We all have them. Drug using dreams are not unique at all. And if you are having a lot of them right now in early recovery don’t freak out. I know it can be scary right when you wake up after getting high and relapsing in your dream. In fact I remember a long time ago when I was living in a halfway house, I had a relapse dream that was so vivid I almost asked my house manager that morning to drug test me because I was unsure if it had actually happened or not. Sound familiar?
Probably. That’s because using dreams are normal, but don’t let them deter you from continuing on your journey. Why? Because if you are having using dreams, it means you are getting better.
The Reason for Drug Using Dreams
While there is no guaranteed scientific reason for any dreams, especially using ones, it can be said that if you are having using dreams it is because your brain is starting to heal. Old neurons that were deadened from drug use and drinking are coming back to life, and subconscious feelings and thoughts are surfacing creating a lot of activity in your brain. Also, as you begin to get further and further away from your last actual use, your brain is going to kind of mourn or go through the process of losing what used to be a part of it’s daily life through dreams.
Some people say using dreams, especially in later recovery are a sign of too much stress in your life or a sign of possible relapse. It doesn’t mean you for sure are going to relapse but it is a sign that you might want to step up your game.
Why Using Dreams, Although Scary, Are Actually Awesome
They remind you of where you have been and where you definitely don’t want to go. Dreams allow us to experience what it would be like to do something without actually doing it. So ya know that fear and anxiety, guilt, remorse, shame, and stress you felt when you used in your dream, or were trying to? That is what happens in real life. Using dreams are great reminders for us as to why we want to be sober and stay sober. They give us the ability to remember what it was like for us. They can be great motivators if handled with the right attitude. Use them as a motivating force!
Define Your Drug Using Dreams
You can always use a dream dictionary to help you decipher their meaning if you believe in that stuff. A lot of times dream dictionaries provide a way to explain even the smallest details in your dream (if you remember them.) You can get more clarity of what is going on with you based on how you were using, where you were using, who you were with, what you were feeling. And the dream dictionary will help decipher and tell you what all that means. Granted this shouldn’t be taken as fact, but if you read a definition and rings true to you it might be something that you want to work on or keep doing. It may just offer a little more insight into what your subconscious may be trying to tell you and if it feels spot on—it may be something that you really take to heart.
Anyways, using dreams aren’t anything special. I know that almost every single addict or alcoholic I have talked to has experienced these kind of dreams at least once. So don’t freak out if you are having them! It is VERY normal to have them often in early recovery, especially the first 30 to 90 days. And they honestly can pop up whenever. Just keep going and realize there may actually be a reason for these dreams and it isn’t to cause you to use or drink again.