I had a drinking dream last night. It’s the third in very recent memory although they have popped up from time to time from the beginning. What’s interesting is how the focus of the dreams has evolved over time.
In the early days my dreams didn’t have a lot of interesting details. They mostly just featured me “accidentally” drinking wine, realizing with horror what I was doing, and then waking up to be relieved that it was just a dream. From what others have said, I think this is a common format in those early days of quitting.
Later came the dreams concerned with the potential humiliation of failing my sobriety. These were the – oh no what about the blog dreams. In these dreams I wouldn’t remember the drinking part. I would just see the empty glass and know that I had had a drink. Then I would start to panic about letting people down and having to confess. I would think – well if I don’t remember doing it, it doesn’t count right? Or – I don’t feel like there’s any alcohol in me, so it doesn’t matter and I won’t need to fess up. Right? Um no… I felt relief when I woke up from these dreams too.
The most recent dreams have featured people from my real life, parties, fancy clothes, even my mother’s cat. Pretty weird. These dreams disturb me a little, unfortunately, since they all contain an element of indecision on my part – to drink or not to drink? And there is also an element of pressure from others. In one dream I’m walking around with a glass in my hand wondering what to say or do next. Not even sure but what maybe I’ve already been drinking, but then also wondering – Will they like me after I tell them I don’t drink? In another there is fancy wine and I want to fit in with the fancy people and then think of my dad who just loved that sort of thing. Last night‘s dream featured my husband pouring me a big glass of wine (which I have apparently asked for) and I’m having second thoughts about drinking it and say – you’re not going to like this, but I probably better not drink it. And then go on to consider putting him in charge of my consumption and giving moderation another go. (It sounds crazy, this is something that used to cross my mind back in the days of indecision.)
I think the reality of not just quitting a habit that was making me sick, but truly changing my identity and how I’m viewed by others is really starting to sink in.
And no, the dear husband has never pressured me to drink, but a part of me wonders what his true thoughts are on the matter. He claims that it hasn’t impacted him in any negative way, but I’m sure he’d like it if I could just be like everybody else.
Phase two of sobriety does have its own set of challenges for sure.
Happy Sober Sunday,