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  • Bad Dreams or How to Debunk Irrational Fears

    This is stupid sounding but I was wondering what your thoughts on this are.

    The past four nights or so I've had some really nasty dreams. The kind of dreams that keep you from getting any real sleep despite lying in bed for hours. The primary bad dream offender here, the reoccurring one, is one that makes me look damned shallow, but it's one where I've regained all the weight I lost ... and more.

    Yeah, it sounds bad. It is bad. It can't happen like it does in the dream (all at once ... *shivers* ) but it can happen if I let it. I won't of course, I'll strive to never let it happen, but my mind has many years of images to pull from. I can remember what I looked like butt naked in the mirror from when I was a kid to when I was at my heaviest. Not fun. I can project, based on those images, how horrible things COULD have gotten.

    I can't shake this dream, for as hard as I try. I stay up super late just to make myself pass out hardcore, even drank myself to sleep one night, and I still have this dream and still wake up feeling unrested.

    Rationally, I know what I am. I know where I am. I know what I look like and I know how I got here. It took a lot of work, blood, sweat, and tears (lots and lots of work, blood, sweat, and tears).

    But I'm scared of this dream. I've done everything I can to make my mind understand this. I've reread all my notes on the matter, looked at all the personal progress pics, I've rattled off all the things I CAN do now that I never could before. Yet, I still find myself haunted by this bad dream.

    In the dream I regain all the weight, plus some, and lose everything I have achieved since. I think that's the worst part, losing all I've gained by losing the weight ... I don't know. It messes with my head, this dream.

    Have any of you good folks experienced similar bad dreams? How did you get rid of it or did it just pass? Thanks in advance for the answers. Sorry this sounds like shallow bull shit, but I swear it's not.
    Went Primal July 25th, 2011.

    Current Age: 25

    Total Loss: 126 lbs

    Starting Stats: Weighed 266 lbs, Body Fat 37.6% (100 lbs), BMI 40.9

    Current Stats: Weight 140 lbs, Body Fat 15.2% (21.1 lbs), BMI 21.2

    Current Goals: Get a stronger core through Pilates and continue being as Primal as I can be.

    My Weight Loss Notes Now on a blog page. It starts with "My Weight Loss: Introduction." Available to the public, share with friends if you'd like!

  • #2
    i don't even need to dig out and dust off my trusty dream encyclopedia for this one

    be good to yourself, be calm with yourself and reassure yourself that all the weight you lost will not explode on you overnight and if you gain 5 unwanted pounds you can easily lose them again

    and then keep reassuring yourself until the nightmare starts to go away
    beautiful
    yeah you are

    Baby if you time travel back far enough you can avoid that work because the dust won't be there. You're too pretty to be working that hard.
    lol

    Comment


    • #3
      Can't help but to reiterate what you already know, that it's just a dream, and while it sucks to be reliving it every night, at least you will wake up.

      If it makes you feel better, I can share my recurring nightmare which still occurs even though I am years from college. It's the day of finals and I have a horrible sinking feeling in my stomach because I forgot that I enrolled in that class and consequently didn't attend lecture all semester. And of course the class is something ridiculous like mechanical engineering with electronic components or something like that.
      F 28/5'4/100 lbs

      "I'm not a psychopath, I'm a high-functioning sociopath; do your research."

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      • #4
        Usually my bad dreams involve me undergoing something torturous, watching family be brutally murdered, etc., etc. But those are usually originals and the same thing doesn't happen twice.

        I have lately, however, on about 10 occasions dreamt that I have several teeth fall out, sometimes due to my own jaw getting stuck kind of sideways and wrenching itself back into place.

        I read that 'losing teeth' dreams are kind of standard, like going to school naked. Dreams are effing nuts. Sometimes I get really intrigued by a topic and think 'How could I not be devoting my life to this?!' and dreaming is definitely one of those topics.

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        • #5
          Is there a lot of stress in your life right now (aside from the dreams)? I tend to experience more nightmares when there's something particularly stressful happening.

