I'm dreaming less at night, because I'm sleeping so badly, and more during naps in the middle of the afternoon. Today I laid down for an hour and slept for four, turning off my alarm without even remembering it, and I dreamed.
It was one of those internally-cohesive, externally-bizarre dreams that borrowed from The Handmaid's Tale: a veil and a heavy, bulky gown to wear after I'd been kidnapped by religious extremists of some variety; the attempts at escape that were foiled by being in the wrong place at the wrong time; finally, the opportunity to escape presented itself and I took it.
Only to be recaptured as I hid behind a door in a hallway. As the veil descended on my head again, I knew I should fight back, but I was so tired. I just gave up.
I woke up still tired, still sleepy, unsure what time of day it was, and disturbed by whatever deep meanings might've been hidden in the defragmenting of my mental disk. It's a sure thing, as Dorothy Sayers points out, that your dreams always mean something Much Worse: "If I really wanted to be passionately embraced by Peter, I should dream of something like dentists or gardening." Unfortunately, there were no dentists or gardening in this dream, just as there is no Peter in my waking life. (That looks unfortunately like a double entendre, doesn't it? Oh, well; leave it lay. Oh, dear. There I go again.)
Snoopy in Peanuts has his own theory about bad dreams: they're caused by double-topping pizzas just before bed. Again, unfortunately, there is no more double-topping pizza in my waking life than there is Peter Wimsey at the moment, so I can't blame that either. Likewise, there's nobody trying to steal my soul (as far as I know) and I'm not beset by witches, incubi, The Illuminati, or the SEC.
So it's got to be stress.
In a week I'll be free of preceptors and evaluations and be a CCU nurse on my own. In mid-January, though, I'll go *back* to preceptors and orientation as I switch from days to nights. Although I don't feel nervous about the changes when I'm awake--in fact, I'm really looking forward to making everything happen correctly without help--apparently it's disturbing me on a subconscious level.
I have to wonder how bad it would be without Attila coming by every day this week and kicking my ass with a combination of weights and cardio.
Beer helps, as does the distraction of other peoples' problems. So does clearing out the office/guestroom and neatening up my desk for the fortieth time this week. Tomorrow I'll go to IKEA to return a couple of doors that don't fit the widget I bought to house the catboxes and batteries and other detritus in the utility room, and then on Friday and Saturday I'll work with Preceptor the Second, which will be good. Getting my ass kicked at work, being made to think critically about situations, is the best cure for work-related anxiety I know.
Still, I would give a lot to float up out of the strong circle of Peter Wimsey's arms as I awaken, rather than fighting out from under a heavy black wool veil composed of equal parts old choir robe and my great-grandmother's winter scarf.