Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Train Wreck

Last night, I had a very vivid dream. I was sitting in a vehicle... a car of some sort... waiting at a railroad crossing. I was plenty far away from the tracks and the very large train was coming slowly down the line. There were none of those crossing bars that drop down to keep you back from the tracks; I was just sitting there in my car saying to myself, as I always do when I am at a railroad crossing, "keep your foot on the brake... keep your foot on the brake." Actually, when I am at a railroad crossing, I not only keep my foot on the brake, but I also put my car in park and prepare to leap from the vehicle if necessary. You see, I have a deep-seated fear of being hit by a train in a car. I always have. Some of my oldest memories are of being a very young child in the backseat of the car my parents were driving, and lying down and hiding my face in the seat crack if we were stopped near a train track. I don't know why I was so terrified. Even into my teen years, if I was in the passenger seat nearing a train track and a train was approaching from miles away... even if the train crossing signal hadn't been activated yet, I'd feel the anxiety rising, my heart beginning to race, and my breath quicken. I'd close my eyes and pray frantically in my mind while the train passed. It was some kind of strange primal terror I felt in a car near a train. Why? Not sure. I could walk or stand near a train track, no problem, not a hint of fear, even if a train was racing by on it. But in a car? Terror. I did live right beside a train track when I was very small, so maybe I saw something I don't want to remember. I dunno. But even today, if there is any chance a train is coming, I wait, as far away as possible. And if I am the first car in a traffic line waiting for a train, I still have thoughts of "what if the person behind me rams into my car and pushes me into the train?"

Anyway, back to the dream. In the dream I was eerily calm. Sitting there, train approaching, in my car several yards from the track. And then, the car began to drift. It was drifting forward, ever so slowly, almost imperceptibly. And when I noticed, I sort of was in a daydream... I sort of was ignoring the drifting, thinking it was fine. And the train was getting closer. And then my car began to drift just slightly faster and I saw that I was about to roll right into the path of the train. I tried to put on the brakes, but couldn't find the brake pedal. I looked down and in its place was a small, wooden alphabet block just floating in the air. I put my foot on it but nothing happened. I looked up. The front edge of my car was now over the track, the massive train was mere feet away, my heart leapt to my throat as I knew what was about to happen. The train blasted its horn... and then I woke up.

All day I have thought about this disturbing dream. Is my whole life adrift that I feel out of control and unable to stop some impending doom? I thought about it... I don't think so. In fact, I *do* think this dream was about my weight, my health. I am scared to drift back to disaster. I sometimes feel like I am drifting ever so slightly in the wrong direction but I can't find the brakes. In my very deepest core, am I as terrified of regaining the weight as I am of being crushed by a train? Is my mind trying to warn me, before it's too late?

15 comments:

Hanlie said...

I think your interpretation is most likely accurate. Fortunately, with regards to your weight, you're not powerless. You have the tools and you have the knowledge. You can stop the slide.

Ex Yo-Yo Dieter Debbie said...

Wow - that's quite a metaphor - no wonder you can't stop thinking about it.

I wonder what the floating alphabet block represents? Maybe that you think you have a brake, but it's just an illusion? Did you do anything with blocks yesterday - that might be the link...the floating part is what interests me - like it seems you have a brake, but it's not attached to anything...your safety is an illusion?

Were you eating in the car in the dream? Just curious, since you've mentioned that before.

I agree with Hanlie - you have the tools and knowledge to stay safe.

Anonymous said...

Hi there! Look up "train" in a dream dictionary...

I found this:

Dreaming of trains may also be a metaphor that you are "in training" for some event, job or goal.

or

To see or dream that you are in a train wreck, suggests chaos. The path to your goals are not going according to the way you planned it out. You are lacking self-confidence and having doubt in your ability to reach your goals.

By the way, I love your blog.

A silent reader

Anonymous said...

Is the block a metaphor for your writing this blog maybe?
Barb

CatherineMarie said...

I am a little worried about you. I think you have done fabulously, but maybe you need to spend some time actively maintaining, at your current weight, just to reassure yourself that you can do it. It might also help to reset your weight so that you can start losing easily again in a couple months.

You might just need an active break from weight loss while you work out a few things.... and it might give you the confidence you need that you will be able to maintain at a lower weight too. Even if its just for a month or two....

Diana said...

My gosh Lyn, we're in the same place again. The Flowers for Algernon and now this post.

I've been having a recurring dream where I'm driving very fast and suddenly the car in front of me stops. I push down on the brakes hard but nothing happens. I'm heading right into a crash with the car in front of me and I can't stop. I always wake up right before the crash, scared to death and barely able to breathe, drenched in sweat.

