i was in, and i was out.

so, a few nights ago something strange happened to me. i don’t know why i didn’t post about this then, but… whatever.

i was having a dream about a young boy and his family trying to escape a man trying to kill them. they all escaped into a giant bus station filled to the brim with people. the boy was separated from his mother and was running through the crowds trying to find her.
the panic he was feeling suddenly struck a very very familiar tone in me, and i kind of… gained some awareness of myself due to his feelings? but when i realized that i didn’t actually have a physical body, i started to feel something was off. so even though i wasn’t physical, i tried to hold my nose and breathe through it as a reality check. and as i did, the boy did too.

he breathed! this was a dream!
boom. woke up.

i was lucid, and immediately, not even long enough for me to really comprehend it, but immediately, i woke up. tried another reality check and it told me i was awake. got seriously bummed out.

this is pretty confusing to me. i know people say not to get excited when you first become lucid, but i didn’t get excited. i never even had a chance to! why would my mind kick me out like this? was this really a lucid dream?

I’ve experienced this many times. There are probably more than one reason, but one is your mindset and another, I think, is chemicals in your brain. Sometimes I don’t wake up instantly, but I can’t hold the dream no matter what I do. There is a force waking me up and I believe it’s due to the melatonin and similar chemicals in my brain causing me to wake up.

If it’s chemical induced wake up, I don’t think there’s much you can do, other than wake up and try DEILD. Your mindset can be changed though. Try telling yourself before going to sleep to not only stay calm in a lucid dream, but also that you stay in the dream and the dream stays stable. Your SC is not your enemy that wants to kick you out of the dream. Your SC is a part of you, not a separate thing, and it wants to help you. It helps you when it learns how to do that. For example I’ve had many dreams where DCs make me lucid. My first lucid was Dr. Phil showing me his hand and asking me what it means.

I’ve got to agree with the DEILD comment. Often I’ll wake up from an LD when my eyes close or it fades, and my eyes will still be closed in real life. Although it takes practice to do, I’ve just succeeded in using this to initiate a DEILD. It was really simple; I kept my eyes closed (I tend to reflexively open them), and focused on returning to the dream. Within a few seconds I was back, and able to continue the LD. I would advise trying to practice a simple DEILD like this whenever possible. It’s possible, as far as I can tell, whenever you exit a dream, but it is much easier in situations like you described. Learning to get back into the dream is a skill that will help mitigate problems like that, and increase the time of your LDs by a lot, which is especially helpful when you’re starting out.