As a general guideline, I'll be following a schedule I lifted from one of BillyBob's tutorials. As the days of the week go by, I'll write down my experiences that night, good or bad.
-Sunday, May 11th (WBTB)
All conditions were perfect.
I had just finished posting my "For Lucid Virgins" thread in Seekers Corner, and even commented that things like these threads would usually trigger lucidity simply because of the confidence they gave to people. One person would become lucid after responding there, and then another and another until responding there became instant lucid success (as I had seen in other threads elsewhere). The idea was that I'd have my first lucid too and start the tradition here.
My physical dream journal was disorganized and used for other purposes, so I fixed it up and removed anything that wasn't related to dreaming. I even wrote "dream is destiny" in the subject line (its a red comp book), like I had always meant to.
Most importantly, I was ready to sleep on time. It was around 11:30 when I was actually in my bed, which would make my WBTB time 4:30 (five hours later) and my wake up time 7:30 (eight hours later). I had both times set in my alarm clock.
Best of all, I was feeling very positive about the whole thing, since all of the conditions were right. I dream rehearsed for a few minutes, thinking of what I was going to do in my lucid dream tonight (not "in the event of", or "if I had one." I was going to do this, because it was inevitable I would be lucid). I then cleared my head, and let myself fall to sleep.
But it didn't happen. I tried clearing my head, and even letting it race about on its own... and I remained aware. Awake. I became uncomfortable, which only happens when I'm restless, and tossed and turned. When I checked the clock, another hour had gone by. Another half hour. Another hour. I adjusted my alarms to offset the time I lost.
I was becoming extremely frustrated. Soon, my WBTB alarm would swallow up the usual time I wake up in the morning, rendering the technique useless. And when it was around 2:45 (more than three hours now of not being able to sleep), I was furious. I smacked my alarm clock against the wall and threw my comp book as well, getting out of bed and into the hallway.
I took a shower, which I sometimes do to calm down. I let the water run hot enough so I could feel a slight burn, and waited for me to center again. At some point in the three hours, I had resolved to take a break from practicing lucid dreaming, so as not to become frustrated again... but as I calmed, I decided that I wouldn't be restless every night, and that this was probably just because past 2 AM is when I had been going to sleep lately and 11:30 was too drastic a change too soon.
In the morning, I woke up several times. Before I had knocked my alarm clock off of the table by my bed, I had turned its alarms off, so I woke up naturally to the stir of my family in the morning. I had a very foggy recollection of a dream, but I ended up killing it by going back to sleep, as I didn't feel it was important enough to go find my dream journal (wherever it was now) and document it.
So there's the first night on schedule. Tomorrow night is another WBTB night, we'll see how it goes.
-Monday, May 12th (WBTB)
Better luck sleeping this time.
I went to bed around 12:45, picking up my alarm clock and my dream journal comp book from the ground. I set my first alarm five hours later and my second alarm eight hours later, like last time. Dream rehearsed as I did last time, but fell asleep easier (I was tired from missing a few hours the previous night).
When the alarm went off, I woke up, almost immediately remembering why I was waking up so soon. However, I had no recollection of any dreams. I sat up, looking around at my room critically, coming up with as many things to reality check on as possible. I treated it as a false awakening, and actually checked as if I was convinced I was dreaming.
I left my room for a bit, continuing to keep my mind on lucid dreaming. When I returned, I sat up another five minutes, making my time awake fifteen minutes total. I reminded myself what I was going to do when I hit lucidity a few minutes from now, laid down, and fell asleep quickly.
I woke up with nothing. No dreams, not even non lucids. I feel that I'm going to have to vary my timing and find out by trial and error what my best target time for a WBTB is, but I will try the standard five hours a few more times before setting out to do it. Tomorrow is one more WBTB, maybe I'll do better this time.
My question is, is it possible to think of lucid dreaming too much? In these WBTB, even before waking up I am dead set on lucid dreaming. Tonight I will try a more relaxed approach, focusing intently only after I wake up.
-Tuesday, May 13th (WBTB...?)
Due to my waking up time being shifted, it made it near impossible to do a WBTB successfully.
I turned off my alarm, but surprisingly woke up just fifteen minutes short of what my target time would've been. Somehow I remembered to do a FILD (part of Billybob's schedule is that you attempt a FILD ANYTIME you wake up in the middle of the night without stimulus). It was maybe the second time I've tried it, I sent the impulse to my fingers to wiggle, without actually wiggling them. Nothing happened after a while and I gave up, going back to sleep.
Good news is this approach (fuh-get-about-it) was more relaxed. I would call this night actually a DILD... but a failed one. No lucidity, and no recollection of any dreams at all.
A resounding failure -echoes-
Tomorrow is a scheduled DILD. Maybe the simplest of techs will work, and I will try not to focus so intently that it stresses me out.
-Wednesday, May 14th (DILD)
I have a vague fragment of being inside of a video game, where people could make vehicles like motorcycles appear and vanish under them, and we all had weapons. Thats not the weird thing... one of my opponents was pj >.> and I shot a rocket launcher at him.
This of course, was a non lucid, and was too fragmented to be considered a complete dream in my upcoming Workbook entry. So no lucidity. I woke up by my alarm, got nothing, and went back to sleep a bit more. Then I woke up again with this fragment.
This marks the most progress thus far, but its still not very satisfying. I wonder if anyone else has shot a rocket launcher at pj while chasing him in a motorcycle, in their dreams?
-Thursday, May 15th (WILD)
If only REM cycles were constant...
