I used to dream all the time that I was either drowning or suffocating. It wasn’t unpleasant. I’d just be under water or smothered with pillows and I would stop breathing and… nothing. It would be warm and dark and nothing.
I would tell people all the time about my dreams and they would say that the dreams were symbolic, that I was feeling overwhelmed or stressed or whatever and this was my mind’s way of trying to make sense of that.
That never seemed right to me, because why would the drowning or suffocating feel okay, not be scary, if it had to do with something that seemed very wrong in my real life?
In retrospect, I probably was suffocating.
Here’s what it takes, I’ve come to learn, to get me safely through the night.