Do you dream at night?
I have always been a dreamer and it feels like I rarely have a nights sleep without been aware of a dream or been in a dream. I don’t mind this, I’m kind of used to it, it is when the dream is distressing or scary and leaves me lying awake with a sinking feeling that “something” is very wrong. This feeling can carry into the start of the day – and I know that others say, thinking they are been helpful, “it’s only a dream” “it’s not real”, “let’s analyse your dream, and find an answer” the anxiety and fear that the dream provokes within me is real for me and there is nothing I can do except wait for it to pass.
Anxiety, depression, low mood or that numb empty feeling you have when waking up to start the day is very similar. You don’t know why you are feeling those emotions, you do know that it feels overwhelming and unsettling and that you wish to be rid of it. Again, others in your life may say “don’t think about it”, or “just snap out of it”.
What many around you may not able to understand is that you don’t make a conscious effort to be depressed, anxious or numb, it can creep over you and be a slow slight descent into depression so gradual that you do not recognise it until you are feeling at rock bottom, or it can be with you with a bang - waking up with crippling anxiety, unable to go outside, get out of bed or function as you have previously. Either way this is not a choice you have made.
This may be when you find that your normal coping mechanisms such as ignoring or pushing the feeling away to deal with “later” are not working for you.
I believe and know from experience that talking therapy helps, expressing what you are feeling releases the tightness of the emotion, and its grip that can leave you exhausted and feeling powerless. Talk to someone you trust, a friend, member of your family, someone at work. If this is not available to you try a counsellor who is trained and able to listen without giving advice or trying to fix you. A counsellor will listen and support you to find a pathway through the difficult feelings and emotions.
If you are not sure where to find a counsellor or do not wish to ask someone for a recommendation - counselling-directory.org.uk lists qualified and experienced counsellors in your area, have a look and choose who you feel will be someone you can talk to and trust.