What Dreams May Come When You Forget Your Medication

I would like to tell you about an interesting phenomenon. I take Cymbalta daily to combat the effects of fibromyalgia. When I forget my medication for a couple of days (which I really, really try not to do) my back and arms ache like I ran a marathon; my brain becomes fuzzy; I go through the day in a fog; and I suffer an acute bout of crippling, chest-aching depression. So yeah, I do my best to stay steadily on my medication. I am a good girl in that respect.

But there is one magnificent side effect to not taking my medicine that almost makes it worth it to skip now and then. The night after I forget to take it, I have amazing dreams. Semi-lucid, photorealistic, epic, story-shaped, totally recalled dreams. I wake up in a state of wonder, itching to write. And sometimes, they’re just what I need.

Take last night. I dreamed last night of traveling in a foreign country and meeting the most magnificent people – artists and writers, dancers, lunatics. Middle aged men with whiskey and stale cigarettes talking about Alice Hoffman and Brian Froud. Beautiful old women making watercolor butterflies to give to passers-by. Delightful libertines and mystics, and one who I can only describe as the embodiment of storytelling, kind of a metaphysical representation of Joseph Campbell. And he was kind and gentle and lovely, and he liked me and wanted to stay in touch with me after we all parted. I had this sense of the beginning of an intimate friendship that would span the rest of our lives, and I loved him in a way you can’t ever really love a true human being. There was a physical aspect to it, but I’d call it more sensual than sexual, a comfort and joyfulness with touch that had nothing to do with sex. When I woke up, I missed him fiercely.

So perhaps now you see why I am not always as good with my medication as I ought to be.

Now, there can be pitfalls. I must never, ever, EVER do this after watching a zombie movie, because I WILL have zombie dreams. Nor must I watch “Ringu,” or anything will small evil things. Or spiders. Or demons. Ok, no horror movies at all. See, people who write horrific things, as I sometimes do, are usually big fat wusses. Stephen King? Wuss. Neil Gaiman? Self-proclaimed wuss. Me? Big fat wuss. It’s because we’re affected by stuff like that; it sticks in our weird, sticky, jam-covered brains.

Alright. Off to write fiction …

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