Monday, April 18, 2011

"Strange Dreams"

I had some vivid dreams last night.

One of them was a using dream. It's been a long time since I had one of those. Can't say I like them any more now than I have before. It's always very emotional. All the drama of having relapsed, having to resign my service positions, etc. Usually I wake up and it takes me a little while to realize it was all just a dream. This time around, I actually went through that part of the process in the dream itself. Ugh. Not fond of those.

The other dream I remember is really weird. I was playing for the SF Giants (they're my favorite team in real life). Huff was at the plate, and for some reason I was behind him at the plate. No, not as the catcher, but like as an additional batter and I was way on the left side. When the pitch came in, it went by him, and I slammed it--hit a home run in fact. But then I 'realized' that I was doing it wrong--I was actually supposed to be standing opposite him at the plate and giving him advice. A lot like a batting coach but while he was at bat. I apologized for hitting his home run and he said it was all good. We must have been playing the world series or something, because the next thing I knew we'd just won big. I remember having a red squishy ball in my hand for some strange reason. In the midst of the celebration, I broke down into tears about how I don't belong there, that don't know anything about playing ball. Someone (I don't remember who) comforted me, and that's when I ended up with the red squishy ball. Totally bizarre.

I'm real big on dream interpretation, and what happens in a dream is almost never literal. I've looked at some of the scientific research, too. When we dream, it's our brain processing information, storing permanent knowledge. Think of how people will say that when you start dreaming in a foreign language, you know that you're really learning it. There are lots of books and websites out there with the meanings behind dream symbols. I had a look to see if I could piece together the baseball dream.

Playing in the baseball game could mean that I need to work on setting goals. The red ball is actually a good symbol; it denotes wholeness, completeness, and perhaps and need to get in better touch with the child within. The color red, just by itself, is an extremely potent dream symbol. It's deeply emotional and spiritual. It can symbolize passion, aggression, power, courage, as well as danger, violence, shame, or rejection. But how do you integrate these possible meanings into what the specific dream actually means? By relating it to what's happening in your life.

I've been praying a new prayer lately. I've been asking God to help me to find my place. Specifically when it comes to work. Being unemployed for going on a year now hasn't been easy. The jobs I had in the past were jobs I took because I didn't have any faith in myself to really be successful. I didn't see myself as a person of worth and value, someone who could succeed, so I took jobs that didn't challenge me, where I was treated as less-than, because I thought it was all I deserved. But I have an issue trying to relate this dream to my current circumstance. I do have goals--I'm going to school in order to become a therapist. Of course, that doesn't help me with income in the meantime.

Maybe the dream is just an acknowledgement of my continuing depth of excepting myself for who I am as I am--knowing that I am enough, as we say in the program. Maybe I have more confidence in myself than I realize. That's been a pretty common theme in my Recovery, actually. There have been many times where I've been the last to realize some character strength that I have. Everyone around me can see it, but I can't, because my brain is still trying to catch up to the new me I'm becoming.

Or it could always be that the dream is just a dream.

If I were to step back and look at it, my instincts tell me this: that the significant part of the dream is me being part of the 'winners' and feeling like I don't belong there. Three decades of feeling like one of the losers doesn't disappear overnight, and even with all the good things I do know about this new person I am and am becoming, there's still that holdover that I'm a worthless sack of shit. Thank God for Recovery, that I can trust now that that voice, the one that tells me I'm no good, is just my disease talking. It doesn't want me to feel good, because then the disease is losing and I'm winning. Maybe that's what the dream is for--so that I can look down at the red squishy ball in my hand and remember that the disease--as always--is full of shit.

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