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Lucid Dreaming and Recovery


Many people in recovery dream of the day their lives will no longer be controlled by drugs and alcohol. For many, that dream comes true, but only with the assistance of counseling, rehabilitation, and therapy. These three components of recovery can afford an alcoholic or an addict with deeper understanding and awareness of how their reactions to certain people, places and things shape their lives while they are awake. But how can their dreams play a part in shaping their awareness of themselves, and how can this contribute to their recovery?

The phenomenon of lucid dreaming is the knowledge that you are dreaming while you are dreaming, and the resulting ability to control your actions and reactions within the dream state. Once in a lucid dream, you can attain full dream awareness and direct that awareness to anything you like. There is much speculation on just how therapeutic dreams and dream analysis can be. Sigmund Freud considered dreams to represent unfulfilled desires, and so dreams can be seen as very therapeutic in this respect; the concept that one can easily have or achieve in a dream that which is not easily had or achieved in waking life is incredibly liberating. Additionally, Carl Jung wrote that examining the images found in dreams could be helpful in recovering from trauma and emotional distress; addressing these images may provide insight into how the mind processes physical and emotional turmoil.

Dreams are also considered to be the manifestation of fears and insecurities of waking life that are stored unconsciously because we are unable to address them consciously. Those of us in recovery are forced to deal with life on life’s terms and to address our fears, desires and insecurities without “escaping” through drugs and alcohol. In lucid dreams, we have the opportunity to face with courage and confidence the fears and insecurities that may create struggles or obstacles in our waking life; walking through these fears and insecurities, asleep or awake, strengthens us emotionally and makes us more and more aware of how to live a healthy and honest life without getting loaded as a means to cope with life’s stress.

Incorporating dream therapy into your recovery program can be a beneficial measure. If you would like to strengthen your dream recall and learn to have lucid dreams, there are a few things you can do: keep a dream journal by your bed and record your dreams upon waking. This will strengthen you dream recall, and you can examine recurring themes and symbols in your dreams in order to become more aware of your dream vocabulary. Understanding your own dream vocabulary will help you to draw connections between your dreams and your actions and reactions in waking life situations. Set your intentions to have a lucid dream before falling asleep, and ask yourself if you are dreaming while awake. This is a discipline that can easily be incorporated into everyday life and which can be applied to the commitment and discipline of sobriety. Ultimately, the therapeutic discipline of lucid dreaming may help you to understand more deeply the root of your emotions and thoughts, and this awareness could potentially prevent you from relapsing.

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Filed under: Life, Recovery · Tags: Alcohol Addiction, alcoholic, Drug Abuse, drug addiction, drug addiction recovery, lucid dreaming, recovery from alcoholism, recovery from drugs, sobriety

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