Marijuana Addiction vs. the World of Precision circa 1981
This dream pertains to my life getting out of control through marijuana addiction and alcohol. Marijuana is a great reliever of stress and anxiety, however, I used it daily with the intent of getting wasted, really stoned. My addiction to marijuana interfered with my ability to function in life. Like alcohol, some people can handle it, and there are those who cannot. I am one who cannot have any, because I always want more – just one more!
Dream: I am in this very high precision hi-tech world – no errors are made. I am riding on something like a “Segway” but instead of rolling it flies. I am constructing some complex high-rise structure – cables fire from guns which propel the cables without any slack – a perfect vector flies out and lands perfectly into place where it needs to be. Everything is precision.
I land on a lower level deck for instructions or something – and before taking off again, I take a hit off a joint. I had not used marijuana before in the dream, but because it was there, I did – out of habit, but it was unintentionally to get high? Or maybe the effects were completely unknown. There was a large ashtray with a joint in it by the edge of the entry way to the lower level. It was just there and I just took the hit – without any anticipation or expectation. (Lacking clarity on why I took the hit in the dream.)
The next thing I knew was that the “Segway” flying machine is going all over the place and I plummeted into a pool of water below. I end up at the bottom of this large pool of water with a sandy basin – probably 50 to 100 feet deep. It was a bit dark, but I could see the sunlight coming from the surface. I am not panicking – I notice I can breathe under water, but I am aware my capacity to do so is limited. I could see myself from above standing next to the wreckage of the flying “Segway”.
In the distance, 100 to 150 feet, I can see light coming from a doorway on the bottom of this pool – stone stairs lead up to a curved stone door – like the entrance to an old church – but there is no structure behind it – just the doorway with light coming from inside. I walk over to this doorway.
I enter into the door and there is another whole world in there. It has a separate sky and I have to cross a little tidal pool to an island. I walk over to the island and there are these small people or children – they smell really bad – and I notice they are covered with ‘mud’ – and I start to gag. They are clothed in little muddy loin cloth rags and have little spears – like primitive islanders on New Guinea or such places. Then I realize that I have to hug them (this was when I discovered the mud was not mud) and the stench is so bad that I start gagging very badly – I woke up gagging – and I was physically about to vomit when I awoke. I could actually smell the mixture of vomit and ‘shit’ which caused me to wake up.
Psychoanalytic Dream Interpretation: – I had this dream in the early 1980’s fairly soon after becoming sober….. Please note that this dream occurred over 30 years ago and that the views of the dreamer have changed substantially over that period. At the time I was living in a world of extremely powerful and heavily fortified defense mechanisms to keep the outside world – out.
So, I will apologize up front to AA members that may take offense to my past feelings of superiority, but they were coming from an inferior place. Since AA is a honest program and to more accurately explain the powerful subconscious reaction to having to ‘hug’ other AA members, I felt it was necessary to expose exactly where I was coming from at the time. “Some are sicker than others” ! But, if there is the “capacity to be honest”, then we have a chance. And, yes, if you have read the other dreams we are dealing with on this site, “grave emotional and mental disorders” !
I went to Alcoholics Anonymous in 1980 – Nov 1st – I had just received my MBA the year before and I thought of the world as something that could be controlled and managed to perfection using technology. The big car manufacturers were then using robotics to assemble cars, and it looked like everything was going to be made better by the use of advanced technology, including man.
Man could maximize his own potential by using the proper mixture of chemicals to achieve his goals – it seemed to make sense – I did not realize at first that there was a downside. Side effects? I thought of everything as compartmentalized, that drugs and chemicals would only effect areas you wanted them to. The advanced technological society or world is my own misconception that things could be made to be perfect. And I didn’t think that drugs could lead to one’s downfall at first – that if the right mixture of uppers and downers could be formulated – people could perform at their peak.
The not knowing how or why I took the hit –represents crossing that addictive line. I did not start out with the intention of ever losing control. I fact, I thought I was going to have better control. I could finally relax after years of intense anxiety and then perform when I needed to (speed). I had to use marijuana everyday to relax – to relieve the intense anxiety I was constantly feeling. And, by using, I mean getting wasted.
Lacking the clarity of why I took the hit in the dream would be a marijuana addiction symptom – I no longer needed a reason to take a hit, it was just something I did everyday.
With Marijuana I was incapable of operating in ‘The World of Precision’.
It took me a while to realize that drugs were going to take me down. That eventually, they would not work in the same way – especially when mixed in different quantities with other chemicals, and that youth had played a part in my resilience. What went in my late teens and early twenties was taking its toll in my late twenties after ten years of heavy use.
