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Drinking Dreams

July 5th, 2022 Mrs D's Blog

sleepy woman

It’s very hard to explain the intensity of a drinking dream to someone who isn’t sober. It’s one of those experiences we sober people have that are hard to convey in words to non-sober people.

It doesn’t sound that bad to say: “Last night I dreamt I was drinking. It really upset me and I woke up feeling unsettled.” You might get a sympathetic nod when you say that, but most of the time I don’t think non-sober people really understand how full on these dreams can be.

But trust me – all of us here at Living Sober can relate. We know how incredibly intense and unsettling drinking dreams can be. And so do others in the wider recovery community. There’s a great  Bubble Hour podcast on Drinking Dreams here.

I’ve had drinking dreams when I’ve woken up in tears almost. And that edgy feeling has lingered with me all day.

Was I upset just because the dream occurred? Yes.

I didn’t like that my brain had taken me back to that boozy place. I felt like I’d moved on from that way of life and had done such big work inside my brain to shift my thinking – how dare my subconscious take me back there.

Was I upset because I thought it meant I wanted to drink again? Yes. 

I didn’t like that the dark recesses of my brain were sending me these messages while I was sleeping. Did I secretly want to be back drinking? Say it ain’t so!!

Was I upset because the feeling was so real? Yes.

Every single drinking dream I’ve ever had has felt incredibly real. I can taste the alcohol. I can feel the feeling of inebriation. I can sense the deeper mood inside of me as I numb myself with booze. This is what I hate most of all.

I had an incredibly intense drinking dream years ago that I cried about for days after it had occurred! You can read my post about it here on my original blog (it’s worth reading just for the wonderful comments that I received after publishing it).

Four years after I quit drinking I experienced a very vivid drinking dream. In the dream I was with a group of friends and I was drinking wine. I was the only one drinking and everyone else wanted to go but I didn’t.. and I was resisting leaving and just drinking my wine. It was horrid. I felt drunk. I felt annoyed at having to leave. I felt rebellious and useless. And I felt dysfunctional.

It wasn’t nice at all.

But you know what was so great? It served as a very strong reminder to me of how awful it felt to be a boozy boozer. My overwhelming feeling on awaking was ‘Thank goodness I don’t do that any more’. Any time I have a drinking dream nowadays (not very often) I wake up feeling that way.

“Thank goodness I don’t do that any more.”

And that is a very good thing.

Love, Mrs D xxx

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