Recently someone in one of my recovery meetings brought up “drinking dreams”. They’re pretty common among the newly sober and I myself have them almost weekly, even approaching three years of sobriety. I don’t really mind them or give them much credence, I mean, it’s a dream. I know they can seem real, but when I awake, I’m usually just super grateful that it was a dream. In my crazy ass night scenarios, I am already intoxicated in said dream and then some good but nosy samaritan reminds me that I’m an alcoholic and I am paralyzed in terror and panic and immediately wake up – I assume before my black shiny liver shoots out my asshole and skids down the hallway.
The person in the meeting was disturbed by his dream, so much so that he brought it up as a concern. In his dream he said he knew he was drunk and didn’t really care and wondered what that meant about his inner resolve.
Some twenty years ago I had a dream that I was trying to shove a baby into my garbage disposal in my cheap Hollywood studio apartment but the baby kept crawling out before I could hit the switch. In this horrific dream I dutifully grab a broom from the closet and hold the baby down with it while flipping the switch to grind it up. Um, yeah – I know. . . but come on folks, I may not be smitten with kids, but I don’t (usually) feel like chopping them to bloody pieces in my kitchen sink. The point is, it was a dream.
Fast forward to Sunday morning where at 4:12am I awoke with a violent start and what immediately followed was such bone-crushing sorrow I could barely lift my head off of the pillow. I was standing across from my Mom, whose face was wet and shiny with tears. She was crying to the point of hiccups. I was shaking my head in disbelief, saying “No, Mom…I promise I didn’t know – I thought I just have a couple and it would be okay, I’m so so sorry.” I was having a terrible dream where I had just found out that my liver was shutting down as the result of my “sneaking” a few here and there. In my dream I was genuinely remorseful and surprised at the news. It was such a helpless and gutting feeling – standing there in front of someone who has believed in me, admitting that I had failed her, and myself. I awoke with a heavy heart and crippling shame. OMG IT WAS SO REAL YOU GUYS. It sounds somewhat ridiculous but the after-effects of that dream stuck with until lunchtime. I could NOT shake the feeling of uncertainty.
It’s coincidental that I have just started a Tibetan Lojong class on compassion and awakening AND KARMA so I guess one could say I’ve already gotten a little ahead in my studies and had a valuable little lesson in karma this weekend.
The Universe is vast and ageless and infinitely mysterious, but it also has one ridiculous sense of humor.