Sunday, July 1, 2012

After the Addiction: Dreams and Nightmares

I think it's about time I got real on this blog. I've been posting a lot of intellectual, doctrine-focused posts because that's what my heart is after, and I'll continue to post on those things, but I started this blog as a resource for those dealing with addictions, and it's about time I got real and talked a bit more in detail about my personal stories (more to come).

Last night I had a nightmare. Not like the kind you have when you're a child and wake in the night to screaming - to yelling for your parents. No, mine scare me far more than that, but they keep me silent. Far worse than those back to school nightmares I so often have, the nightmares I really hate, the dreams I had last night, involve sex. My past, although dealt with, is so much a part of me today that I just can't seem to get away from it completely. My parents have told me that our temptations never go away all together, even with a changed heart, and we just have to learn to deal with it and say no to the sin. After all, it's not a sin to be tempted - just to act on temptation.

Originally, back when I was still dealing with my pornography addiction, my sexual dreams just peeked my interest and drew me back in. Ever since I made a solid commitment with my purity ring, those dreams have changed slightly. They're still sexual, but it's almost as if Satan knows he has lost and thus has opted to put aside tempting me in exchange for reminding me of my past and taunting me for my inability to control my dreams.

Let me stop you right here if you're having similar dreams. You have no control over your dreams. If you dream about sex, you are not sinning in your sleep, no matter how real it seems. Satan is attacking you, and you need to guard your mind. The best we can do is turn to God before and after we go to bed, making sure we always have His word on our minds when we fall asleep.

I had one of those terrible dreams last night. It always seems so real. In the dream, I'm myself thinking about sex and dreaming about sex, and I look at my purity ring and tell myself I've failed and then go on with thinking things I hate. Last night, in particular, felt more real than usual. I woke up feeling torn, like a failure. I had to remind myself that it was only a dream and that I cannot let Satan win. I must push on, as must you. 

Have you ever had any similar dreams? Are you sinning in your sleep? What steps do you take to clear your mind and keep from dwelling on something that is not real?

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