I think this has to do with my recent weight gain. It scares me to death that I'm going to gain back everything, and I can't seem to stop.

Let's both get back on track and stop that train/car in it's tracks.

Sometimes I feel like you're my long-lost twin. Born to different mothers and several years apart, but you get the idea. :)

Britt ♥ said...

That is super scary! I can see how you've drawn the parallel's. You've come so far and it's such a slippery slope back into old habits. Anxiety is normal, and you know better now than to go back!

Lyn said...

Ex Yo-Yo Debbie~

I was wondering about that myself. My daughter has some wooden alphabet blocks but they are bigger and different than the dream one. It sort of felt like, in the dream, maybe my one "tool" for stopping the wreck was becoming a toy. That just came to me now, BTW. I don't know, maybe I am "toying" with weight loss too much? It was just floating there, too, very unstable. And no, there was no food in the dream at all.

Anonymous~

Interesting, thanks for looking that up.

CatherineMarie~

I am so conflicted about this. Other people have mentioned it too. My general response is I *have* been maintaining for five months now. I have not lost any new weight and have wavered pretty much between 180-187 all that time. But maintaining was not my *goal* so I was not "actively maintaining." I was maintaining by default because of the lose/gain cycle. Honestly I am afraid that if I stopped trying to LOSE weight I would struggle even more.

Diana~

Yes, you're right, we seem to have been tracking each other's footsteps over the past months. So hurry up and get to goal so I can, too! ;)

timothy said...

i think you're worried about "slipping" back and you're subconcious used the train because that's your representation of fear. do not let it worry you, channel that emotion into your weight loss. you've done magnificently and there's no reason you won't continue to do so. you are after all the one behind the wheel!

Anonymous said...

Lyn
I think EVERYONE has a good point as to why you had the dream...I also sometimes believe that people have had previous lives and maybe that is how your previous life ended (in a train wreck) that would explain the high anxiety you have everytime you are near a track...just another thought to ponder Blessings and love to you...I LOVE your honesty and your blog!!!

healthierhappierwiser said...

Just say to yourself, with confidence that this is the new you and you will never allow yourself to go back to your old health habits. You're going into this each day with new knowledge new determination, you can do it. Anyone can do it and not look back, you just have to have believe in yourself. U know more now then u did when you started, that in itself is a step forward, not backwards!

healthierhappierwiser said...

Having the tools and knowledge your right isn't enough, you have to believe in yourself..

Christel said...

That made my hair stand on end a little. It's my belief though that dreams like this represent your fears more than they represent reality.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the comment-anxiety dream for sure.
Also, agree with the comment about the past life possibility. I freak out going downhill and always joke that I must have died going downhill in a past life. No other explanation.
But, most importantly I agree with the comment that maybe you have to accept where you are now as a successful maintenance. Ask yourself if you have ever been able to lose this much weight and keep it off for this long? I bet the answer is no. In which case this is a HUGE success.
You may *want* to lose more, but you just aren't there for whatever reason. Burnout is a strong possibility.
I had a phase like that in my weight lose for two years. I almost gave up and just figured I would stay at the weight. The only thing that kept me going was the fact that I wasn't gaining. I would see others lose and then gain all their weight back and I just kept the 50 pounds off.
Then one day I just said. Ok. Enough. It is time to lose this last 30 pounds once and for all. That was four and a half months ago. I have two more to go.
Be patient with yourself. Accept where you are. Keep doing what you are doing and don't give up.

bbubblyb said...

With my goal weight being 178 lbs I'm learning to just let go of the fear, to know that I can maintain. I have talked of losing 10 more lbs all this time but my body seems to always come back to about 175 it's where I must be mentally comfortable.

Bottom line I do think this is a mental game and if we don't fix what's in our heads I think this is how it will always feel, like a struggle. I can say with time I have gotten less fearful and more secure in knowing I can do anything and I know you can do.

I read Lynn's blog and Lori's blog all the time and I see how they are at peace with themselves and with their relationship with food. I'm not saying they don't struggle too at times but I think it's that peace most of the time that we are looking for. I see it sometimes with myself and after 15 months of maintaining now I realize that I must have it more than I think. So maybe it is time to just maintain and get more comfortable with where you are right now.

Of course I'm going to suggest therapy again because I do think talking to a professional is never a bad thing. Had my therapist not retired I would surely still be seeing him for my monthly tune-up *smile*.

Hang in there Lyn you are doing ok. There isn't a monster in the closet or on your back, you are in charge of you *hugs*.