Reams of dreams rolling through my mind
That bind me fast to my unpleasant past
Without recourse to complete forgiveness
In the business of living,
Giving no berceuse of peace for me to be
An healthy man for this old world to see
Instead of one daunted by haunted dreams
~ Jonathan David Noble
About half-way through my stay in the Samson (Alabama) Group Home, which is to say about seven to eight months, I began having very strange dreams ~ perhaps nightmares, truth be told ~ with one particular, recurring element: Alcohol, specifically trying to get alcoholic beverages, mostly in the form of ale. Again and again, I would hurry and scurry about, whether in some grocery or convenience store, attempting to purchase some ice-cold beer with the ever-present thought that I’d have to hide this from nearly everyone.
Well, for almost my entire adult life I’d used alcohol to self-medicate, along with benzos and pain-killers. By the time I’d been properly diagnosed and medicated, I’d already become an addict. In the final analysis, alcohol and drugs had ruined my life to an enormous extent. Certainly, it discolored and warped family relationships and friendships. Alcohol, primarily, had simply become part and parcel of who and what I was … tragically.
However, by this time in the group home, I’d been clean and sober for a couple of years, so I really didn’t understand the repeating theme of trying to drink in almost all of my dreams. (And, by the way, this was the first time in my life that I could actually remember most of my dreams. Before this, I could count on two hands the number of dreams I could recall.) Interestingly enough, my dream efforts to drink were always frustrated somehow, which was good, I suppose.
To attempt interpretation of these dreams may prove to be folly. After all, “as one who catches at a shadow and pursues the wind, so is anyone who believes in dreams.”¹ Still being curious, though, especially since this them is ongoing, I investigated possible meanings online. One site suggested that I might be attempting to acquiesce “to some concept or circumstance,” or that I might be trying to cover up guilt and remorse.²
“Alternatively, the dream may be reflective of waking issues and problems of alcoholism. Recovering alcoholics often have dreams of drinking which results in feelings of guilt. Such dreams help to reinforce their sobriety,”³ which seems more likely to me. But why after so long being sober? Well, I suppose two years is not really that long. Besides, I also started infrequently dreaming, or experiencing flashbacks, of terrible mistakes I’d made … sins I’d committed.
I can truly say I was surprised by the suggestion that dreaming of past memories, especially mistakes and sins, indicates that I am ready “to rid (my)self of (my) old ways and undergo a transformation,” and/or that I am “ready for a new outlook in life.” If this is true, then at least these dreams are encouraging. Of course, if a memory dream included drinking, then if this interpretation is right, it would mean that I am finally ready to move on beyond past addictions. Wonderful! I believe this is true.
Now if I could only progress in a couple of other areas of my life, I might be the happiest man in the world. Still, I am very thankful that God has allowed and certainly aided me in making as much progress as I already have! And I pray you find yourself making strides forward, too! As always, peace and blessings to you!…
¹ The Wisdom of ben Sirach 34.2 (NRSVCE)
² Possible interpretation(s) offered by www.dreamforth.com as accessed on 10/06/2018
³ Alternative interpretation provided by www.dreammoods.com as accessed on 10/06/2018
4 Ibid accessed on 10/06/2018
For previous installments in the ‘Crazy Life’ series, see…
Crazy Life: Sally Dumped and Deserted
Crazy Life: Ecclesia et Mentis Morbum
Crazy Life: Just Can’t Say ‘No’
Crazy Life: Hanging in the Balance
Crazy Life: Meeting the Mystery of God
Crazy Life: Humiliating the Already-Humbled
Crazy Life: A Little Less Crazy? But Still Guilty