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Old 01-17-2011, 10:25 PM
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Dreams

In the last 3 nights I have had 4 dreams about using. For one thing I almost never remember my dreams unless they are very vivid or otherwise attached to strong emotions. I've never dreamed about using and I'm not sure what to think; I'm a little disturbed by them and they definitely make me uncomfortable. I never dreamed about it when I was using and it's strange to me that after a year and a half clean I would have dreams like that.

Anyone else ever dream about using again? Thoughts?
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Old 01-17-2011, 11:02 PM
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Yes, I have. They do scare me, and I wonder why I had the dream. I do remind myself that using was a large part of my life for such a period of time that if I didn't dream about it that would be a strange thing. This helps me get on with my day.
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Old 01-18-2011, 12:42 AM
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I have using dreams too. My DOC was coke - and I quit that in 1987 (!) - but I still have dreams about it. It usually comes about in the dream where I am busy doing something - whatever it is one does during dreaming - solving crimes, being a scarecrow....etc. So I see it, massive amounts....but am not even tempted. I've never actually "used" in a dream. FWIW, I've been told that if we have the resolve to not use in our dreams - aka our subconscious mind - we won't use when we are awake. Again, take it for what it's worth. I wish I knew why we have them....but they don't bother me as much as they used to.
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Old 01-18-2011, 02:22 AM
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Just yesterday I had a very realistic dream about drinking. I was surprised when I realized that I was still sober. The dream was so real. It was the first (or second?) dream where I drank in the dream. (My dream happened the night after I had a long conversation with a friend about the last time I drank. It felt like a very integrating conversation. Very positive.)

I have no great insight. I don't think dreaming about using is in any way a sign of being at risk of using. Could be that you are moving to a deeper level of sobriety and your unconscious mind is processing it. Or maybe it is just random stuff.

You could journal with your 'unconscious'. Ask what you need to know about the dream and then just write whatever comes without filtering anything.
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Old 01-18-2011, 06:42 AM
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I have using dreams from time to time. They usually come in clusters and I always remember the feeling of fcuking up upon waking. My IOP counselor told me that using dreams are an early sign of relapse - that your brain is trying to move you back towards something it wants. That is a pretty convoluted duality for me (and my brain) to work with, so I dumb it down. When I have using dreams, I know something is bugging me. I am struggling with some aspect of recovery and it is time for me to engage my support network: Talk to someone in recovery. Refocus my meditation. Get some exercise. Sacrifice a goat. Do something* to get moving again.

I generally find that I need to flush out some using thinking. Hang in there gneiss.

*Instead of thinking something.
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Old 01-18-2011, 08:19 AM
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Welcome to SoberRecovery Jayner.
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Old 01-18-2011, 08:34 AM
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I like the expectation fulfillment theory of dreaming. I think its one the most interesting dream theories. I find it useful in my dream analysis.
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Old 01-18-2011, 08:46 AM
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A few months ago, I started having intense drinking dreams. I'd wake up and literally sigh in relief when I realised that it'd "only" been a dream.

My therapist encouraged me to talk about them. And, eventually, I had to admit to myself that -despite having experienced lots of enjoyable sober time- maybe a part of me still wanted to drink.

It was a blow to my ego and very discouraging. Eventually, though, I began to see that, yeah, a part of me would love to do it.. and I started accepting this reality, instead of fighting it. It's like I came to terms with it - I truly embraced it, and said "sorry, but it ain't gonna happen". I began to learn my limitations and be okay with them.

Sorry if this sounds esoteric, though I'd chip in, it's just what worked for me, it might not be your case at all Gneiss.


ps forgot to mention, after this self-acceptance process, the dreams stopped
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Old 01-18-2011, 09:35 AM
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I've only had 3-4 drinking dreams in the past 3+ yrs and each time I've been frightened when I woke up at first thinking it was real. When I have the dream I let it serve as a reminder of where I do not want to go again.
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Old 01-18-2011, 09:55 AM
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I've been sober a long time and still have the occasional dream. Actually they aren't dreams...they are nightmares. They happen when I am under a lot of stress.

I don't view them as an indication that I'm about to relapse; I think they are a PTSD-like thing, almost like a battle scar. And frankly I am never happier to be sober than when I wake up from one of those awful nightmares and realize that I didn't really drink.

