characters in my dreams. My brain is an excellent choreographer. It comes up with scenarios that perfectly illustrate the issues of turmoil going on in my thoughts each day. Sometimes when I wake up, I immediately want to go back to sleep and right back to the dream I was in. Nonetheless, the hyper real feelings and settings fade away as quickly as seconds pass, and I reluctantly let go of that world my brain created overnight to comfort me. If I share a dream with anyone, they might say “damn, you should write that down”. I rarely do though.

Does anyone actually live a life similar to the one that his/her brain creates while they sleep? Is it naive to wish that sleep was the trial version of death and that when we die, our consciousness can go on infinitely creating a world of resolution to our lives lived?

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