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!