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Reality Check
by Waking Life
Citation:   Waking Life. "Reality Check: An Experience with Dreams (exp42408)". May 25, 2006.


It was January of 2004. I had just watched the film 'Waking Life' directed by Richard Linklater, and was utterly enthralled by the idea of lucid dreaming. I went online as soon as the film was over, and found out more about ways that I could increase my chance to have a lucid dream.

For the next week, I kept a dream journal for improved dream recall. I also did constant 'reality checks' to see if I was or was not dreaming. My usual reality checks included: reading and re-reading small text, checking digital clocks around me, and physically attempting to change the light levels in the room by flipping the light switch. While dreaming, these aforementioned activities will prove difficult to do, as in the dream state, the mind finds it very hard to produce consistent text, digital read-outs, and intentional light level changes.

I was DETERMINED to have a lucid dream. But, I really had no idea of the mind-blowing experience I was setting myself up for.

Every night I would go to sleep at about the same time, but for some reason I would wake up in the early morning hours, around 5 am or so, for no apparent reason. This frustrated me greatly, and I would usually just get pissed about my potential dream-time interruption, and try to fall back asleep as soon as possible.

But... on the fifth night of my lucid dreaming endeavor, everything changed. I went to sleep at the usual time, anticipating a rude 5 am awakening in the back of my mind. Sure enough, I woke up several hours later to my dark room. I rolled my eyes and tried desperately to go back to sleep, but I just couldn't. I thought back over the normal dreams that I had had already, and told myself not to fret, I would have a lucid dream eventually. I grabbed my soft flannel sheets and comforter and pulled them over my head in an attempt to block out whatever it was that was not allowing me to fall asleep. After a couple more minutes, aggitated as hell at my inability to fall back asleep, I threw off my sheets and looked at my clock to see what time it was.

GASP!!!!!! I can't read my fucking clock! Everything in my room was absolutely normal, and in it's EXACT place, except for the little red LCD numbers on my alarm clock across the room. The little red lines that make up the numbers were just sort of going around and around, in random patterns, following the path of the four 8's that serve as a base for all of the numbers we usually see on these kind of clocks. I was floored. And scared as hell. I sincerely thought that I was awake. I could touch my skin, and my table, and my sheets, and I could breathe just like normal. And absolutely nothing, and I mean nothing, was out of place in my room.

This sufficiently freaked me out and made me want to get out of my own head as soon as possible. So I laid back down and covered my 'head' with my 'blankets', and instead of praying for sleep, I prayed to wake up from this bizarre alternate reality. My consciousness blacked out after a while, and I eventually woke up.

Whew! I thought to myself, as I opened my eyes to my room, lit only by the light of the moon through my window. I felt my face to make sure that it was me, safe and sound in my real bed. Then came the real test, and the part that I feared the most after my recent encounter with lucidity. The alarm clock.

I peeled back the covers and poked my head out of bed, only to see the same horrifying image of the messed up LCD screen. I wanted to cry.

So I willed myself to wake up once again. This frightening false wake-up pattern happened about 6 times in a row. Part of me feared that I had died, I also thought that this might be a viscous cycle that I would experience for all of eternity. I honestly thought that I might never actually wake up. So after the sixth false wake-up, realizing that I had nothing to lose, I decided to experiment a little bit. So I sat up. And then I levitated until I hit the ceiling. What an amazing feeling! After this rush of excitement, I started to warm up to the idea of living in a dream world. Then I heard my mom coming down the hall, so I dropped back down to my bed. Then she came in and sat on my bed and started talking to me. I really wanted to leave and start exploring all the possibilities my lucid dream world had to offer, but I didn't want to be rude and stop talking to her. But, then I remembered that she wasn't 'real', and she really wouldn't know the difference if I was there or not. So I floated out of bed as she kept talking, and I flew down the hallway and out the front door to the end of my driveway.

There at the end of my driveway, I became the conductor of my world. I could make cars stop and go as I pleased. Some of my friends came along and I experimented with changing sizes. At one point, they were all surrounding me, and I made myself grow to about 30 feet tall, and then I shrunk back down to normal, and made them grow 30 feet tall. It was ridiculously fun. Just as I started to really enjoy myself, everything in my dream became wacky and distorted, and I could feel myself losing my grip on the lucidity of my dream. Everything just sort of faded away.

I had another semi-lucid dream that night in which I was solving a murder mystery, and got to fly all over the place. It didn't feel quite as real as the first dream at all, though.

I have to be honest and say that while the experience was amazing and wonderful after experiencing the initial shock of my false wake-ups, I was scared to death of lucid dreaming for a while. I absolutely did not want to have any more false starts, and I felt like I could use a nice long break from the intense reality that I felt while in a dreaming state.

I even became scared of digital clocks for a while. I had a legitimate mild phobia of anything with a digital read-out because I feared that there was a chance that I would look at it and realize that I was dreaming. After about 4 months, I tried dappling in lucid dreaming again, and had a few successes. Recently, (about 16 months later) I have gotten very interested in lucid dreaming once again, and have had a fairly high success rate with my attempts at lucid dreaming.

Exp Year: 2004ExpID: 42408
Gender: Female 
Age at time of experience: Not Given 
Published: May 25, 2006Views: 7,499
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Dreams (85) : Glowing Experiences (4), Alone (16)

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