“I’ve been clean 9 months and still get cravings. They are especially bad after dreams of using.”
I already am a vivid dreamer and when I was younger, I use to sleep-walk a lot. My nighttime activity was sometimes more active than I would be during the wake hours! I can remember some dreams that happened long ago with precise detail but the dreams I’ve had about using again are the most unnerving. Along with my own addictive issues, I deal with living with an addict that I have caught lying, sneaking and using behind my back and that also affects my dreams. In this piece I’ll write about my dreams of using and if it makes me crave after nine years, my suggestions on how to deal with it, and I provide some links I found with useful information about dreams and cravings.
I’ve had countless REALISTIC dreams about either using again or catching my ex-addict husband using again. Each dream is so real to the point that I will wake up the next morning in a nasty mood toward him (yes, completely unfair I know) and they will leave me shaken. In my dreams, running into meth again is never part of the main dream but instead it sneaks into the situation and usually takes me by surprise. Sometimes I’ll even do it or I’ll attempt to do it but don’t have the pipe or other paraphernalia to get it done (super frustrating). Sometimes in my dream I’ll be super shock and horrified that meth is there, I realize that I don’t want to do it and I’m trying to get away from it. The dreams that involve my husband are the most disturbing because it’s been ugly part of our relationship in the past.
My dreams catching Jack using can sometimes turn violent. I’m so upset that I’ll try to hit him or I’ll tear at him with my fingers. Usually it’s when I know something is wrong and I catch him with meth and I know that stems from real-life situations where that was exactly the case. In these dreams, the anger boils in me is so real that it’s hard when we wake up not to attack him with questions. The craziness has mellowed out over time but sometimes it sneaks into my dreams and I’m always taken back but having it around again.
Back when I was new sober – realistically about the first five years of being sober, I would crave after having a meth dream. I would crave the feeling, I would crave the comradery, I would crave the high, and I would crave the feeling of doing something ‘wrong’ and not getting caught. I would crave the super fun moments and still being awake when the sun rose. I would miss walking into my bar high and ready to drink and party! And sadly, I’d miss the rush of holding a new, full bag of crystals ready to poison my brain.
It’s all part of walking away from something that consumes your life. Meth is a relationship and as it is with any relationship, when you walk away from it there are parts that you conscious still lingers on. It’s like breaking up with someone but still remembering the feel of their lips or the smell of their jacket. You can compare it to dreaming about an ex-boyfriend/girlfriend and waking up missing them; you might even look at their picture or be tempted to call them but you don’t. YOU CAN’T. They are no longer part of your life. It saves you a lot of pain and heartache if you don’t pick up the phone or the pipe.
I don’t know if the dreams will ever end; they have gotten a lot further apart and are mostly about catching my husband using, but you wake up the next morning and brush it off. When I need to vent, I share the dream with my husband and we can both roll our eyes and laugh about it. I know he still deals with dreams too so it’s comforting to know that someone is sharing the experience.
That’s my message for you. The dreams and cravings are part of it but they don’t need to control you; brush them off, shake your head, and go do something fun and healthy. Redirect your attention and energy into something fulfilling and worthwhile. In fact, wear yourself out doing something healthy and that should help with the dreams and the cravings. I promise if you decided to dwell on them and let it consume you, you’ll find yourself slipping back and compromising your goals – leading to REGRET.
What’s your biggest tool for this? SUPPORT and PRAYER! If you are in NA, share your dreams with the group and you’ll find they will be empathetic and give you suggestions as well. If you can, share your dreams with your support or partner. And PRAY! Ask God to help with the cravings and replace them with something healthy and wholesome. Ask God to help with the dreams because they can be hard to deal with and make you feel weak. Claim this promise found in Exodus 15:2, ‘The Lord is my strength and song, and He has become my salvation; He is my God, and I will praise Him.’
If YOU are the support or partner for an addict dealing with dreams and cravings, PLEASE let them talk about it and encourage them. Don’t start questioning if they plan on using or question their sobriety because that is not helpful or necessary. Dreams and cravings are just part of scar of meth and do not mean that we’ll use. It just means we have a scar and we need to go do something fun and healthy. Be part of that.
Have courage and go to bed! If you dream, it’s just a dream. If you crave, find something healthy to replace it. Remember, most importantly, one day at a time! One step at a time! Time slips by and soon beautiful normal life consumes your time and energy – only leaving you with strange dreams of a time past.
I’ve added some links that I found informational about drug-dreams and relapsing. Let me know if you found them useful.
Till next time, peace.