A couple of years ago, I had this recurring dream where I would find myself back in high school, sitting in class, just about ready to take a final exam. It was a very vivid dream - I could clearly visualize our classroom, me in my high school uniform, and even make out the face of a former teacher or two. In the dream, the test paper would be handed to me and the clock would start ticking. As I bend down to start working on the test, I would realize that I had not studied for the exam and did not know a single answer on the test. The clock would tick louder and I would always break out in cold sweat, start panicking, and actually wake up feeling anxious and disoriented. Sometimes my heart would actually be pounding and I would have to stop to catch my breath. The strange thing was every time I woke up after that dream, it would take me a minute or two to realize that it was just a dream and that I had already gotten thru high school. I would have to convince myself that it was just a dream and try to go back to sleep.
This was way back when I was still working with the consulting firm (especially towards the latter part when the company was no longer doing as well). At that point in time, I felt hopeless and really stressed with work. My hubby and I interpreted the dream as a manifestation of my anxiety and the tension I was feeling at work. Shortly after that, I had decided to move on and start working for another company (the company I am with today). For a while, although stressed with work, I did not have that dream anymore. Well, maybe I still did, but it was definitely few and far between. Jojo and I agreed it was definitely job and stress-related.
The last couple of weeks (months actually), work has gotten increasingly hectic. The workload has been staggering and the pressure has been pretty bad. The last couple of nights I’ve had to take a sleeping pill just to get at least 7 hours of sleep. This in itself is pretty serious given that I’ve never had trouble falling asleep. But the strangest part is I have been having that dream almost every other night. Same dream – with the test and being unprepared and panicking over it. Last night, I woke up after having the same dream and it was so clear in my mind that I actually imagined I was still in high school and had to really take a moment to convince myself that I was done with school.
It’s so strange having the same dream over and over again and every time it seems so vivid and real. Is this totally bizarre? I think it's pretty clear what the dream means but what I need to figure out is how do I stop having it? I think I really need to find some time to relax and get a grip.