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He has 23 years clean and sober from drug addiction, and still, at times, experiences using dreams with crack-cocaine.


A dream? A nightmare?

At twenty-three years clean, sober, in recovery (from Addiction); whatever tickles your bias…I still – in my sleep, use drugs. I have and still experience using dreams. The last one (just a few days ago) while nestled inert, eyes sealed, subconscious stirring, percolating, my past distress paints a dream but shaped in a different story that comes to me from me in my sleep.

My recollection at best looks like this: I’m running with strangers, I don’t trust them, they don’t trust me, yet we have one mission in common, get MORE Crack Cocaine! The forces feel the same; anxiety, stress, worry, the chase, the hunger, and the wild picture my mind’s eye designs, and the fleeting reality that feels like a life sentence. Insomuch I’m pelted with shame, guilt, “because, I had twenty-three years,” and now it’s gone. The thoughts and feelings I express out loud to the *guest stars* that I unknowingly cast for this dream/nightmare: In anguish, I say out loud, “I hope this is a bad dream!” subsequently, I say to myself, “make this be over!”

My body is resting while my dungeon of a mind is a sad story, and my heart feels as though it is on the receiving end. The nightmare continues, and I think, “maybe this is not a dream.” Finally, after what seemed to be a long run, I wake up, come to, arriving in my comfy bed to the safe and familiar walls of our bedroom, with my wife cackling about from the living room downstairs.

I’m elated; It was just a dream, a nightmare, a dive into the oceanic-sized murky but vast world that is my subconscious, to view and randomly be reminded of just how shaped I am by an addiction that hasn’t been active (chemically) for almost two and half decades.

To the dream-state: you remind me, though uncomfortable and jarring, of what was. Which renders me with the kind of Grace and Gratitude that suspends me beyond the past and above the disorder.

Today: I live awake in a dream, whereas before, I existed solely in a nightmare…

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Written by Billy Schreurs

Addiction Intervention and Recovery Coaches


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