It is common for those in recovery to have drinking dreams. Waking up from one can sometimes be disorienting and disarming. You may wonder why you are having these types of dreams and what they mean. Am I going to have a relapse? Am I following my recovery plan well enough? Am I doing something wrong in my recovery?
Dreams come from our subconscious mind. Drug dreams are a sign that your subconscious mind is still thinking about your addiction. This is neither good or bad, but if you are worried about having a relapse you ought to talk to your therapist or counselor. In the meantime there is a way to indicate what is going on with your recovery in terms of your dreams.
There are two types of drinking dreams. The first is a relapse pending dream. Waking up from a dream and wishing you were back in it drinking and feeling euphoric, is a sign that you could relapse more easily than other people recovering from addiction. If this is the case, seek help and establish a relapse prevention plan.
The second type of drinking dream is a recovery affirming dream. When you wake from one of these dreams, you might feel tremendous relief when you realize that the dream wasn’t real. You may even feel revulsion towards your behavior in the dream. Recovery affirming dreams are a good sign that your recovery is going well.
You have several courses of action to take that are proven to help mitigate drinking dreams. Dreams can seem obscure, but try to understand what the dream is communicating to you. Make a habit of writing down your dreams. Is there a pattern to them? In particular, pay attention to the first words you use to describe your dream, as they may give you clues.
Think about what may have occurred during the day that triggered your dream. Did you watch a movie about an alcoholic? Was there something in the news about recovery programs? Find someone you trust to discuss your dreams, especially if they are nightmares. Recurring nightmares can be depressing and cause stress throughout your day. You might not even want to go to sleep for fear of having another nightmare. If you suffer from nightmares it’s important not to delay getting therapeutic help.
“Once we get used to listening to our dreams, our whole body responds like a musical instrument.”—Marion Woodman
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