‘Using dreams’ are the worst nightmares

Andrew Paisley, Opinions Editor

One of the hardest things for any recovering addict is having to deal with using dreams.

For any of you who do not know what using dreams are, it is pretty simple.

A using dream is when you dream that you are using a substance, whether that be a substance like cocaine, or a substance such as alcohol.

It is more common to have these dreams when you first get clean and sober. When these dreams occur, a person usually wakes up frantic because they feel as though the dream was something that really happened.

I first experienced using dreams last year when I was in rehab. They were a little scary, but as the day went on I was able to sort of forget about them.

For the last three or four nights, the using dreams have been coming back. And these are worse than any I have ever experienced.

Tuesday night, I dreamt one of the worst dreams I have ever had. I dreamt that I had used a substance. I am not sure which substance it was, but I think I had drank alcohol. I remember that in the dream I had to go back to rehab and I had so many feelings of guilt and shame because I had relapsed.

I woke up in a complete panic because the dream was so intense and so real that I actually had to think for a few minutes before I realized that it was not reality.

I really think these dreams are coming back to me because of the fact that I am coming up on one year clean.

The dream I had Tuesday night affected me all day Wednesday, and it really made me feel so scared and so anxious.

After talking to some other people in Narcotics Anonymous, I realize that when these dreams occur, I have to accept them and remember that they are not real life, but I cannot dwell on them.

If I dwell on these dreams, my fears of relapsing become too extreme and too intense, to the point where a relapse could actually occur.

I know I will be OK, though. I just have to keep doing what I have been doing.

Andrew Paisley is a senior journalism major. He can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].