Last night no one was talking to me. My house was wrecked. I’d missed work and my husband refused to tell me what I had done. He would only tell me that I had been drunk. I asked my assistant and she told me that she too couldn’t say, but I had been extremely drunk. I was upset and horrified. I was planning on leaving, I couldn’t stay here not knowing what I had done and also deal with the horrific shame that I felt. Then I woke up.
I can’t explain to you the relief that I felt that this was only a dream. I hadn’t drunk last night, I hadn’t upset anyone or let anyone down. I admit that on waking, I was very unnerved by the dream. I experienced all of the feelings that I used to feel after a drunken night. Only this time it was fleeting.
I know that there are various ideas about why we have these dreams, some say it is because we are feeling out of control. Another idea is that our brains have gotten so used to alcohol that it is looking for rewards in our sleep. I personally think these dreams are my brain’s way of keeping me in check.
As uncomfortable as they are, they remind me (even just for a split second) of how I would feel after a heavy night of drinking. I think it is so important not to romanticise alcohol. It’s imperative that in recovery we take time to remember what our lives were really like. At this time of year, it is particularly hard not to fall for the idea that drinking is fun. That we could have just one or two to be festive. That we are just being polite to our host. And that is why I think that I had the dream last night.
I honestly think my brain was ensuring that I felt how I used to feel, a little harsh nudge to keep me focused. The dreams are horrible, but life, when I was drinking, was worse. A safe little foray into what life was like is actually a good thing. I certainly no longer feel like I am missing out.
Do you still have drinking dreams do you find them useful or upsetting? I would love to hear from you.