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From Daydreams To Nightmares: A Cautionary Tale of Self-Destruction & Redemption



she stained her teeth with caffeine,

and killed her lungs with a box of nicotine

all while sitting outside in a field of daydreams

a scent of hope, sweet like lavender lingered the air,

but she kept wandering without a care

pondering what life could be,

never rescuing herself from curiosity

she kept wandering, and wandering, and wandering,

until the sun and moon traded places

and her feet grew sore,

finding herself in the wake of her doubt sleepwalking,

with no more comforting scent of lavender instead,

a foul odor reeking of the dreams that died inside of her

and when she finally woke up,

everything was a nightmare.

- JW

(Daydreamer, pg. 35 The Journey We Take)


This is practically a cautionary tale about the importance of self-care and breaking free from spiraling out of control to gain power back over your life. A somber tone sets in with the immediate introduction of self-destructive habits; the staining of teeth with caffeine and the killing of lungs with nicotine. Some nasty habits I picked up as a consequence of allowing myself to be susceptible to the toxic environment and others I surrounded myself with. Mainly referring to the smoking cigarettes in this example, not so much the indulgence of coffee which I shamelessly do. (I guess we all have our vices).

At times in life we can get caught into a cycle of self-destructive behavior. It’s usually an unhealthy coping mechanism we actively engage in despite acknowledging the ramification. Other times, our choices happen subconsciously. Regardless of why, or how big or small the vices, these actions provide some sort of sense of relief, distraction, or escape from whatever the true underlying complications are only to be followed by feelings of shame or guilt. I personally had chosen to distract myself from the pain of life’s challenges before learning greater ways to overcome them and fight for my dreams.

The contrast of destructive acts along with the words I illustrate of sitting in a field of daydreams suggests a longing for something better, something hopeful, that I had been struggling to attain. It was crucial for me to depict the feeling that resulted in this lost potential of a person who lived in fear, frozen by their hesitance, and reacting cowardly in the face of their dreams. The repetition of “wandering” emphasizes the aimlessness and lack of purpose I once felt. Wandering with no direction and no conviction. My hope was decaying and I had to find my way by distancing myself from limiting beliefs and anything hindering my growth. A comforting scent of lavender, (which is the scent I specifically decided to use as a symbol of peace, or peace of mind), shifting to the foul odor signifying the death of dreams, stressed the importance of not being passive and taking control of your destiny. The final lines, where everything has become a nightmare, indicate a wake-up call by dint of self-negligence, the realization of the consequences of my actions, or lack thereof, and the need for positive changes. A stark and haunting ending I hope would leave a strong impression on my readers to not take any moment for granted, act on their ambitions, and not trap themselves in the despair of negativity.


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