Well, if I had any doubt that the disease of addiction is in the mind that doubt was eliminated last night. I had a series of dreams that are like no dreams I have ever had before.
Over about five hours, and waking between each dream, I visited a series of scenes—all very realistic—in which I was being shown, told, informed, notified that I am: unworthy, not liked, unloved, not talented and on and on. One of the strange features of these dreams is that they were not ghoulish or scary—no monsters, no mean people, no rushing rivers or falling airplanes. Just real—incredibly real scenes with people who were known to me in which they were sadly and carefully needing to tell me that, “Diane you just are not liked”, “You need to know this; we don’t love you”, “Your work is so poor” “You really are not a very good writer or teacher." "You'll never be able to dance or do yoga".
Because of the quality of these dreams—the realness of them—I did not wake shaking but rather—and here is a clue: I woke feeling ashamed.
It was a shame dream. Yes, a full-bodied and embodied shame dream. It was not a drinking dream, but rather it was a thinking dream.
The texture of the dreams stayed with me all this day. It felt like a coating of pollen on my skin.
But here’s the thing—while I have not fully “unpacked” this dream, as my friend and former sponsor Brigid taught me—I also knew I had to begin moving it around. I emailed my sponsor in the morning. I texted another women with long recovery, and this evening I raised my hand and talked about it in a meeting.
The risk of course was there. Some people didn’t know what I meant and assumed it was a drinking dream, others assumed I wanted reassurance and offered compliments, but a few people did know this place and made helpful suggestions about how to ask my subconscious why it brought this to me now, and maybe even to try lucid dreaming to reenter these scenes and see if I can work them from the inside. I got good advice on writing out the dreams, labeling them, digging deeper rather than ignoring or chasing these powerful—and they were very powerful—messages away. Oh, and yes, to pray—to ask in prayer to see through these scenes.
I have no doubt this evening of how powerful thinking is and how deep it goes and maybe even how long it waits to remind me: this is why I drank.