Relapse Dreams

Most of society thinks that relapse dreams are only for recovering alcoholics and drug addicts. They wouldn’t be wrong as it can be devastating for someone who is sober for years to dream about gulping down a couple of beers. Or a heroin user dreaming of shooting up when he’s only been clean for a couple of months. However, relapse dreams aren’t just about drugs and alcohol.

Relapse Dreams in Different Areas

We humans can be addicted to other things besides drugs or alcohol. When we add in bad behavior and lifestyles, it creates many different areas to dream about relapsing. Here are sixteen examples:

  1. Overeating
  2. Bulimia
  3. Junk food.
  4. Cigarettes
  5. Work
  6. Gambling
  7. Sex
  8. Shopping
  9. Anger
  10. Gossiping
  11. Bullying
  12. Accepting abusive behavior.
  13. Codependency
  14. Relationships
  15. An ex-lover/spouse.
  16. Dyeing hair.

Let’s review two of these topics:

An Ex

In actuality, we could also lump in codependency and relationships for an ex, too. There was a time when my business focused mainly on relationships, while dream interpretation was secondary. I attracted more women clients than men. Some of these women were in unhealthy relationships that they had trouble leaving. Hence issues with relationship addiction and codependency.

One of these clients, whom I will call Debra, left a bad relationship. Debra was having a difficult time with her he-dox, which is a clever play on the word for detox created by Greg Behrendt, who is the author of He’s Just Not That Into You. Debra called me in a panic because she had a dream that she went back to her ex and he kept her as a prisoner in his home.

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Dyeing Hair

Perhaps you’re wondering how could dreaming about using hair dye be considered a relapse dream. If you haven’t noticed, there’s a silver revolution where women have stopped dying their hair. Women are choosing to do this process cold turkey, highlights, or chopping their hair short. I am a part of this revolution prompted by a dream, which inspired me to write a blog about Dream Meanings for Hair.

Women who are embracing their hair are joining social media groups for support or as lifeline for those with critical family members and friends. This isn’t an easy process, especially for those of us who choose to take the cold turkey route. Quite a few posts are written on the topic of awakening in horror from a dream where they colored their hair! They are so grateful it was only a dream and all their hard work didn’t go down the drain.

Why Do We Have Relapse Dreams?

The reason for relapse dreams varies with each person. However, there are three major reasons that I’ll go over.

Desire to Go Back to Old Behavior

This is especially true for people who are quitting an addiction or behavior for the wrong reasons, such as pleasing another person. They don’t want to or are afraid of change. There might even be trauma that their subconscious has buried and they aren’t ready to deal with it. Those with bad behaviors who repeat their patterns can create illness, financial problems, and havoc in their relationships. While alcoholics and drug addicts that continue to carry on with their addiction will either hit a horrendous bottom or die.

How Much Their Recovery Means to Them

In a sense, a relapse dream can be a blessing. For someone who have abstained from addiction or released an old way of living, these dreams are demonstrating how this no longer works for them. Plus, how much better their lives are with this change. Hence the reason why their relapse dream was so horrifying to them. Their dream keeps them inspired to continue down the path…


Right before or on an anniversary can trigger a relapse dreams, whether they have been abstinent for a year or decades. Again, it’s reminding them how much better their lives are and to keep on this journey. And sometimes it’s a reminder when someone forgets their old way of living. On October 1st, 2021, I awoke from a dream about buying cigarettes at the store and for a few minutes felt baffled. Then I remembered that I quit smoking on that date back in 1990. I’ve been a nonsmoker for so many years that I rarely think of it; nevertheless, it is important to be grateful for living a smoke free life!

Final Thoughts

Whether, you had a relapse dream about your addiction or something else, please ponder on why you had it. Could it be one of the three reasons above? Or is it something else? Do you need the support of a group or therapist? Are you willing to do the work to continue a better way of living? Or do you want to continue your addiction or bad behavior, even if it brings you pain or death? Dreams are always a gift for they encourage you to grow…

If you need help with a dream’s meaning, please visit dream interpretation by email. For those interested in learning how to analyze their dreams, click dream interpretation coaching. And check out the products in my shop

Relapse Dreams


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