OTT
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Old 01-18-2011, 03:22 PM
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I still have drinking dreams. Sometimes I wake up and they feel real, but I soon realize it didn't happen. I think it's normal--although sometimes it does feel like a nightmare.

My brain comes up with all kinds of goofy sh!t. It recycles all kinds of garbage. I wish I was one of those people who can realize they are dreaming and then control their dreams. Oh, well.

Edited to add:

I think it's interesting what Matt wrote. I still want to drink, but I realize that the costs far outweigh any benefits. I suppose if I could drink without any of the negative consequences I would, but that is simply not possible. I had fun, but wow was I f-ed up. Too many problems and too much baggage with booze--and after a while I got scared. I knew I was heading quickly towards an unpleasant end.

I imagine that as more sober time comes the better I'll feel. It takes a long time to get the brain on to a different track.

I consider my drinking dreams to be like any other nonsense dreams I have--garbage.
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Old 01-18-2011, 06:49 PM
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Gneiss....I have a long history of intense dreams. I remember many and once upon a time I kept a journal of them and researched them and tried to figure them out...never could.

That said I think journaling about them is a good thing...my coach has me do that sometimes....tomorrow is a full moon and that effects our dreams as well.

Unless you feel shaky for some reason I would not worry overmuch.

Hugs...LaFemme
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Old 01-18-2011, 07:43 PM
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I've never denied the fact that if drugs weren't such a hassle and didn't take me to such awful places, I'd still be doing them. There's still a part of me that wants the sort of wild life, the selfishness, and the rush. That's no surprise. When I started doing drugs they had their purpose in my life, but after a while it just wasn't worth what they were taking away.

My mind comes up with some pretty random stuff sometimes when I'm dreaming. In my dreams I'm usually trying to find a way out of using, the opportunity has been presented, friends are offering it to me or even pressuring me to take it, and I'm finding any excuse possible not to do it. And while that's happening there's usually a disturbing situation happening around me in my dream. Last night I dreamed that I was at work on an oil rig (I actually do work on one IRL) and there were a bunch of rig hands crowding around me and my ex (who got me started on drugs) was there but if he helped me out of the crowd of menacing rig hands I had to do dope with him. I'm not sure if that says more about my relationship with him or drugs, come to think of it. The night before that my sister was trying to sell me some dope (and she's never touched it. No idea how she ended up in that dream).

I don't feel shaky about using again, I'm done and glad to be. But maybe I'll go sacrifice a goat just to be on the safe side?
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Old 01-18-2011, 07:51 PM
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Just had a friend, former methhead himself, mention that I'm not that far into my new job and I'm actually responsible and committed to something I can't easily back out of. It's the exact opposite of life when I was using. Thats bound to make me think of those days on some level. Good point.
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Old 01-18-2011, 08:38 PM
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Hi Gneiss -- This is an interesting thread you got started!

I've had many dreams about drinking and/or using. I have a ton of dreams in general, always many dreams each night (and have had lucid dreams), so this isn't really that weird to me. BUT I do know what you mean about them being disconcerting and scary etc.

I have a slightly more positive outlook on it; from what I understand, dreams can also serve as a learning vehicle where our minds can "practice" confronting the things it is trying to learn during the day. I can see how this could be interpreted as prelude to relapse, BUT also could be seen as your brain battling something that you may not be aware of day-to-day but is a fear or something your mind needs extra "practice" on. So, I see my drinking dreams, as unpleasant as they are (and I had one last night, so your post is timely) as a good thing overall, a chance for my brain to work out these bigger issues in a safe space.

Just a thought!
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Old 01-19-2011, 06:24 AM
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Originally Posted by AmericanGirl View Post
from what I understand, dreams can also serve as a learning vehicle where our minds can "practice" confronting the things it is trying to learn during the day. t!
Wonder what that means about the dreams where I kill people?!?!
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Old 01-19-2011, 08:13 AM
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Originally Posted by LaFemme View Post
Wonder what that means about the dreams where I kill people?!?!
lol! You're learning not to become a psychopath I suppose!
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Old 01-19-2011, 03:11 PM
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Originally Posted by LaFemme View Post
Wonder what that means about the dreams where I kill people?!?!
This had me laughing, too.
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Old 01-19-2011, 08:17 PM
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Be careful not to wander into any of my dreams;p
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