Tuesday, August 25, 2009

When dark hits light

It was a lovely day on the beach yesterday. Walking and walking for miles. Doing photo after photo. All the things that make a day pleasant with sunlight dancing on the water and the sun warm on my back.

Last night though I had a dream from the past. My wife was in a bar and I was looking for her. I was wandering through rooms of a large hotel--like a maze. I finally found her and asked her to come with me as she was obviously drunk. She said that she didn't want to be with me and was fine where she was. Then she looked through me as if I was invisible. I woke up, reached for her, touched her back, and knew that she was right where she needed to be.

I haven't had the drunk dream in a long while. I used to have the dream that I had missed a heavy course, like differential equations, in college and had never attended a single class. I had to take the final exam to graduate and didn't have a chance in making up or cramming to pass.

But in recent years since she's been sober, it's been the drunk dream. Only on occasion does the old fear come out. It chased away the sunlight, the beach, the salt air and tried to cast a dark shadow over me. Touching her next to me, molding ourselves together chased that darkness away.

Today I prayed to do God's will and to stay in this day. I don't need to revisit the past, even in dreams.


  1. Dreams they hold alot of keys to my inner life some of the images take a while to reveal themselves.
    It was insightful of you noticing to stay in the moment.

  2. Sometimes I wonder if these kinds of dreams aren't our Higher Power's way of reminding us just how bad it used to be, so that we may be wholeheartedly grateful for the way things are now.

  3. What a moving post, Syd. I've never had a drunk dream before but I suppose it's only a matter of time before I have one. I love the way you wrote this. It was beautiful.

  4. what a sad dream, thank goodness you wake and things are as they should be!

  5. Very wise words Syd. I don't think any of us have to revisit the past, even in our dreams. A wonderful reminder for today.

  6. It had never occurred to me what an Al-Anon drunk dream might look like...


    Thank you for teaching an old dog something new...

    Blessings and aloha...

  7. i dont like drinking dreams either. they are unsettling. who knows why they arise.

    in the build up to and during exams i get anxiety dreams. so i go to sleep listening to amaro talks quietly playing from the ipod amplifier dock during those spells and that always makes me sleep like a baby and have only peaceful dreams.

    perhaps there is a stressful event looming?

  8. Sometimes when I go to sleep I try the practice of being aware that I am the dreamer as well as the dreamed. I always fall asleep before I "get it". :-D


  9. Syd, I have EXACTLY that same exam dream...repeatedly though not lately. Do you happen to know what it means...other than we are anxious about being unprepared?

  10. Thanks for sharing this here. Sometimes dreams can haunt us, I am glad that you chose not to let it steal your day, and even more glad that is all in the past.

  11. This reminds me of one of those "naked in public" dreams so vulnerable.
    I was also thinking of my poor MENSA husband. I have such dreams, and then I wake up and tell him ALL about it (which he doesn't get as he doesn't remember his dreams) and then after telling him this awful dream where he caused anxiety for me...I slap his arm and he walks away shaking his head. Thank God he really loves me.

  12. Whoah! Almost forgot, I LOVE that picture...a lot!
    And, my recurring dream...which was more frequent 10 or 20 yrs. ago is that I arrive for a final in my Art History Class and I haven't been to a SINGLE class ALL year! Yes, it's true. I took that class at the University of Nebraska and it was so difficult for me for some reason! I'm a singer and had a music minor, a history minor and a Psychology Major. But, Art History...it was like Rocket Science to artsy Cindy. Huh!

  13. I do not like dreams like these. As the alcoholic that one I despise the most is when I'm awake and thinking.... one glass of wine won't hurt-afterall my demon was whiskey & shooters. Then I see my husband and realize, he's never seen me drink/drunk. We've been married 13 years novemeber and not once has he had to know this person.

    Besides, spooning... much better than that dream!

  14. I did not know there was an alanon equivalent of a drunk dream. Glad you were able to reach over and touch your sober wife.

  15. I like that last line a lot! "I don't need to revisit the past, even in dreams."

    So true! :)

  16. I'm so jealous of your day of beach combing!
    Enjoy the photos...so far they are awesome.

  17. I can't interpret dreams, but could sure use a day at the beach.

  18. Wow. I never considered the loved ones of an alcoholic would have drunk dreams. Alcoholism is so pervasive.

  19. in the beginning i thought these dreams would never stop, but the wise words of support from many of you said they would, and they have... occasionally one creeps through the woodwork into our dreamscapes, but thankfully that's all they are, dreams....

  20. ...you're a great photographer by the way!

  21. Hi Syd,
    I have a simular dream that is recurring, I am back at University and am not sure when my exam is but think I may have missed it then suddenly I am in the exam room and I cant remember anything, I reckon back in the days at Uni I was so depressed that these thoughts come back many years later.
    I always said I never want to take another exam ever when I finished, I put my brains to bed, I can still remember them horrible differential equations to solve for the electron in an hydrogen atom, used to make me think my brain was going to melt

  22. Syd,
    Where's my daily post of inspiration? I'm waiting, and patience ain't SB's strong suit. Laugh.

    I miss you when you're not around.



  23. I DO consider this kind of a dream to be a gift from God.

    God allows me to remember, experience 'exactly' where I came from.

    This always puts me in touch with the miracle of recovery and my gratitude - and all without having actually had to experience anything in reality.



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