Dreams and Drugs

I hope this dream decoding, in some fashion, helps families/parents/individuals out there who are dealing with drug abuse involving their children or a loved one. Not because the decoding offers any answers, but because I believe the dream offers this dreamer an opportunity to turn towards her own needs. When we forgo our own needs, we forgo the mirror we are hoping to teach those with an addiction-Self Care.  

I know the devastating effects rendered on a family, as I have experienced it in my own extended family, as well as seen the harsh results in my therapy practice. I have had friends and colleagues who have dealt with this in their families, some with good results and many unfortunately with devastating outcomes.  Throughout it all, I have seen people loose their own sense of self, while trying to assist those they love, at the detriment of their other children, their marriage, and/or themselves,

I am not making a statement on all recreational or ceremonial drugs. In the right context and with the right teachers/ceremonialist these have a place. Nor am I judging where people are led in the desire to reduce their pain, or subvert their painfully reality. Nor am I saying families don’t try their best with a difficult situation out of both love and fear of the end result where heroin and opioids are concerned. There is no criticism or judgment here. 

How/What does this topic of opioids/heroin have to do with a dream blog? Unless lucid dreaming (and even then), escape into the dream world can be as unpredictable as escape into a world suppressed or enhanced with opioids and heroin. Only you wake up from one, and sometimes you are not that lucky with the other.

In a world that deals with so many tragedies and temptations; a world that has so many conflicting agendas and definitions; and a world where the boundaries of the real and unreal have become so entangled, there are a couple of awkward similarities and any number of profound dissimilarities between dreams and the abuse of drugs. 

Qualifiers. Both take us outside our known ‘real’ day to day. Both set up emotional reactions or enhance emotional reactions. Both tempt us with alternative possibilities. Both can take us to ‘otherworldly’ dimensions. But that is where the similarities end, and that is where the detriment of the dissimilarities begins.

The dreamtime might appear scary or out of control—like we are being tempted or presented with a conflict to our reality—but it does not endanger us. As much as we might find pleasure in dreaming and assessing our dream state symbology, we are not addicted to dreams. We may awake with more awareness, not with less knowing of what “just happened.” 

In the dreamtime,…..“The dorsal lateral pre-frontal cortex becomes de-activated. This is the part of the brain responsible for decisions or volition; this provides alternatives from how we might maneuver the world in our waking state. This is also the rational part of the brain that gets de-activated, however there are other areas of the brain that deal with rationality, so we don’t lose all rational thinking when we dream.” In fact in the dream state, we fire the antennae of certain neurotransmitters, strengthening out connections with higher states of consciousness.

Opioids and heroin are the complete opposite. Although it is true people often experiment with drugs to achieve an alternative view of their reality; deal with their unexpressed pain; or use it in their need to escape, these drugs do affect one’s consciousness. Unlike dreams, drugs like heroin affect the neurotransmitters needing more and more of the drug to experience the same effect, and thus deteriorate our connections to higher states of consciousness.  This class of drugs affects the prefrontal cortex (executive function), temporal lobe, the cerebellum (coordination) and the pleasure centers of your brain, not to mention the physical side effects. So drugs ‘recode’ the brain, causing imbalances in neuronal and hormonal systems that are not easily reversed. This doesn’t occur within the dreamtime.

There is one more observation with this dream. This dreamer’s innate ‘knowing’ is trying to bring into her consciousness awareness something about her son, and her own conflicts around her own needs. Her need to nurture herself is a priority to her health. Let’s look at the dream.

The Dream:

I was walking down the street in an unfamiliar neighborhood and stopped in front of a house when I felt this was “the one.” It was fairly new construction with dirt for a yard – no grass or plantings yet.  I let myself in through the front door and went into the kitchen (the family that lived there was home … the mom and 3 kids were upstairs and the dad was in the garage). I wanted cinnamon rolls with white icing, so I opened a refrigerated can and they were magically ready to eat. I grabbed a plate and put a cinnamon roll on it and also helped myself to eggs and bacon that were already made and left out on the counter [in my waking life I don’t eat any of these things – I’m vegan and GF]. As I ate my plate of food, I walked around on the main floor and every time I walked past the front door there was a different group/flock of young children standing on the porch. I saw them through the sidelights. They stood like kids do at Halloween, but it wasn’t Halloween and they were not wearing costumes. There was something eerie about them … almost as if they weren’t of this world. They were very solemn and stood straight and still. I ignored them. Eventually the wife/mom came into the kitchen and saw me. She was startled and upset, though she remained polite. I was unperturbed and kept eating. She didn’t say anything to me, just followed me around as I roamed the main level eating my plate of food. Then the husband/dad showed up. He was angry that I was in their house uninvited. We made small talk but I could tell he was very angry, and I knew I had to leave. As I walked through the kitchen toward the garage, I asked them if this house was on San-Dell Way [in my waking life, my husband and I built a house on San-Dell Way and lived in it for 11 years; we sold it 14 years ago]. He said no, San-Dell Way was 2 blocks east. I looked east out the kitchen window and saw dirt hills and houses in various stages of completion and knew that San-Dell Way was east of where I stood.

