Drinking Dreams

22 Apr

I had the most horrific drinking dream yet last night. 

If there’s one thing that really hammers home why I shouldn’t drink, it’s the way my blood runs cold in the moment I wake up after a drinking dream, followed by the overwhelming relief. I feel like these dreams are a guard against my sobriety. They pop up when I need a kick up the backside and remind me how much my life has changed in the past 3 months. Drinking would not be worth losing all that, going back to the dark place where I’m stuck in a cycle I cannot break, feeling down and shitty until I drink again. THANKS BRAIN FOR GIVING ME DRINKING DREAMS!

I can’t exactly remember what happened in the dream, but I got wrecked and was forced to admit to my mum that I have a problem, which broke her little heart. I’ve been accidentally drunk around my parents quite a few times in the past year. I once got smashed at one of their work events, having consumed a bottle of wine on the train on the way there plus loads more when I arrived, and the shame I felt the next day at seeing them and the people who’d been at the event was horrible. At Christmas, when I drank 2 bottles of wine across a day, including one secretly in the house, I’m sure they must have been able to smell the almighty stench of stale wine in my room the next day. My childhood bedroom, now tainted by the smell of booze. 

I think if I told my parents I had a drinking problem they’d be slightly less surprised than a lot of my friends. They’ve seen me really drunk, know heavy drinking runs in the family and almost without doubt would blame themselves. Part of me wants to tell them to unburden myself by being truthful with them, but I think it would be a selfish thing to do. When I told them I’d been struggling with depression, my dad cried (actually, upon reflection, he was a bit drunk himself…) because my brother has also really struggled with depression, and he said out loud he blames himself for our pain. He worries it stems from the way we were raised, which is utter nonsense because I am lucky to have had, in my eyes, the perfect childhood.

They encourage me to drink, my parents. They have a nightly bottle of wine (often each) and they worry I’m too uptight, too hard on myself and too hard working, never giving myself a break. For them, seeing their little over-achieving daughter flog herself is tricky- on the one hand they’re proud of how I throw myself into everything I do and get the results through hard work and determination, but on the other, they find it hard to watch. Since I started drinking, offering me a glass of wine to help me relax makes sense to them- it’s an easy thing to do, a helping hand to get me to slow down. They’d be horrified if they knew how this action had taken on a life of its own, causing me to get to the difficult place I’m at now. 

I won’t tell them. I have the support I need from my friends who know, but I’ll have to work out how I can tell them I’m not drinking without them worrying about me not relaxing enough (which I know will happen). They’ll take it as a sign I’ve gone back to my old, anxious, restrictive, self, I know they will. I’ve seen them do it before. Thankfully, I’m (mostly) the happiest I’ve been in a long time, so hopefully they’ll see this and accept that I don’t need a drink to calm myself. 

I’m so glad to have had that dream last night, it’s just reminded me of everything about sobriety that I should treasure, and forced me to think about a plan of action for when I go home in a few weeks time.

On a completely different note, shout out to And Everything Afterwards who absolutely NAILED my feelings about drinking vs the reality in her post this morning . If today you think a drink might be a good idea (as I so often do at the moment), I urge you to go and read this. It hits the nail on the head, and will be a post I return to in my darker moments when a glass of wine seems like the solution to all my problems…

Happy Tuesday! 

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9 Responses to “Drinking Dreams”

  1. Rebecca A. Watson April 22, 2014 at 12:00 pm #

    Dealing with parents that believe they are the cause of all your problems must be equal parts refreshing and distressing. I mean, it’s nice that they take responsibility for the fact that they may have messed you up, but really, you’re an adult now right? It’s not their problem anymore. I don’t envy you this situation, but I get it. A lot of times when I make healthy decisions, my parents tell me how much they are worried about me. I know a lot of that stems from the fact that my decision reflects poorly on their habits and they’d rather not deal with that. Just remember that you don’t need to tell them any more than you want to. Maybe just the fact that you haven’t really been “in the mood” to drink lately, or something innocuous like that. Best wishes and thanks for sharing.

  2. iversonjj April 22, 2014 at 2:01 pm #

    My second summer sober i had drunk dreams OFTEN … I THINK its just your brains way of reminding you all the blessings you have since you are not drinking. The drunk dreams pass… i have been sober just about 30 years now and i can’t tell you the last time i had a drunk dream.
    Breathe in breathe out and don’t drink in between … peace,

  3. afteralcohol April 22, 2014 at 11:52 pm #

    Ooof, that’s a tricky amount of things to untangle. The way that your parents hand you a glass of wine reminds me of Lovely Husband, whose go-to solution to stressed me was always to offer a drink. When I was drinking, I used that as an excuse to keep drinking – well, I can’t have a problem if even my husband, who sees most of my drinking, offers me alcohol, right? But now, it’s a source of shame. Did he really see that as my only coping mechanism? I guess he must have, because it was. I’m working towards the day where he sees that I’m stressed and suggests a hot bath, or a run, or a cup of tea, because he’s come to associate those things with me instead.

    I don’t think you need to tell them, necessarily. But perhaps, do you spend enough time with them that you can model your sober habits in front of them? Not to get them to stop (although a nightly bottle of wine each suggests a problem, actually) but so that they think – oh, my daughter, she’s very driven but she’s good at self-care as well. She’s having a hard time this week, maybe we should buy her a nice candle, or some cake?

    (And thanks for the shout out!)

  4. lucy2610 April 23, 2014 at 9:51 am #

    It must be a generational thing FFF as my out laws are the same – it is almost rude not to drink in their house (retired publicans). They know we’ve stopped and are really struggling to understand. They don’t say anything and are supportive but the look of confusion and concern I see on their faces sometimes gives them away. It gets easier the longer you go on as it has become normal now for us and for them 🙂 xx

    • FitFatFood April 23, 2014 at 9:56 am #

      I think it will be fine, it’s funny though isn’t it, that they assume the only way I can be calm is to drink. They worry because for years I was incredibly highly strung. Drinking helped with that and now, sobriety is teaching me new ways to let loose 🙂

  5. Shame Doesn't Define Me April 23, 2014 at 11:53 pm #

    The drinking dreams are spooky. I had one early on (about three weeks in) and it totally threw me for a loop. In it, I got smashed and then went to an AA meeting where I proceeded to lie to the group and acted like I never drank at all. So, I called my sponsor who very delicately told me it was normal and not to worry. What we think about we bring about. I was so consumed with alcohol at that time, it is no wonder I drank of it.
    Keep fighting the good fight. You are doing remarkably.
    hugs,
    Linda

    • FitFatFood April 24, 2014 at 4:40 pm #

      Thanks Linda- it’s so good to know these things are normal!

      • Shame Doesn't Define Me April 24, 2014 at 6:50 pm #

        Now I am rereading my comment …LOL> Did you catch my slip? Ha! “No wonder I drank of it” Um, yeah, that was dreamt of it! I’m telling ya, it’s never ending.
        Hope you are well today.
        Linda

      • FitFatFood April 24, 2014 at 7:14 pm #

        I did wonder..!! Very well today, very zen for once 🙂

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