Mental Health

In Dreams, Remnants and Tomorrows. John.

So my subconscious found me another analogy of what being bipolar feels like to me. Variously out of control but still working hard to try and thump out a tune; with slippery ground beneath me and a serious threat hanging over my head whenever I hit the low keys. And the image is so comic it reminds me not to take myself too seriously.   

I had a pleasant meet up and cuppa with Elle today. We chatted about how our various posts lead us off in interesting at times unexpected paths. Elle’s last post on dreaming is an interesting subject for me. I’m a light sleeper, which results in me being quite a heavy dreamer, as dreams come to be between the state of sleep and wakefulness. I dream almost every night.

Recently I’ve been watching a bit of work from one of my Heros David Lynch. It started with me catching up on the old Twin Peaks (In prep to watch the new one) and then I watched a couple of his films. I remember first encountering him in my early teens when I saw a late night showing of Eraserhead. I was transfixed by how he’d managed to capture the feel of a dream on screen. I don’t think anybody in any art form has done this better than him.

I have several recurring dreams. Often I find myself back at the print works where I did my apprenticeship. At first these dreams revolved around me never being able to get my printing press to do what I wanted. Then they involved me having worked there all week, but never having ‘clocked in’ or never having filled out a worksheet to record what I’d produced and resources used. All of this meant there was no record of me that week so I wouldn’t get paid. Now the dream involves me visiting old friends who still work there and being concerned for them that the business has collapsed and there’s no work. In my job in comedy you can sometimes wait for an age to get paid and in recent years the business collapsed. So these are fairly straightforward reflections. There’s another occasional recurring dream…but I’ll get back to that…

One problem dreaming could cause for me when I first started to get better was, I  could dream about my psychosis and delusions. When I woke from the dream I could be gripped by blinding panic and severe disorientation. This would only last 5 seconds or so but it was a frightening way to wake up…and a reminder that, even though I was getting better, the condition is always there in the background. Thankfully that happens quite rarely in more recent times.

In my show about mental health I spoke about trauma and its impact on mental health. My Bipolar properly manifested after a severe trauma. I had a break up of a relationship that left me in a bad way. I used to dream about that and at first in those dreams I would wake up furious with the person with whom I’d broken up. Then the dreams changed, and I was less angry and looking more for friendly reconciliation to say all is fine now. These days on the rare occasion they pop up in dreams it’s like a friendly visit. So I suppose all this says is dreams can be evolutionary, like we can…The last time they popped up, a while back, I decided to write a poem about it. Me and Elle spoke about popping the odd poem up here, but I genuinely didn’t think I would post one this soon until I saw her post today. So I hope you don’t mind me being a wee bit self indulgent. I promise to be back to the willy jokes next time I’m on…


There are certain cobwebs that just cannot be reached
And as I wake from dreaming you’re back here among the sheets
Over years the dream it changes as the mind rewinds
Memories that first were scathing turn into something kind
Young love is strewn with flowers bright as early morn
But some flowers like the roses also come with thorns
And upon those thorns we get pierced and we see a little blood
But time is like a plaster that mends you back to love
And now that both our lives are fine and strangers we remain
You remember only good things so it wasn’t all in vain
There are certain cobwebs that just cannot be reached
They dance and stir upon the air they rest on memories beach
Some cobwebs are for keeping
To be snagged on when you’re sleeping
And I send you my love
With a laugh and a smile and a shove

3 thoughts on “In Dreams, Remnants and Tomorrows. John.”

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