I regularly have dreams1 where I feel... better. The constant existential ache, the dissociation and loneliness and cognitive dissonance. My discomforts, needs, wants, longing, my pain, etc. all just evaporate. I feel so much lighter in these dreams, it's... well, worthy of remark. If it weren't for these dreams, I don't know if I would have believed it was possible (to feel that way).
Waking up, shuddering quickly back to reality, feeling the weight press down once more, heavy on my chest. I find myself immediately turning, pushing the pillow over my eyes, trying to force myself back asleep, back into the dream. Sometimes I cry; I get so emotionally attached to the people in my dreams.
Relationships forged with people, they feel so real in the dreams. Kind of like how the characters in a good book feel like real people; these people feel like good characters, ones I'm emotionally connected with. Knowing full well they're not real people and having no desire to live a fantasy or a daydream like some sort of asocial degenerate, I've still even caught myself on rare occasion trying to force my brain to re-dream certain characters the next night. "Maybe if I just think of him/her as I'm drifting off to sleep..."
The dreams end, but the emotions from the dream linger. A couple of nights ago, I drempt that I was in a romantic relationship with someone who was slowly going completely blind. It was really a unique dream, I've never had a dream like that before. I woke up, and I felt immensely sad; this person I loved and cared about deeply was, unexpectedly until the instant I awoke, not even a real person. The sadness hasn't left me yet. Usually it takes a few days. Even then, if I think back, the emotions resurface.
More often my dreams aren't quite so sad or grim; I have close friendships, and I love those friends for the duration I am asleep, and shortly after I awake.
Is it a good thing or a bad thing that I have these dreams? On one hand, it's nice to have an escape from the constant, crushing, suffocating, horrible weight on my chest. On the other hand, the sadness I have when the dreams end carries over into my day. On a couple of occassions I've cried during the day, prayed pointless prayers. The type of prayers that aren't petitions or repentance, so much as they're simply shaking my fist at God, "why must x exist and not y or z?"
Stasik and I were talking once, some time ago. He asked me, how can I believe in an indirect, uninvolved God? He pointed out that Jesus was, according to the Bible, a very involved God, and the picture painted by the Apostles (the people that wrote the New Testament essentially) was one of a very involved God. I don't remember what I said in response to him. Probably some bullshit hand-waved response in an attempt to cover up my cognitive dissonance (and deceive myself, really). The real answer is that I just... I don't know. Really, I don't. I'm just bad at Christianity, I guess. I consider myself a Christian, and I probably always will, but I don't have much of a desire to get "better at Christianity", not really. Church, organized religion, it kind of disgusts me. I used to think I wanted to be a seminarian. I was more pious then, more dogmatic. I've just... I've slowly drifted into a bitter sort of deism.
Contrast the phrase "What doesn't kill me makes me stronger," with the phrase "what doesn't kill my makes me wish I was dead." I find myself drifting between the two, formless, fluid, it changes day-to-day. It's usually more toward the latter. Contempt for oneself, contempt for God and the world, perfectionism and endless self-flagellation, it's all so... easy. Painful, but comfortable. Maybe it's just apathetic negligence. Who knows.
1. "Dream" as in a cognitive state experienced in the REM cycle of sleep. I do not mean the word in the sense of strong desire.