leaving my children in places and I can barely talk or stand up . I even have some weird sexual encounters with a guy I do not know and move from party to party struggling to find my way home . I begin to feel distressed and start saying to myself , this isn ’ t real Emma , this is not real , this is a dream . But it would not shake . I remember feeling guilty , shameful and telling myself ‘ you ’ ll have to go back today one now ’, all the while the feelings of distress and anxiety building and building . Usually , when this happens I can change the course of the dream but this was not happening , the party and the debauchery continued and I felt like I would never wake up from the nightmare . That ’ s what it was a nightmare . Not fun or exciting , scary and stressful . Just then my alarm sounds off , I open my eyes , I am disappointed and sick to the stomach that I have had a drink , my heart is pounding out of my chest . I start to become orientated and slowly realise I haven ’ t had a drink and today is day 15 of being sober but even knowing I didn ’ t drink , I feel like I should feel better but the negative , sad and stressed feelings just don ’ t leave . I have to get two children ready and attend a training course and I am already feeling tired and edgy from the dream. I take the children to nursery and log onto my computer but do not turn my camera on . I can see that my hair is a mess , my eyes are tired and I am not the same person whom they all experienced on day one of the training only the day before . I feel exhausted . I feel mentally challenged and far from my bubbly and interactive self . A slight shadow of myself if the truth is known . It ’ s now 5 pm and I am ready to sleep , I believe that today was lived in deficit all because of the emotions that occurred in my dream and my lack of time to re - centre myself . As a psychotherapist , I know only too well that these feelings we experience in our dreams are real . You only have to think back to a time yourself when you had an awful dream where you have lost someone and you wake up grief - stricken and barely able to shake the feeling . The point of my reflection is that every day is not going to be perfect . We are not able to live every day feeling fulfilled just because we have stopped drinking . Life happens ( I heard this at a meeting last week ). We will still feel shit , ugly , tired and challenged . We will still feel like shadows of ourselves for a day from time to time . Yet still being sober and not reaching for the bottle to mask the emotions whether real or simulated through the dream or other life experiences make for a better tomorrow and that ’ s what I / we can concentrate on healthily and wholeheartedly . Tonight there will be a candle , a bath some self - soothing , some gratitude that dreams are not always the reality and poetry . Lots of love Emma xxxx

Dear Diary ,

Have really upsetting / disturbing or stressful and when you wake up you feel awful like it ’ s really actually happened ? It can take the whole day to shake the feeling and sometimes a good night ’ s sleep is the only thing to soothe it . Let ' s go back to this morning , It is 2 : 30 AM and I have swapped my side of the bed , I do this from time to time much to the annoyance of my husband . I have a thing about having rules imposed on me that make me just want to break them . Picking a side of the bed for life is one of those things , I am not willing to accept nor subscribe to , I will continue to swap sides until I can no longer move . you ever had one of those dreams that are So yes 2 : 30 AM , I wake up much like I have done for the past 15 days since I quit drinking with the first few seconds my brain - body struggle to decide whether it has been drinking alcohol or not . And so do I . Once I realise I haven ’ t had a drink as if like magic my body shifts into feeling ok . The years of daily hangovers have clearly taken their toll and my mind doesn ’ t quite know how to catch up yet . As Bessel van der Kolk says , the body keeps the score and I believe this more than ever . That ’ s it now I am awake and despite checking my phone and utilising the toilet facilities there is no going back to sleep . I pop downstairs have a couple of cups of tea and think and curse about being awake . I thought not drinking would help me sleep but this is driving me crazy . Around 5 : 30 AM I begin to feel tired again . I know I have some time to take myself off to bed and fall asleep . Fast asleep . You know one of those really deep sleeps that always comes just before the fact you have to get up for work . Well one of them . It was during this sleep that my nightmare began . I , am a lucid dreamer you see . If you don ’ t know what a lucid dreamer is it is ‘ when you know that you ’ re dreaming while you ’ re asleep . And whilst in this sleep I can talk to myself and change the direction of my dream , for example , if I am being chased I can stop , will speak to myself and say ‘ this isn ’ t real , it ’ s a dream , turn around and then change the course of the dream . During some amazing lucid dreams I have known myself to explore the universe by deciding that I am able to fly , it ’ s fascinating stuff that doesn ’ t happen too often but is very special indeed for those of us who experience this . So I am having a lucid dream , I am in a nightclub , then a party , I am drinking with my usual hardcore drinking friends , they are taking drugs and the party is in full swing . I am wasted in the dream , falling over ,

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