          If you're having trouble falling asleep because of this dream, try reading a really boring book in bed. This will (hopefully) keep your mind occupied enough to stop it from thinking about the dream, but not so occupied that its impossible to go to sleep.

          When you wake up in the middle of the night, if you feel like you won't be able to fall back asleep right away, I would get out of bed. Even if its just to sit on the couch in the dark or lay on the floor somewhere else. Yeah, you might wake up a little bit more, but I personally think moving to different areas helps bring back a sense of reality.

          Also, you might want to try sleeping with your head at the opposite end of the bed. I don't know if this will work for you or not (and I have absolutely no scientific evidence supporting this) but sometimes I find just having my head in a different spot in the room can add just enough novelty to sleeping that I forget about other things.

          I really hope you're able to sort this out! I know how much it can suck to lose sleep like this.

          Comment


          • #6
            Don't wake up, just laugh.
            Crohn's, doing SCD

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            • #7
              I've found by taking St. John's wort with evening meal I don't have disturbing dreams anymore.
              Here's what I take Amazon.com: Now Foods Mood Support With St Johns Wort Veg-capsules, 90-Count: Health & Personal Care but ck with your doctor to make sure it's okay for you.

              Comment


              • #8
                I guess I should elaborate on laughing at scary dreams. It helps to do some meditation and lucid dreaming, along with assessing your life in its entirety and throwing away all your fears. Once you're okay with dying and realize how insignificant you are in the universe, the thought of being concerned about the possibility things hurting you becomes laughable. There is no fear (deep in the mind, it is gone!) once you've embraced death, pain and mortality in entirety. Most fears will vanish entirely, and the rest will shrink. Spiders still make me think, yes, but it's more a duty to react rather than the hot, panicked flashes of terror I used to get. And after lucid dreaming, I've died in dreams a lot and not given a darn. Marilyn Manson shot me in the face, I've been stabbed, crushed by things, chased by monsters and I laugh, and just keep dreaming. I think, for vivid dreamers, mastery should be taught to the young.
                Crohn's, doing SCD

                Comment


                • #9
                  I'm curious about what your friends and family think of your diet. This dream isn't about your fears of returning to what you were before. Due to it's recurring nature, it's more about how you feel others perceive you and your lifestyle.

                  Teeth falling out dreams are perfectly normal. They're typically reactions to stress situations you wish to control but are feeling like you can't.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by sarahelyse View Post
                    Is there a lot of stress in your life right now (aside from the dreams)? I tend to experience more nightmares when there's something particularly stressful happening ...


                    I really hope you're able to sort this out! I know how much it can suck to lose sleep like this.
                    Stressful times? Yeah, the last week has been pretty hellish. I work two part time jobs and a full time job. Usually, the three jobs don't converge at the same time ... the have a way of staying out of one another's path and that makes working them easier. But the last week all three have been pulling at me and I have barely had any time to myself. I think the lack of time to unwind is killing me slowly, lol, but hopefully soon (maybe tomorrow? Hell if I know) I'll be able to take some time for me.

                    Originally posted by vtphoenix View Post
                    I'm curious about what your friends and family think of your diet. This dream isn't about your fears of returning to what you were before. Due to it's recurring nature, it's more about how you feel others perceive you and your lifestyle.
                    Well ... I hail from the deep South. So the whole "Don't eat grains, stay away from sugary sweet foods" thing has not gone over real well. They understand it now (126 pounds lost will get that much) but they don't fully get it. My Mom is trying Primal out but my father is against it, hardcore, and doesn't get it. Since my mom is buying the groceries and such, she's guiding the house food towards a more Primal way: suffice it to say, my dad ain't too pleased about it. I'm hoping my mom will stick with it but I fear the pressure from my dad will throw her off track. She's been stuck on the CW/Weight Watchers cycle for years and had a major setback over the fall, gaining back 25 pounds she worked for the better part of a year to keep off.

