finally I decided to relax and within a couple of minutes I actually woke up. the interesting thing is that as soon as I wake up for real I know immediately that I've finally hit reality whereas in all the other scenarios I wander around trying to figure out if I'm awake yet. but this one fact has not yet filtered its way down into my unconscious I guess because if it did this whole motif would have no psychic power.
it was slightly unpleasant although I have learned not to panic in these situations and that I cannot force myself awake no matter how I try--the only way to wake up is to relax my way out of my dream.
so here I am. I think.