Taking the hit that causes me to lose control – shatters my illusion in the perfection of high technology and my own attempt at pharmaceutical grade perfection puts me under the water – at the bottom of the sea. But I don’t panic because I realize there is a way to breathe still in this somewhat precarious position without the use of the chemicals I had been using.
I walk over to the door with the light coming out of it – which represents Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) where I have a new chance on life – there is another sky down there – a new world that offers new hope. However, there is one major obstacle. I have to deal with the people in AA – dealing with people without the use of drugs and alcohol as a social lubricant was going to be difficult. The people seemed to have been rather disreputable in their pasts: they stole, cheated, some had killed by accident – others by choice, many had been to jail – a rather unsavory lot – which I felt I was better than. Some adults in the groups couldn’t even read – many had only high school educations or less. I went to a high school where 97% of the graduates went to college, plus I had gone to graduate school. This was not my ‘prefect world’, I had landed in the ‘real world’.
In the early 1980’s hugging was big in AA, especially in California. Now, I had to hug what I considered this rift-raft of society, which is the dream meaning of the filthy little natives on the island. How was I to hug beings so repulsive? However, this repulsion can be flipped around – to me. Perhaps, I am afraid of exposing my own base traits and fears – that if people got close to me or I allowed them to – they would see the shit and vomit which covered me – my weaknesses and fears. I, who worked so hard to conceal all of these things, would be exposed. The upside of the latter scenario is that other people would have to do the gagging.
Another observation is that the doorway with the light coming through has no structure around it – and AA really has no structure – we meet in unaffiliated churches, schools, halls, parks, beaches, people’s houses, jails and institutions – anywhere two people or more can get together. There is no authority, no structure – just people who come together to help one another recover from the illusion that drugs and alcohol can actually make life better. Or, should that be delusion? Perhaps, it is an illusion when you are sober – because you realize that the hopes and fantasies gained through alcohol and marijuana addiction are false (thus, you are illuminated by the light coming from the entrance to the doorway), and a delusion when you are using drugs and alcohol because you believe the lies or false nature of these substances are true. I can remember having all of these grandiose plans and schemes when I would be stoned out of my mind, and the next day I couldn’t do or remember much, ergo, nothing ever really was accomplished. Then, the next evening I would get stoned again and make new plans. Finally, I noticed the circuitous pattern.
9/6/13 – About 30 years later – maybe the real crux of the matter – thinking about it a bit more – gagging and vomiting is a bit over reactionary for having to associate with people we may not particularly care to meet with. But now I have associated the scene with something that would make me vomit. The people on the island were all men and I am a man. The thought of having to hug other men or even getting close to them and let them know what I am really thinking was frightening. I have never really been able to work with a sponsor – in over 30 years – I would sometimes fake it for a bit – but it just never really clicked. And this had a lot or everything to do with my relationship to my own father.
My father had some serious mental issues and I could never really trust him – and never really communicated with him after the age of 12. When I was 12, I picked up the phone to call somebody, but I heard voices – it was my father talking with a little girl from my class that I did not particularly get along with. Then, I could tell he was faking his voice to sound like he was younger and he was telling her that it was ‘me’. Saying things like “how cute he thought she was” (mind you, he was in his late 30’s early 40’s). I did hear her say she knew it wasn’t me – “thank god”. I suppose I was in shock – I ran upstairs and told my mother what was going on – she ran downstairs and what was said I’ll never know – nothing about it was ever mentioned again – no answers, no apology – just silence. You can’t imagine the humiliation I felt going to school the next day (I probably felt like vomiting) – the girl was with the “in crowd” and I wasn’t – “I wonder why?” At 12, having to realize your own father would betray you – this was the person who was supposed to lead you through life – show you ‘the way’. And I had no one to talk to about it – so I grew up rather alienated – and believe me this was not the only incident or issue, but definitely one of the most damaging psychologically, even more so that the unwarranted slaps or beatings. Come to think of it, most of the violence occurred at times when I showed myself to be emotionally vulnerable. So, having to get close and hug or trust such creatures can be a little unnerving.
I realized this quite some time ago, but had not seen this dream for a couple of decades. I had never intended to publish this material when I originally wrote it – I wrote it originally so that I wouldn’t constantly forget the material we seemed to cover over and over again in group therapy. Everyone would always get to the group session and no one seemed to remember what we talked about the previous week – especially anything anyone else thought was important. If they got hot and bothered they generally remembered the topic – at least from their perspective.
For resolution see dream – “Family Alcoholism – Healing Father-Son Relationship Posthumously” which was dreamt 30 some years later.