When I first stopped drinking, I had a recurring dream in which I was raising a large martini glass to my lips. I’d inhale the juniper aroma of the gin, spy three large olives bobbing, and watch as beads of sweat rolled down the sides of the glass in sensual anticipation.
They probably lasted just a few seconds, but these dream sent my brain into utter mayhem.
Before I could take a sip, I’d catch myself, realize my mistake – that I had forgotten my decision just long enough to come so close. There was confusion, guilt, and shame.
And longing. Could I have just one sip? One glass? Would that be enough? Or would I get back on the un-merry-go-round?
Awakening, I would wish I had realized I was dreaming. But I lacked the Inception-style self-awareness that might have allowed me to enjoy my drink guilt-free knowing that in reality, I’d kept my promise. If I were more creative – or perhaps if I’d conjured Leonardo DiCaprio to help me navigate my dreamscape – I might have created a dream within a dream in which my first-layer dreamer stayed sober while my second-layer dreamer willingly delved deeper and drew deep on that glass to satisfy a curiosity and indeed a thirst – the best of both worlds.
Part of me is ashamed to admit I would have taken that sip had I realized I was dreaming. This decision I’ve made feels like one that should extend to the far reaches of my conscious and unconscious mind. But this decision I made – and make every day – has consequences only in the real world, where tops spin out and stop and only I know what is real and true.
Ugh, I’ve totally had that dream. I’m usually somehow already drunk though…and I wake up feeling horribly guilty. I’m kind of glad I don’t remember the actual drinking part. Since it’s been over two years my actual memories of that time are getting hazier, and I like it that way. I do make sure to remember all the bad stuff though so that I never get to that point where I can rationalize drinking again.
The other dream is that I’m being pulled over and I have pot on me. (I was arrested twice as a teen for it and would get instant jail time if it happened again) I wake up in a cold sweat every time.
I don’t have any good insight on them honestly…I hate having them too. : / Just wanted to share.
Thanks, Brianna. It’s interesting where our different brains take us in our dreams. I wonder if it is random or if there is some self-protective value to it. I agree that trying to zoom out and remember all the things about drinking – the good, the bad, and the very ugly – allows us to recall that balance was clear enough at some point to drive us to make a specific choice. I appreciate your candor.