                    My friends sort of get it, but I don't hang out with many of them much anymore (we're all in different parts of the country at this point), so they're not really a big issue. They've been more supportive than most of my family.
                    Went Primal July 25th, 2011.

                    Current Age: 25

                    Total Loss: 126 lbs

                    Starting Stats: Weighed 266 lbs, Body Fat 37.6% (100 lbs), BMI 40.9

                    Current Stats: Weight 140 lbs, Body Fat 15.2% (21.1 lbs), BMI 21.2

                    Current Goals: Get a stronger core through Pilates and continue being as Primal as I can be.

                    My Weight Loss Notes Now on a blog page. It starts with "My Weight Loss: Introduction." Available to the public, share with friends if you'd like!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Trekfan,

                      I've totally been there with the recurring nightmares. What you're going through sounds like Post Traumatic Stress Disorder - I'm guessing that your period of being overweight was pretty traumatic? Beyond looking and feeling better now, I'm imaging that there's bigger reasons you don't want to go back there.

                      What you're trying to do in response to the dreams - rationalise the fear, or escape from the fear, you've got to face the fear. I read a story once about a woman who had been raped, and kept having a recurring nightmare where a faceless man was chasing her. After months and months of this dream, eventually she one night she had a lucid moment in the dream, and she faced the man and asked him what he wanted. He came up to her and said "I have something that you dropped. It's your self respect." She didnt have the dream again.

                      You might want to look into some techniques for lucid dreaming if you want to try something similar but - you don't need to be asleep to confront your subconscious fears. Just sit with yourself for a while (mediate) and just listen to what your mind has to say. Don't rationalise anything. Just listen and understand.

                      You'll be fine

                      Originally posted by Knifegill View Post
                      I guess I should elaborate on laughing at scary dreams. It helps to do some meditation and lucid dreaming, along with assessing your life in its entirety and throwing away all your fears. Once you're okay with dying and realize how insignificant you are in the universe, the thought of being concerned about the possibility things hurting you becomes laughable. There is no fear (deep in the mind, it is gone!) once you've embraced death, pain and mortality in entirety. Most fears will vanish entirely, and the rest will shrink. Spiders still make me think, yes, but it's more a duty to react rather than the hot, panicked flashes of terror I used to get. And after lucid dreaming, I've died in dreams a lot and not given a darn. Marilyn Manson shot me in the face, I've been stabbed, crushed by things, chased by monsters and I laugh, and just keep dreaming. I think, for vivid dreamers, mastery should be taught to the young.
                      Knifegill, I'm imagining that most people won't know what the hell you're talking about here. I do
                      "I think the basic anti-aging diet is also the best diet for prevention and treatment of diabetes, scleroderma, and the various "connective tissue diseases." This would emphasize high protein, low unsaturated fats, low iron, and high antioxidant consumption, with a moderate or low starch consumption.

                      In practice, this means that a major part of the diet should be milk, cheese, eggs, shellfish, fruits and coconut oil, with vitamin E and salt as the safest supplements."

                      - Ray Peat

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I have the same dreams as you. I will eat a cupcake or cookie and feel completely wrecked. But, here's the kicker...when I wake up, I feel RELIEVED. I didn't do it. All is right with the world. Try to rethink the way you view your dreams when you awake. Don't let them make you feel like you are going to go down a slippery slope, realize how far you've come and find relief that you haven't fallen back. And if they do scare you a little, that's okay too. A hurtless reminder to not go back from whence you came.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I have nightmares if I'm stressed. And I had a period of several years where I had "dark dreams" that were always dark in nature but not quite nightmares. Those, too, I believe were a reflection of my general mood at the time.

                          Are you stressed during the daytime about your weight right now? Or making bad food choices? Or has someone you know had a major issue with food or weight lately? There's probably a trigger somewhere.
                          High Weight: 225
                          Weight at start of Primal: 189
                          Current Weight: 174
                          Goal Weight: 130

                          Primal Start Date: 11/26/2012

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