Saturday, December 29, 2007

Destination Unknown

A linocut print I made last week to represent my dream. The raven on the bustop is a trickster figure. These westcoast First Nations symbols bring light to dark situations. They lead us in directions we may have avoided because we did not have all the knowledge needed. They make us aware that life is unpredictable, but neither good or bad, simply different.

I had a dream:

Throughout the dream an old Bauhaus song was playing in the background: "...Bela Lugosi's dead, the bats have left the bell tower, the victims have been bled red velvet lines the black box, Bela Lugosi's dead..."

I was at the University. I got on the bus to go home. When I saw my stop I rang the bell, but the bus drove right past my stop. I rang again and it just kept driving by all the stops. I became super stressed out because I had two essays and an exam the next day. I did not have time to be wasting it on trying to find my way home. The bus drove and drove and soon I had no idea where I was. I began to cry. My crying turned into unconsolable sobbing. I just wanted to go home and do the work I was supposed to do. The bus finally stopped and let me off. I was hours away from home and had no idea how to get home from where I was.

  • I see my dream as a "death anxiety" dream. The song is full of imagery of a coffin and death. I am terrified of wasting the little time I have on this earth. My depression feels like it is forcing me to do this.

  • Death anxiety encompasses that fear that you have not completed what you are here for, that you are not living the life you are supposed to live.

  • Dr. X. said he thought the bus might represent my life going in a direction I never expected, a direction different from where I thought I would be going.

  • I feel he's right on many levels:
  1. I am derailed by my depression. I feel it has stopped me from doing the things I wanted to do, from being as successful as I know I could have been if I had not suffered from so much anxiety and depression.

  2. Had I not been depressed I would never have left a high paid, but truly unfullfilling and soul sucking my depression has led me away from that, which is good on many fronts.
  3. Had I not been depressed I would never have had the time, or the inclination to become artistic. Something about the sadness inside me and the struggle I face feeds my creativity. I'm not saying "mental illness leads to creativity"...I hate that stereotype. Mental illness made me so sick that I had to leave work and being the workaholic I am I had to fill my time with something. I've always been creative, but never really artistic...more "crafty". The time away from work, and an Art Clubhouse for mentally ill people in my city helped me nourish my artistic side...and I love it.
  4. My crying in the dream because I wasn't going to be able to finish what I wanted to (my essays and exam) is parallel to my grief over losing my job and the life I thought I wanted. I am finding the only thing I wanted in that whole situation was financial safety. The bus is hopefully taking me to a different place where I can still feel like I contribute and feel like I won't end up mentally ill, no job, broke and living on the streets.
  5. The dream is telling me my destination is simply different than the one I expected and maybe it will be better for me.

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