I went out through the door that lead to the attached garage, and as I stood in the middle of the garage I turned back to find both the mom and dad standing in the door and all 3 young children gathered at their legs. I said, “Be careful with the drugs. When heroin comes into the picture, don’t mess around. Call me if you need help.” And I walked down the driveway and left.

[In my waking life I have 3 children, and my youngest child is a recovering heroin addict. It has been a very difficult journey for/with him….he used various drugs for 10 years, heroin the last 6 years. He’s had numerous relapses and been to rehab 5 times. Today, he is 11 months sober – the longest he’s ever made it. He is 27 years old.]

Dream decoding: as always if this doesn’t resonate with the dreamer please discard.

I was walking down the street in an unfamiliar neighborhood and stopped in front of a house when I felt this was “the one.” It was fairly new construction with dirt for a yard – no grass or plantings yet.

Houses are symbolic representations of a person’s sense of personal identity. In some dreams each room of the house could mean something different about the person or their state of affairs. There is a new sense of self developing (new construction), around emerging from a difficult period (dirt) and waiting for new growth to emerge (grass to grow in the yard). Dirt can also mean problems or issues that will still need to be dealt with prior to the growth occurring.

I let myself in through the front door and went into the kitchen (the family that lived there was home….the mom and 3 kids were upstairs and the dad was in the garage).

Doors and doorways can mean many things in a dream. Walking through the front door suggests that you feel ready to confront something, and possibly that the dream is trying to help you get “in front” of an upcoming issue. You walk into the kitchen, which is a place of nurturing and ‘feeding’ the self.

Your “inner family” (everyone in the dream represents an aspect your inner self), as well as what they represent in your outer world. You stated at the end of the dream that you have 3 children. I would ask you what each one of them represents within you?

Three is the number of change. They are upstairs, meaning these inner parts of yourself are trying to give you information from a ‘higher level of knowing’ or possibly some form of conscious recognition by bringing your awareness to another perspective. The dad in the garage represents the divine masculine part of you, the protector and disciplinarian within you who has had to ‘separate’ from nurturing yourself to address or develop a sense of your self as you deal with family issues. It could also imply that your husband has removed himself a bit from the issue at hand, as the garage can be a ‘hideout’ too.

I wanted cinnamon rolls with white icing, so I opened a refrigerated can and they were magically ready to eat. I grabbed a plate and put a cinnamon roll on it and also helped myself to eggs and bacon that were already made and left out on the counter [in my waking life I don’t eat any of these things – I’m vegan and GF].

Symbolically cinnamon is about stability and soothing or feelings of warmth. You wish this would magically appear in your life, as it does in the dream. It is also an aphrodisiac, a stimulus (albeit a safe one). Have you denied your own Aphrodite? Using this as a play on words, she brought love, passion, beauty and pleasure (not addiction), are you lacking these in your world? 

The white of the icing refers to ‘boundaries’ on the Wisdom Wheels, but icing can also imply covering something up because it is hard or too conflicting to look at. You put it on a plate, symbolizing you wish to stabilize or have a platform for these soothing feelings you wish to experience. You are vegan & GF in life, strict with yourself (again no judgment and a certainly a life choice) but spartan.

Eggs and bacon can be seen by many as comfort food, again your need to be comforted and fed in these times you find yourself. Possibly even a false assumption on your part that if you indulge in what you need, that somehow that is a self-fish act within the family picture or current dynamics surrounding your family. It is not.

As I ate my plate of food, I walked around on the main floor and every time I walked past the front door there was a different group/flock of young children standing on the porch. I saw them through the sidelights. They stood like kids do at Halloween, but it wasn’t Halloween and they were not wearing costumes. There was something eerie about them … almost as if they weren’t of this world. They were very solemn and stood straight and still. I ignored them.

