I had a dream …

A few days a ago I had a really vivid dream. One of those totally ‘in focus’, acutely clear dreams where you feel you are completely in the experience. Many of my sober gang will know what I am about to say now. Yep, it was dream where I was drinking. It was so realistic. I felt the anticipation of the first sip, the automatic ‘unwind’ as the wine settled into my body, the buzzing effects as the alcohol started to do its stuff. In the dream I was living the experience but at the same time I was also watching it unfold as an observer. Almost like a documentary. I was socialising with a variety of different people. I was on form. Chatty (outspoken), sharply funny (mean and gossipy) and full of wit and wisdom (boring and opinionated).

I watched myself become embroiled in drama and physically felt the lack of control as my behaviour and reactions began to cause situations to escalate. Different people in my life made guest appearances and I found I was in circumstances that developed in ways I was not happy with. Reliving situations that have happened to me during my drinking days.

The most tangible aspect of the dream was the experience of waking the next morning. I don’t mean ‘actually’ waking, but dreaming I had woken up. I felt that crushing sense of shame as I remembered what I had done and said. The itchy skin feeling I used to experience when it dawned on me that I couldn’t undo what had been done. Feeling sick with wine swilling around my body and feeling sick with remorse and guilt swilling around my brain and heart. Horrendous.

This used to be my life. Not always but often. I have to say the overwhelming and intense emotions and feelings I used to experience were, for the most part, completely over the top. I generally didn’t deserve to direct such anger at myself. I had rarely behaved ‘that’ badly. It didn’t matter though. It was a pattern and a hard habit to break. I have come to realise I really had no self respect or self compassion and I could not, and would not, give myself a break.

The dream was so real. It stayed with me all day. I kept thinking about it. Revisiting those old feelings. It absolutely reaffirmed why I gave up my once beloved wine and why I remain sober. Nowadays, even when I have struggled with depression or anxiety, I still like myself. I can honestly say, in the latter years of drinking, I did not like me. I could see that I had skills and abilities but I did not like my very core. If your opinion of yourself is that low, you are vulnerable. It taints your view of what other people do and say and colours the things that happen around you. It adds a negative lens to life. Removing alcohol hit the pause button. It gave me the space and ability to work out that change is possible and that sober I could be pretty awesome! The negative lens does not switch to a positive lens, rather it becomes a ‘realistic’ lens. I still reflect on situations, my behaviour and reactions but I have the ability to recognise when comments, circumstances and others’ behaviours are absolutely nothing to do with me. What is apparent is that in sober life, it is rarely to do with me.

Making these changes has taken work. Calm, compassion and gratitude take practice. Integrating them into daily life is a challenge some days but was an essential part of me starting to like me. I haven’t always been aware that change is happening but I can see now that it has. I have had to show up day after day and live with feelings and emotions, thoughts and situations that, quite frankly, scare the shit out of me. I’ve had to take responsibility for past behaviour, accept it and move on. But oh! the freedom when you are able to do that. That’s what sobriety brings. Freedom. No crutch required. No prop needed. I have all the resources inside of myself. Yep. Freedom.

Claire x

28 thoughts on “I had a dream …”

    1. Yes! I loved that. That is how I feel right now. I have a choice. I am not bound the past me and what has already happened. It’s a very free way to view life isn’t it? Thanks Dwight 💕❤️💕

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I probably was never as bad as I imagined but I don’t like that in people and when drinking I has such a desire and need to ‘fit in’ and be accepted that I would join in that type of behaviour. It never felt good or comfortable and now I just don’t do it. Being accepted for who I am is far better than fitting in with who people want me to be. Hope you are ok 💕💕

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Agreed. I also felt I was colluding if I was around it and not speaking out against it. Now I just avoid people like it and I have no interest in them likening or accepting me. That’s a good feeling.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I love this post so much. You’ve come so far, and clearly integrated so many lessons into your daily life. You’re right, that takes hard work and dedication. So awesome! I’m sorry for my faulty memory, but did you attend 12 Steps at any point? I know we must have discussed it, but my memory is rubbish. It sounds to me like you’re following a lot of their philosophy, just on your own terms. I admire you a great deal Claire 🙂 hugs x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah thanks Rock. I think you are pretty cool too! 🙂
      No I didn’t attend 12 steps and I haven’t had any formal support really. I did some reading and just by luck and chance found word press and the bloggers here who have been my lifeline. I think the mix of antidepressants and going sober have helped me to move through each phase. Interesting that I seem to have found a philosophy anyway. The road is always onward and lots to travel but it feels good right now. 🤗

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  2. Wow! What an amazing dream! I have to admit, I’m a little envious about being able to see your past behavior like that, as an observer. I’ve always wanted to do that. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this post, Claire! This is great stuff. I get what you mean about the being able to know something isn’t about you. I have this occasionally difficult work relationship, and I have developed the ability recently to realize when something she does isn’t about me. It is still annoying and sometimes hurtful, but it no longer cuts me to the bone. Yes, great stuff! I’m so happy for you. ❤️❤️❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s exactly it. It doesn’t ‘cut you to the bone’ and seems to then have less impact or the impact does not linger. Things still bother me and my feelings get hurt but it is not such a drama or a disaster. Hope you are ok? Xxx❤️❤️❤️

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Collette. I haven’t been feeling so good this weekend and I wondered why. I realised today I have completely forgotten to take my antidepressants for 8 days! I have never missed a single day ever. How strange is that? Clearly my inner resources failed to switch my brain on 😂. 💕💕

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Absolutely love this post and you! You have come so far since I first met you on here! Freedom, finally! It’s so great to not be controlled by something! Hope you are having a wonderful day, Claire! 😍😘❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Great post Claire, and you articulate thoughts I have not quite been able to untangle. Love that you have found freedom, maybe the dreams will start to change a little- could be interesting. X

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s difficult to explain what happens when you become sober, the huge challenges it poses but how good it feels when you move through them without numbing them. Self esteem is the crux for me. Drinking led to a downward spiral where self esteem was non existent, unless I was drinking. That’s not a good place to be for anyone! ( Btw, one post read, another to go Jim! 😉) x

      Like

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