I’ve always held worth in paying attention to my dreams, and I’m fascinated by reading (but not defining my life around) their interpretations. Last night, I woke at 4am (this happens every night) from a particularly disturbing dream: my left thumb had been severed.

First, I was with a former colleague/contractor of ours, who was telling me a payment had bounced. I lied and said it wasn’t from us, but was about to offer to lend her money in the meantime to get her through. Then I looked to my hand and saw I was wearing a silver ring on my thumb that had cut off the circulation and it had swollen to massive proportions. My thumb falls off and I am doing my best to keep my hand upright so the blood doesn’t pool everywhere. I fashion a make-shift reservoir from a small tupperware-something to catch any blood. I go to my doctor where they are about to try, to my relief, to close it up – just as I awaken.

“To dream about a thumb tells you that you must ‘get a grip’ on life. It represents strength and talent. To dream about not having thumbs symbolizes being poor and friendless.” – Dreamforth.com

Oh, how true. I have an abundance of friends, so – other than that. This journey towards sobriety is my way of trying to ‘get a grip’ on so many things. I believe business losses and personal relationships falling apart were the final push I needed to admitting that I need help, and that my alcohol addiction is more of a cause than I cared to admit. We run our own business, and have for nearly a decade. It involves many people, and over the last year or so I’ve done a horrible job of managing things. Our finances have turned chaotic. Our business is losing face. I’ve made many bad business decisions. It would appear that alcohol can’t steer a wheel, very well.

Since my husband and I run this business together, the lines between marriage and work blur so often. Every single day. And there’s a cycle between relationship challenges seeping into our daily work – and our work problems causing arguments and disappointments in our relationship. And repeat.

“Dismemberment of a thumb has something to do with negative feelings, like having difficulties and sorrowful instances in life. If the dream is about an injured thumb – like appearing swollen – let it serve as a warning of losing a project or a business that may elicit negative reaction from partners and people around. Generally, an injured thumb signifies dissatisfaction over things – that the expected result was not achieved since the ability was not maximized.” – AuntyFlo.com

This is the interpretation that bothers me the most. Especially because I have been trying so hard lately to have a an actual grip, instead of letting things just fall. 5 years ago, I was at the top of my game, just before my father passed away. Then – my grip just let go.

This is a post for another day – but in 2012, I had found ‘my calling’. I was helping people – everywhere – using my god-given-talent and a lot of creativity. I was a philanthropist and I was changing lives around the world, making dreams come true. I was being featured on The Today Show. World News with Diane Sawyer. MTV. Every local news channel. Publications from China to Brazil. Organizations in Russia wanted to fly me out to work with their patients. I was awarded a philanthropy award by a major national hockey team, on the ice, and named as one of Facebook’s “most-talked-about” in their 2012 year in review. The list goes on.

I simply stopped the project one day. After my Dad died I needed to take a break. So far the break has been 5 years and counting, to the disappointment of so very many people – notably my Mother, family, husband – and myself. 

I couldn’t keep giving.

Fast forward to today. An alcoholic writing a blog about struggling for sobriety, trying to hold my marriage together, and losing the respect of my friends, fans and colleagues…to the point of dreaming about losing  my grip on everything. I suppose it’s easy to lose your grip, when you’re trying to carry too much. What a steep slope its been. How did I get here?

One more regret to add to the pile.

“When a thumb is injured in your dream, you may  should expect business or personal losses; Isolation if don’t have thumbs – This is a very sad sign which will bring you hardship and loneliness in your life, but you can change everything, just put some efforts” – DreamsNet.com 

Tell me about it. The good thing about dreams is they aren’t necessarily prophecy. They can serve as warnings. They’re the little things you’ve subconsciously collected and placed in your dream box to deal with later – when you’re asleep and your soul is listening. I suppose this is just another awakening, like the Cole’s Notes of what is truly bothering me and worrying me. Maybe it’s about the root problems I am looking for answers to at the bottom of a bottle. It’s all so intertwined. I have no worries that I won’t have plenty to think about today.

Quick update on how I’m progressing with The Sinclair Method and my path to sobriety. Yesterday was Day 5. I was pretty stressed out most of the day (work, money and relationship stuff…per usual. Isn’t this everyone’s list of stressors?) I had 10-ish glasses of wine. Maybe 12 – over the course of 12 hours. This is actual progress, so I’ll take it. The meds are making me VERY dizzy – at two points yesterday I felt like I was about to pass out completely.

I spent some time meditating for the first time in a long time. I discovered a wonderful app called Headspace, which I used for my first session. I’m dedicated to meditating every day for at least 10 minutes. I came out of it feeling SO refreshed and my mind was clear. It wasn’t until immediately after getting up that I had to hold a door to keep myself upright for 2 minutes while I fought not totally passing out. I was seeing white everywhere. Everything was spinning. The highest pitch ringing in my ears was causing me to want to vomit. It passed eventually. Apparently a side-effect of the Naltrexone, as well as another med I am on for an unrelated medical condition. Double-whammy. I can’t wait for the side effects to go away.

I can’t wait for so much to go away.

And that’s that. I suppose my intention to gain a grip on things is awakening all the regrets I need to put to rest, and all my business worries I need to deal with head on. For a good night’s sleep. For a clear conscience. For a big step towards self-forgiveness, and sobriety.

Off to find my thumb.

Written by SJ VanDee

Recovery Blogger. Sober AF. Photographer. Storyteller. Writer.

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