The Next Round: What happens after you change your drinking?

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Drinking dreams

Drinking dreams

Lots of members report dreaming that they are drinking alcohol. This is not unusual. So what do our drinking dreams tell us?

Whilst having a drinking dream can be scary, they can actually be an indication of a lot of positive things in your path towards changing your drinking. Here are the 5 things you need to know.

It’s perfectly normal

It is a common occurrence among people giving up or reducing their intake of booze to have what are actually called ‘relapse dreams’. They are dreams in which someone experiences the feeling of being drunk once again, despite not having had alcohol for months. And guess what? They’re completely normal!

They are just dreams!

Not only are they perfectly normal, but they are only dreams. It’s understandable to feel spooked by drinking dreams, as they make you believe for a minute that after all your efforts in changing your drinking, you might have had a relapse or failed. In the dream, you might be enjoying the feeling of being drunk, or experiencing it as if it was a nightmare. You may feel guilty on waking, as if you failed in the real world. But they should not necessarily be taken as evidence that your efforts are futile, or that you are about to fail or give in. They are just dreams and the conscious you is the one in charge!

“It’s very hard to explain the intensity of a drinking dream to someone who isn’t sober. It’s one of those experiences we sober people have that are hard to convey in words to non-sober people.” -Mrs D, author of Mrs D Goes Without

It can give you focus!

Waking up and realising it was just a dream can bring such a surge of relief that you remember why you wanted to change your drinking in the first place. They can be a stark reminder of what might be in store if you don’t maintain focus, and inspire you to put in more effort or to remain on your path to achieving your goal.

It highlights triggers you may need to deal with

Memories and current preoccupations of any kind will continue to influence and provide material for dreams, and unfortunately this will include the memories you have of drinking. There seems to be a tendency for people to have more of these dreams when going through particularly stressful periods in their lives.

Experiencing one may be a sign that you are not coping well with whatever stress-inducing situation you are in, and that you may need to find some way to better deal with the situation than you are now. You may have used alcohol to deal with certain situations, and now your brain is asking for you to to find something new! Here is our advice on dealing with stress without alcohol.

They are a good sign!

If your new patterns of drinking have influenced your dreams, it shows you’ve been doing a good enough job that your subconscious has noticed. You are effecting a change in your health profound enough that your body and mind are responding, and all things considered, this is a good thing! However disquieted you feel on waking, it shows you take your changes seriously and cherish your sobriety.

So there you go. Everything you need to know.

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