I went to sleep WAY too late for this, and I knew it. Between talking to a few people about dreaming subjects and inviting a few people over this way, I lost track of time. It was 1 AM or past it when I finally got to bed, meaning my target time for the WILD would be 6 AM. I took a few minutes to practice focus on my breathing and nothing else before going to sleep, and I achieved some pretty good results. I became lost in my breathing, and I could feel my body growing heavier... or not as much heavier as having less feeling. Like not having skin... whenever I realized this and the thought came to mind, I'd grow more sensitive. But I could still revert back to that point pretty easily. I decided that was good enough practice and hoped for the best conditions when I awoke.
I woke up naturally, before my alarm clock. Bad habits are coming back to haunt me it seems... I'm waking up after four or five hours of sleep, which is what I used to get regularly because of my bad sleeping schedule. It was creeping close to my target time anyway, so I turned that alarm off and sat up. My sleep hadn't been very sound, so I wasn't as drowsy as I'd have liked... I laid almost immediately and began to focus on my breathing.
Pretty much every distraction that was possible began to bother me. Morning light was coming through the blinds, my dad had left the TV on in the living room way too loud, bird were chirping outside my window, I was feeling pains in my back from sleeping wrong, and I felt hunger pangs... which I almost never feel. I attempted to keep focus, but between all of this it was near impossible and I've yet to gather the proper equipment (ear plugs, blindfold) to render these distractions useless. After just a few minutes of trying I went back to sleep, waking up with recollection so vague the only thing I could remember was that I had dreamt of something, but I had no clue at all what it was.
This is disappointing because I've always felt closest to WILDs after my first attempt brought some surprising results (for me, anyway). I also realize that doing this at 6 AM isn't the best time unless you have something to block out all the distractions, so this is largely my fault.
Two more days, and one of them's another WILD. Better luck next time?
-Friday, May 16th (DILD)
Another day, another failure.
Went to bed relatively early, woke up exactly eight hours later with no recollection. Dream rehearsal before bed? Check. Reality checking appropriately all day(and all week?)? Check. Keeping my mind on Lucid Dreaming constantly? Check.
One more chance.
-Saturday, May 17th (WILD...?)
Because of some family stuff late at night, I was up too late to attempt a WILD. I counted this as a DILD night, so I'll do an extra WILD next week.
I'm extending this to three weeks, since results have been humiliatingly bad. It'll also give me a chance to experiment with different WBTB times.
-Sunday, May 18th (WBTB)
I thought I had set the alarm for four and a half hours after sleeping (instead of the typical five of past attempts) but apparently in my sleepiness I had set the morning time to wake me up instead. So this is a failure. I'll try four and a half hours again... but I did get a fragmented dream out of it...
Guess its better than more 0's in my workbook...
-Monday, May 19th (WBTB)
Ah, the consequences for mistakes...
I can see now that my sleeping habits before this switch are behind a lot of the chaos. My body hasn't gotten used to the new pace, and I end up waking up four or five hours after sleeping regardless of alarm - because this is how much sleep I'd usually get. Afterwards, I am very restless, and irritated at it. I end up losing too much sleep for my target times, or my target times become so late because of my lack of sleep, that its becomes impossible to do the technique.
No results whatsoever. None.
-Tuesday, May 20th (WBTB)
-Wednesday, May 21st (WILD)
First dream of any sort since I started Determination.
I woke up five hours after sleeping for my WILD, only sitting up for a few moments, enough to RC a few times and make sure it wasn't a false awakening. This is because when I wake up I gain alertness much more quickly than most do, apparently, and the trick to WILDing is to fall asleep afterall. I needed to be as groggy as possible, but even now, sleep wasn't swallowing me up at all.
I had no conclusive results, but I did make more progress. There are several external distractions no matter what the conditions at my house. I like to keep my fan running but it creates an awkward and unsequential noise. Usually there will be birds chirping right outside my window, and every other manner of distraction. Tonight, however, I was more successful than ever at blocking these out. Internal distractions abound as well... hunger pangs, and just the sensation of my body. I had success losing this as well. The trick right now is to use my breathing as an anchor, without gripping it for dear life. I can best describe it as the ideal being on a chain hooked to the anchor, floating far enough away from it to be a separate entity but a distance comfortable enough for me to observe it, and most importantly, still keeped tied to it.
After about an hour of several attempts, I turned in and decided to try to have a dream... which I did, and its my newest addition to this thread.
By the way, if anyone else is reading this, could you let me know? I always wonder if my babbling is ever read.
-Thursday, May 22nd (WILD)
Now for the WILD that was originally intended in the schedule...
I ate two slices of pizza before bed on a full stomach and was STILL hungry when I woke up. What the hell? I've noticed that now that I'm getting more sleep (and drinking more water) that I am hungry more than before. Back when I got five hours of sleep a night, I wouldn't be hungry at all in the morning and could barely finish lunch. Now I'm hungry all morning and order seconds >.> I guess the best explanation is that my body is actually resting and repairing, and that requires more energy. Which is a good thing.
I woke up, only staying up a bit before laying back down. This time I had woke up after four hours of sleeping, in hopes of identifying my best REM period. This is worse than the five hour one, but I did get good practice on my breathing.
No results. I woke up earlier than my alarm in the morning, to my mother's voice, which destroyed any recall.
-Friday, May 23rd (DILD)
Slept later but woke up later. Recall was gangraped by my little sister and her best friend waking me up in the morning and bribing me with chocolate donuts to walk them up to the park.
For clarity, and in the spirit of my mentor, Mr Ears, its time for a list of things that would contribute most to my lucid journey:
-Living somewhere out on my own and a reasonable distance away from my family.
-That is all.
-Saturday, May 24th (WILD...?)
Interruptions made this switch to a DILD. So another replacement next week is in order.
Blame my family, a very late dinner, and Hideo Kojima.
EDIT: There are three fragments contained here, so I shifted them over on the dream counter to the date of my most notable fragment, where I attempt to kill pj.