Many people around the world indulge in a sometimes daily pastime of dreaming about their perfect day. It is perfectly normal to assume that some of those fellow dreamers waiting for the next bus or the next train are in fact participating in daydreaming. They may be daydreaming about where they would go, the food that they would eat, the people who would be beside them, even when they would finally go. Daydreaming is considered healthy because it creates inbred goals and daydreaming can be considered vital because it allows each of us to take a flying carper to a world only we know about.
I daydream all the time. I daydream about the post that I am going to write, I daydream about the next chapter I am going to write, and I am famous (at least in my own mind) of daydreaming about all the things that I would say and do to those who deserve all that I am dreaming of.
But daydreaming about a perfect day poses some challenges for me. For one, I acknowledge that perfection, like normality, is in the eye of the beholder. No one can define or even truly understand the motivations behind my perfect day. Also, one can’t escape the knowledge that much of my life is controlled and damaged by mental illness. This means that in order for me to have a perfect day, or at least one that I can dream about, magic would actually have to come in play; and I am not convinced there is enough magic to change me so that I could feel and have a perfect day. Third, explaining to anyone, including my therapist, why I dream what I dream opens the door to uncomfortable questions about what is really going on in my life and in my disease. Questions that neither I nor the one asking have any clue how to actually handle.
This does not mean I don’t daydream about a perfect day; it just means that I have to know going into the dream that nothing I do will ever make it happen. I will live the rest of my life wishing for something that can not exist. My dreams of a perfect home, a destination to travel to, even an interview on my favorite show is achievable, but not a daydream about a perfect day.
Is this fair? No. Is this another symptom in the atrocious conditions of a mental illness? Yes. Can I change it? Nope. I have to live with the knowledge that many of my perfectly perfect daydreams will never come true.
Because I think that sometimes talking out loud about certain aspects of this disease is vital not only to my own health but can help others know that they are not alone, I am going to share my perfect day, or at least the daydream I have about it. I am going to share it with the knowledge that my dream is not yours. I am going to share it with the full knowledge that most people can not fathom what I am talking about. I am going to share it because like everything else in my life, it’s important to share. (I learned that in kindergarten)
One of the most outstanding aspects of my daydream of a perfect day is the idea that it consists of a day without any medication and not one side effect of those medications. As I have stated over and over one of the worst parts of these mental health diseases is not the medication that we are forced to take but the side effects of those medications. But my perfect day would consist of a day without side effects. No problems with my digestive tract, no headaches, no tremors in my fingers, no sexual problems, no hot tempers, no cold shoulders; my dream consists of feeling healthy. It is probably the most important part of my daydream to me. The idea of feeling healthy, of feeling like I can go out in the world with out concern, the idea of simply knowing that there is nothing coming that day that will destroy my comfort and enjoyment of that day. It is something that is impossible to describe and seeing as its been a long time since I felt perfect, or at least didn’t have to worry about losing that perfection with the wrong food, the wrong environment, the wrong crowd, the wrong line, the wrong price I can’t adequately put into words what it is that I want to feel. All I can say, is I don’t want to feel like I do today.
The second thing to mention about my perfect day that is quite unattainable is the desire to have those around me be as happy as I am. Unfortunately for everyone close to me, the near constant mystery of who I am and who I will become today, in an hour, tomorrow, or any other time leaves not only my babies feeling out of control, but my husband, and occasionally others that I love. When you live in a world where at any moment your wife could change mindsets, emotions, decisions, and even goals it is a little hard to trust that the person you left in the morning is going to be the same person that you greet in the evening. For this reason, it is exceptionally hard to picture a perfect day with any one person in it because they would radically have to change the picture of me that they carry around. My husband rarely gets to live in the moment with me and a perfect day isn’t going to change that.
So what does my perfect day include: probably a sunrise cup of coffee (made with the best cream) sipped while sitting on the porch of Parisian hotel. It would have to include someone else besides myself, usually my husband, because the idea of traveling alone terrifies me. I would finish my coffee, follow my nose to the best breakfast I can find, and then head off to the Louve, where I wouldn’t make a beeline for the Mona Lisa but would rather spend my time finding those paintings that move me to feel deeply. I would wear something comfortable that would allow me to be warm mostly because I am always cold. I would have earbuds in my ears playing my most favorite songs (those that move me deeply) and the device wouldn’t run out of battery. I don’t picture the Louve being empty but rather slow so that I can appreciate the paintings without feeling rushed. And while I wouldn’t need my husband with me once I entered the majestic museum, I would know in my heart that he was waiting for me to be done. I have never pictured lunch, but I do picture dinner. A dinner of a thousand tastes, multiple wines, and incredible desserts; all picked out for me based on the tastes that I have always had. I would go to sleep that night in the comfort of knowing that I followed my dreams and if I possible, I would continue that perfect day for as long as possible.
My dream of a perfect day isn’t that dramatic. It doesn’t require millions in the bank and it doesn’t demand of anyone something they can not give. I consider it a rather normal dream. But it takes on the edge of perfection when we take away those pesky side effects and the mental conflicts that those I love would feel.
I suppose my perfect day is simple because it is even in the simple that my disease invades and takes. I think my perfect day is attainable (besides those two pesky asterisks) because I don’t need greatness. I don’t need something that others can take at will. The truth is doing something mundane is a simple idea but one that means more to me than any other dream I could find. Mainly because it isn’t going to come true. And if the mundane won’t come true, how could I ever expect the incredible?