Sunday, March 7, 2010

cake dreams

I had my first sugar dream last night. Drinking dreams are a rather common occurrence among those in recovery. They vary in scenario--you find yourself drinking at a party or somone offers you a drink and you say yes or you dream you go into a liquor store or a bar and start drinking. My most frequently recurring drinking dream of the last few years has been one in which I not only realize I'm drinking (glass in hand) but that I've actually been drinking all these years of sobriety and lying to myself. The dream is so vivid and so real, my feelings of shock and disappointment in myself so real, that it often takes me a few minutes after I wake up to realize that it's just a dream.

In AA, we believe that only recovering alcoholics have drinking dreams. The normal drinker doesn't worry about drinking, the active alcoholic would see it as normal. But we are so concerned for our sobriety, which we know is fragile, that we project that worry into our dreams.

Last night, I dreamed that I was sitting at a table in the house of a friend. In front of me was a piece of chocolate cake, just like the ones my friends were eating this weekend. My piece was half-eaten and a big bite was on its way to my mouth. What am I doing, I thought. I'm not eating sugar anymore. How could I let this happen? Now I have to start over and go through withdrawal again. I was glad to wake up and have it not be true.

What is true is that my friends were really respectful and ate cake after I went to bed. They didn't leave it out, they didn't ask me to watch. And as I realized driving home today, the other five women left the cake alone all day. I would have watched for opportunities to sneak a piece or six and eat it in private in my room so no one would know. I'm so glad I didn't do that and that I just could let it be.

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