When we are in recovery, we may believe that we have put behind destructive habits never to invade our thoughts again. The truth is that we can still think about what we used to be dependent on to get us through the day. A study from the Massachusetts General Hospital proved that people in recovery tend to have dreams of relapsing for those with severe history of substance abuse.
Being in recovery can be very challenging and having dreams about substances that should no longer be in your life can present you with another obstacle to overcome. Out of 2,000 people in the Massachusetts General Hospital study, a third had recurring dreams of relapse after starting treatment. These dreams caused a lot of distress for those not using anymore and are most frequent when first entering recovery. In the dreams, the person in recovery tends to dream of using their main substance again and then feeling strong panic or guilt. When they wake up, they feel relieved that it was all a dream.
People in recovery could be having these dreams because they have a long history of using drugs and alcohol for so long that they cannot picture their life without it. Because you are first starting recovery, your brain still associates drugs and alcohol with pleasure and dreams tend to show you what you are seeking whether you are aware of it or not. If you are going through an incredibly stressful time, it can also be another sign that you need to continue with your recovery as your dreams could be reminding you of previously unhealthy coping techniques.
Luckily, these dreams tend to decrease the longer we stay in recovery. As the mind and body begin to adapt to abstinence, they no longer miss what used to be ruining their life. Having relapse dreams can be the brain’s way of telling you how the healing process is and that it will get better over time. That the things that you thought you needed for your body to function were not healthy for you and you found better vices to depend on such as the love from your friends and family, nutritional food, exercise, hobbies, relaxation techniques, etc. Instead of giving into your relapse dreams, you should take them as a sign at how well you are doing in your recovery the more these dreams diminish with time.
Located in Huntington Beach, California, Simple Recovery’s mission is to help clients struggling with addiction and mental illness to face their fears, understanding your addiction, and inspiring them to realize how achievable a sober life can be. With the help of a staff with first-hand recovery experience, this evidence-based treatment program includes different modes of recreational therapy for clients and their families in the beautiful surf-city environment. For more information, please call us 888-743-0490 as we are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.