As you try and find what nurtures you, ‘walking the main floor’, seeking common ground for yourself, you are drawn to the front door. What is in front of you are children who come and go in different groups or clusters, without costumes-raw in the fact of who they are, unmasked (unlike Halloween). I am going way out on a limb here and suggest that all those “eerie children” that you saw on the front porch not wearing costumes, are all the children in society, who are likewise impacted in the same or similar ways which you have experienced with your son. You are given a look into the “bigger picture” enhanced by the side lights and brought about by the dream state where we are outside time/space. In the light of awareness you know how deep and wide this addiction of our children runs in this world. And when drugged out, they certainly are not of this world. Said gently.

You ignore them, not because you do not care about their needs or worth, but because at some point we need to put attention to ourselves, otherwise the cycle is perpetuated (despite the love and pain we feel), with our inability to change their reality and as such likewise stay stuck in our own.

Eventually the wife/mom came into the kitchen and saw me. She was startled and upset, though she remained polite. I was unperturbed and kept eating. She didn’t say anything to me, just followed me around as I roamed the main level eating my plate of food. Then the husband/dad showed up. He was angry that I was in their house uninvited. We made small talk but I could tell he was very angry, and I knew I had to leave.

There is a conflict within you about this situation. On the one hand, the wife/mom (your divine feminine) startles you into realizing that although you have the capacity to want to love and nurture your son, you have ignored important self needs. On the other hand the divine masculine in you, the protector and disciplinarian (dad/husband) is angry with the situation; you didn’t invite this into your world.  Upset and angry, how have you dealt with these within yourself?

You decide to walk through the kitchen to go toward the garage. To nurture yourself by distancing temporarily from the emotions this continues to bring up for you. Not because you haven’t faced those emotions, or dealt with them as best you could, but because you need the distance to gain a new perspective. And you need to make your needs part of the equation.

As I walked through the kitchen toward the garage, I asked them if this house was on San-Dell Way [in my waking life, my husband and I built a house on San-Dell Way and lived in it for 11 years; we sold it 14 years ago]. He said no, San-Dell Way was 2 blocks east. I looked east out the kitchen window and saw dirt hills and houses in various stages of completion and knew that San-Dell Way was east of where I stood.

Interesting that you started in this dream in ‘new construction’ and you lived in that San Dell house for 11 years (exactly how long your son has had an addiction and you, and he, have lived with that pain). Again entering the new construction of this dream (hoping his new sobriety lasts) and “knowing this house was the one” you were to enter, shows further hope that he can move forward and by definition so can you.

In numerology the #11 can represent either a high vibration number, or its downside is represented by a ‘clenched hand’/difficulties. In the tarot it is the Lust card, strength, vital energy, creativity potential, something you may wish for yourself, and for renewal for him. And the #14 (move happening 14 years ago) represents the Art card, balance, inner change, alchemy, preparation for something new. Something you may desire for your family, especially your son as time moves forward.

He says, no that location/house is two blocks East.

East represents the new day, new hope, new beginnings. And 2 on the Wisdom Wheel represents how one reassesses how they need to honor themselves in any given situation as we walk forward in our truth. You still see dirt hills, not alot of growth “yet,” and other houses in various stages of construction, new beginnings. I would imagine everyone in your family is going through their own inner reconstruction process with the hopes that your son’s sobriety lasts.

I went out through the door that lead to the attached garage, and as I stood in the middle of the garage I turned back to find both the mom and dad standing in the door and all 3 young children gathered at their legs. I said, “Be careful with the drugs. When heroin comes into the picture, don’t mess around. Call me if you need help.” And I walked down the driveway and left.

Going out the backdoor shows you are still aware of the fragility of the issue at hand. The problems that you have been living with these past many years as your son struggles, are still palpable for you. You see the whole family standing there-representing your inner dream pantheon and your true current family. The children are clinging to the legs, they need stability and desire to move forward, though hesitant. But you offer a warning….that heroin is something everyone in the family needs help with to understand, cope and deal with, exactly like the influences that drug and your son’s addiction brought into your home. You tell them, and yourself, not to be afraid to call on help. Walking down the driveway represents an end to your journey and/or this dream segue. The information you imparted through its symbols is meant for yourself to act on as you awake.

Many prayers and blessings for your son and your family. Thank you for sharing this dream.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s