Dreams can be beautiful. Dreams can be mysterious. Some dreams can become nightmares. The tricky part is to always remember, once you wake up, that it was only a dream.
I have friends who love to spend time analyzing their dreams and talking about all of the twists and turns their dreams take them on during a night’s sleep. There are some people who are not able to remember their dreams when they wake up. That may even be a blessing for some. I fall into that category myself. But every once in awhile, even if you are a person who does not normally remember the dreams you have, there will be one that sticks out for you and that actually feels “real”. If you are a recovering alcoholic, there is something a certain dream referred to as a “drunk dream” and it can fill a person with fear when they first wake up.
I am not a dream expert. I do not have any training in analyzing dreams on any level. But I do know that an alcoholic in recovery will sometimes dream that they went out drinking again. This is not unusual and it does not automatically mean that they are about to relapse. It is just a dream. It can be challenging at times to reconcile the difference between the dream and reality however. It may take a person a few seconds or even a few minutes to “remember” that they never took a real drink. The mind is a powerful force in the human body and waking up from a “drunk dream” may ignite the other senses too, including taste and smell. It is not unusual to be filled with fear after having one of these types of dreams.
Remember that alcohol is cunning, baffling, and powerful (Big Book, page 58 – 59). Alcoholism is a disease that affects a person’s thinking; it is not just about physically ingesting alcohol. So, if someone is an alcoholic, then it follows that an alcoholic’s mind may take them to a dream of drinking and/or getting drunk. I believe it is very important to remind people new to recovery that this could happen. Otherwise they may become so frightened that they walk away from the program or solution that was helping them stop the insanity of drinking alcoholically.
Dreams can be wonderful experiences or they can turn into scary nightmares. The important fact is to remember to do the actual footwork while awake that will keep you in the solution and away from drinking and getting drunk. You may experience a “drunk dream” from time to time but it does not ever have to slow you down in your pursuit of sobriety, peace, and serenity. Remember, you are always worth the effort.