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Don't Dream It's Over

Dreams are weird. Sometimes I think they try to predict the future or make sense of your life, but sometimes they’re just random. Sometimes I wake up in the morning and have to figure out if what I just dreamed about was real or my imagination, and sometimes it feels so real that I’m absolutely convinced that it actually happened, at least when I initially wake up.

But sometimes I have wild, crazy dreams, and when I wake up, I think that I should report it to a movie producer because it would make a great Sci-Fi film.

I’ve always dreamt a lot. Sometimes they’re crazy and completely unrealistic, and sometimes they are so mundane that I almost believe that work was cancelled or that it’s Saturday when it’s actually Monday.

After my strokes, I didn’t dream for months. First of all, I barely slept, so there wasn’t really time to dream, but I also think that my brain was so fried from the trauma that it just needed a break.

Eventually, I started to dream just a little bit, then all at once I was dreaming like crazy.

At the beginning, I was always walking in my dreams, but as time went on, I was eventually in my wheelchair for either some or the whole dream. This made me mad when my wheelchair started being featured in my dreams. I felt like it was taking over not only my real life, but now my subconscious, and I didn’t like that…

Then my dreams transitioned to where I was in my chair in the beginning, and by the end I was up and walking.

I’ve been conflicted with how I feel about these dreams, whether they’re encouraging or upsetting, but here’s how they usually go…

Typically in these dreams, I’m in my wheelchair at the beginning, doing whatever I’m doing in my dream. Then, I just get up out of my wheelchair and start walking. When I’m walking it’s difficult and painful, but I’m walking. Whoever I’m with either freaks out and celebrates, or we just act like it’s normal, while I’m thinking, “Why haven’t I tried this all along?? This is so easy! Why have I just been sitting in my wheelchair when I could have gotten up and walked all along??”

I wake up, and I always immediately think that I can walk. I think “Oh! All I have to do is [whatever I figured out in my dream] and I can walk again!”

Then I realize that this is not the case, that no matter what I do, I can’t make myself walk.

When I started having these dreams, they gave me a lot of hope. It made me think that maybe I would start walking one day. Before my strokes, I would have dreams that would later come true, so because of that, and the fact that I was having these dreams almost every night, I thought it had to be some sort of omen.

I’ve also had friends text me and tell me that they had a dream just like the ones I had, and that they thought it meant I would walk again.

This gave me so much hope, until it didn’t.

After having these dreams for months, and being fooled every morning that I could get up and walk, it started to irritate me.

It made me mad that I would wake up every morning and think I could walk, and then be rudely interrupted with the fact that I still couldn’t move my legs. I still felt like maybe these dreams meant something bigger, but I was so angry that every night they would get my hopes up, just to wake up to no change.

I still don’t know where I stand with these dreams. I don’t have them as often as I used to, and in a way that makes me sad, because if they are some kind of sign, I feel like I should still be having them. But I’m also relieved that I don’t wake up every morning thinking I can walk.

I really hope that they are a sign that I will walk again one day, but I’m cautious to long for this simple yet impossible task. I don’t want to get my hopes up and count on something that may never happen.

It’s a difficult balance, trying to be ok with the fact that I can’t walk, and hoping that I will again one day.

Of course I want to walk again, but there are so many other things that I want. I want to be able to see so that I can drive, I want to be able to read with ease. But I also want to have a job that I love and am passionate about, I want to travel, I want to get married.

Sometimes I try to choose which of these I long for the most, if I had a choice between walking again or driving again, which I would choose.

This doesn’t get me anywhere though. I will never be given the dilemma to choose between the two. All I can do now is come to terms with my situation, live my life to the fullest, and still believe that I can get these things back one day.

I’m not bitter with my circumstances, but of course I hope to get these things back. But for now, I just try to accept, move on, and live.

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1 Comment

Lisa Campbell
Lisa Campbell
Dec 18, 2019

Mariel, I think your dream about walking again isnt about actually "walking" I think it's about moving forward with your life, living your dreams regardless of the wheelchair. Doing your thing like it isnt even there. Our life and our dreams are not restricted by how we get around... legs or wheelchairs. I think it's your soul telling you that you can do anything you dream. Love you! Lisa

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