I had a drunk-driving dream last night.
I was behind the wheel of a white pickup truck, and while I didn’t feel intoxicated, I recklessly steered into an abrupt, wide turn that cut short when the back end of the vehicle bashed into a concrete wall.
Crunching metal. Flying debris. Rubbernecking passerby. Immediate feelings of terror and panic. (None of this was enough to snap me awake.)
It was my third offense, the dream proceeded to reveal to me, and police showed up on scene before I could flee. I don’t know if they intended to take me to jail; my thoughts were immediately consumed with the cover story I’d have to come up with to keep my family from finding out how badly I 🤬ed up…
Then, finally, that beautiful moment arrived. You know it well, I’m sure. You’re at the climax of the nightmare, and suddenly realize you can just wake up and it will all go away.
And so, I did.
Heart pounding, I rolled over to look at my phone on the bedside table. It showed 2:15 AM.
I did a quick survey of the room: Hubby sleeping next to me, everything else in its place. I did a mental calculation: Day Four-ohhhhhh-SIX? Yeah. That’s right. Day 406 of sobriety.
Sweet relief! 😰 I was safe! I was OK! I didn’t drink OR drive! I wasn’t in trouble! I did not need to lie to people I love! There was nothing to feel guilty or ashamed about!
Recovering addict or not, there’s really no feeling quite like that, is there? Everything was so terribly awful, but it was all just a dream! Halle-f*cking-lujah!
I feel so grateful right now that I’m getting choked up. Relief produces a better high than any drug I’ve ever consumed.
It’s been several months, probably half a year, since I last dreamed about my former drug of choice. I thought I was done with that shit.
Then again, work has been hella stressful lately. I just started taking medication to treat anxiety and depression. My daily perusal of current events on social media fills me with fear, sadness and dread. And not for nothing, it’s that time of the month. I guess I shouldn’t be shocked that my subconscious feels like acting out.
Does this mean I’m in danger? 🤔
I mean, I guess relapse is always a possibility. It’s naive to think otherwise. You get lazy, forget what you learned, blow off your weekly recovery meeting, ignore your therapy, stop your meds, give into stress and worry and negative thinking patterns instead of using the tools you’ve acquired to manage them…sure, dangerous circumstances will most likely lead to unhealthy actions and negative outcomes.
Still, I think I’ll be OK, because no matter what my subconscious is up to while I’m asleep, and no matter how intense the wake-up call might be, every new sober morning free of guilt and shame and dishonesty is a sweet relief unlike anything I’ve ever experienced.
I’m hooked on that feeling. And I want more.
…Speaking of great highs, the sun is rising and it’s time to go for a run. Happy weekend, everyone!
2 thoughts on “Relief”
Thanks Jen. Mine usually feature me at a bar, club or drinking gathering, not drunk, but probably on the way. There’s no real action to speak of other than me drinking and trying to conjure a justification in my mind to convince myself how, after 41 years of not drinking, that this is ok and how I can convince those who know me that I didn’t REALLY drink. And I feel alone.
The relief I feel upon waking from those dreams is refreshing. It serves to remind me that my old enemy is still on the job. Still trying to rationalize, justify and excuse my way into “maybe just one”.
The other recurring dream I have is me trying to find my car in a state of panic. I can’t find the car and I’m going to have to explain it which will reveal that I had been drinking. The panic feels real. Muscle tension, rapid breathing, confusion and sweat. And I feel alone.. Then I wake up. It wasn’t real. Thank God.
Its a safe way for me to relive and re-feel the truth of my drinking without paying the actual price and usually puts me on good footing in the morning when I realize that it didn’t actually happen.
Thanks again, Jen!
Hi Jen: I have had a few of those dreams about drinking and waking up terrified that [t was true but after A few seconds I realize it is just a dream. ,,,,,Thank you God once again, You are doing a super job in the program just try to remember how good life is now and how horrible it
was before Its an easy program if you work it hard and a hard program if you work it easy.
Do you do Zoom Meetings? They come in handy when you need a quick reminder of what its all about.
God Bless and keep up the good work.