I had another drunk dream last night.
This is hardly concerning because I still have waitressing dreams and haven’t waitressed in 18 years. In those dreams, my old boss Shannon calls to tell me I’m on the schedule and asks where the hell I am and I try explaining “but Shannon, I moved. I have a job. I have kids. I’m old.” Instead I find myself moving in slow motion across the dining room of the upscale retirement community where I used to work. I’m slinging glasses of tomato juice and bowls of beef consommé to old folks who couldn’t possibly still be alive. I’m checking Shannon’s impeccably neat schedule on the wall for the rest of the week.
So no, I’m not surprised or alarmed that I still have drinking dreams.
I think what alarms me is why I never turn a drink down in my dreams. In last night’s dream, this guy who doesn’t exist in real life told me we’d gone out on the icy roof the night before and, when I didn’t remember doing this, asked me “wait, are you still drunk?”
“But I don’t drink anymore,” I answered and only then realized what I’d done and thrown away.
In my dreams, I only realize I’ve relapsed after the fact. I think this is because I can’t imagine giving sobriety away so easily. I haven’t been challenged with tragedy or true hardship. Yet. It’s the only way I can imagine feeling tempted to drink again. These dreams are probably anxiety about how I will handle that thing which I fear I will not be able to handle. Maybe I just ate too many onions too close to bedtime.
A close family member who had more than 6 months sober recently told me he’d had drinks while out with coworkers one night. He said he quickly remembered why he stopped drinking in the first place. He doesn’t understand why he can’t just have a glass of beer or wine with dinner, but he can’t and that has to be enough to go on for now. He has a lot on his plate and it gives me great hope that he brushed himself off and climbed back on the wagon. I hope he stays on.
At the end of my drunk dream last night, I was trying to get ready for a 5K I had signed up to run. I was woefully hungover and couldn’t focus long enough to use the bathroom or get dressed or eat a bowl of cheerios. I thought to myself, “I have to run this race, but I feel like I’m going to die.”
How to explain the relief upon waking that it was just a dream! I got dressed for a 5 mile run and fended off a playful kitten while tying shoe laces and then headed out the door to struggle up the big hills and in the light rain, beyond grateful it had just been a dream.