Episode 13: Surviving Nightmares of Losing Your Sobriety



Kiki: What's up you guys? This is Kiki and Kaila, and this is the podcast called From Hell Wellness, where we discussed how we got sober through our life choices, good and bad.

Kaila: Well we accidentally got sober.

Kiki: We accidentally and presently got sober, and how it actually can be fun for you if you are deciding to get sober yourself. So today we are going to be discussing a little bit about dreams. And as people who are sober, it is sort of a trend and sort of something that is concurrent that happens with people - they get these recurring nightmares of being not sober one day. And it's pretty threatening in my opinion.

Kaila: It's scary when it happens because you are like. I have lost my sobriety once, did I talked about this already?

Kiki: No.

Kaila: Okay so I am 6 years sober because I think after 2 years or something of sobriety I lost my sobriety. But it was always because I had this one thing in my mind and I still have one very thing in my mind. And I forgot what it's called when you have this one other thing, but my one thing was like well I am going to have to get my teeth bold one day and I am going to have to do Vicodin.

I am going to have to take Vicodin because it's going to be painful, I am not going to not take it. So one day I went to the Chinese doctor and I had this really bad tooth, just one tooth that people have tried to fix for years. Root canal blah-blah-blah and all of these things and it keeps like needing it. So I'm just like take that fucker out. And I took it out and it is the greatest thing ever because I never have to do anything to it again, I just have a hole in my mouth but it's not a big deal.

But anyway so I went to the Chinese doctor and he pulled out the tooth, and he said take a Tylenol now, which I guess should be enough. But I started driving home and it start hurting a little bit, and I was like this is not going to be okay. There was like one time I got my teeth whitened by the dentist and it hurt so bad, it was very strange. It hurt so bad I was like not able to make it through the night.

Kiki: So like a sensitivity?

Kaila: Yes, like sensitivity so I didn't know what was going to happen with the tooth at night, maybe it would get more and more painful. So I went to Urgent Care and then I showed the doctor - I was like look the doctor pull this thing out and didn't give me any painkiller. And then the urgent care doctor was like oh my God how did he do that, and he gave me 25 it was so unnecessary - so of course I did it all.

But that was a definite loss of sobriety because I didn't check, I didn't call anyone and say hey you know I got my tooth pulled. I was like obviously I need Vicodin, like I didn't check with the doctor or I didn't call you or anyone. And then I proceed to do all of the Vicodin, which is definitely not necessary. And I remember coming off that Vicodin was so painful.

I've taken a lot of Vicodin throughout the years, but you know I have also had whatever, like other things that take the pain of coming down away, like I will take an Ambien and sleep because it was coming down. But I spoke to someone and I actually didn't take all of the Vicodin, because I spoke to somebody and they were like you need to flush those out in the toilet.

And I was like I could just give them to a friend because he would like them, and why waste them in the toilet. But it's just like no go and flush them now. So I did very sadly because someone could have used them. And that night was fine because when you take a bunch of Vicodin you are sleepy, but the next at night I can't even describe to you. It was like there were pains in my entire body, like little pen prickly sharp pains - not like knives but like.

Kiki: Like if you can't fall asleep?

Kaila: Yes, but it was worse than that in a way - yes it was something like that, but throughout my entire body like through my fingers to my toes. And there was nothing I could take at that point I just had to power through it.

Kiki: Had that ever happened before?

Kaila: No, because I always have the Ambien or something to sleep through any kind of coming down.

Kiki: Wow, I didn't realize you could come down from a Vicodin.

Kaila: It's like a lot of people who have Vicodin addiction, they have a really hard time coming off it. I mean this is so horrible to say, but I still have this thing where like "one day I might get cancer and then I will have to take a morphine". That's how crazy and morbid the addiction is. And I'm like [6:21] because I will have to take morphine or some kind of pain addiction.

Kiki: So you are looking forward to it?

Kaila: Yes, like I will have to take it. And another thing, this is totally an addict thing. But I've had a couple of cosmetic surgery throughout the years, and I love getting that needle in - they put in like the IVM, and when the water goes in, or when the liquid goes in it's like cold but it feels so good. And then I try to stay up, you know how they would say count back, and you know you can only count to three, but I always try to stand because it feels really good. So I am like only one of the few people who does not like [7:12].

Kiki: That's funny, I guess I haven't had, that is a big fear. It's weird for me and this might be dramatic, but I think I got a little PTSD from alcohol, because there is so many moments where I felt a lot of regrets from what I did. And I think maybe when you are taking - I could be wrong but maybe drugs might not be as.

Kaila: You don't really forget anything.

Kiki: Yes, you don't forget anything, but like alcohol, alcohol fucked up.

Kaila: Yes, because people just straight-up don't remember what the hell, like you literally could have murdered someone and didn't know.

Kiki: I could, and you know what it's real, it is very real it happens. And alcohol is actually the top five most addictive substances. It's actually increasing in women in middle-aged above 50, and it's increased by 20% they just released a study of people dying.

Kaila: Well I feel like it's such a big addiction because it's acceptable in society.

Kiki: It's acceptable it's prevalent and there is no - it's almost acceptable to laugh about hangovers and that becomes. It's a self-propagating situation where you are like okay it's okay so we will just keep doing it.

Kaila: And again I think it is fine if you don't have a problem, like oh we could have like a hangover on New Year's.

Kiki: 100%, but for people who have alcohol problems, it is so difficult to get out, there is no reason to get out.

Kaila: It's socially awkward to get out.

Kiki: Yes, and it's fucking more difficult to be sober I think, if you are trying to have a social life if you had drink before, because I can barely stand social gatherings. But I think one of the things from it was that for me, like I was getting so fucking drunk and so getting into such gnarly situations and losing my mind essentially, like losing my perception of reality. That when I did get sober it created this real like PTSD reaction, so if I smell alcohol I freaked out.

And my dreams basically, like my relapse dreams are extremely negative and terrifying and horrifying. I noticed that when I got sober during the first 6 months of sobriety, all of a sudden my dreams got so fucking real. They got so intense and terrifying. And I researched later that it's because when you are drinking, your body like basically the alcohol debilitates your body and your thinking and your thought process.

So you have several stages of sleep and you'll get trapped in the deep sleep mode, the deep sleep mode is basically stage 3, and your body paralyzed itself and you have no actual brain cognition, and it's just like turn off and you are like regaining your energy. And with REM sleep it's goes into cycles while you are sleeping, but REM is when you are dreaming.

So what happens is you reduce the amount of REM sleep while you are drunk, so you are not getting as many dreams. And it probably happens with a lot of donors too. Anything that debilitates your body it turns it off so it's just like dead sleep. You are literally dead asleep. But what happened was after you get sober your brain it turns on and all of the REM sleep comes back, and then all of your dreams come vividly and you live a lifetime of dreams.

And I for the life of me could not, it was so fuck up - between the first 6 months I couldn't discern what was real, I was having dreams. And I probably should have gone and see the psychologist, but I was like did that really happened or no that happen in a dream. It was fucking with me I was going a little bit psycho. There was a couple of times when I was like that didn't happen right - or oh no you didn't remember that. I am like holy shit that didn't really happen. But also like the type of dreams were all nightmares, like horrifying.

Kaila: I've never had a real nightmare. Maybe I have but always my dreams are one step removed. So it's always like I am watching me in a movie. So even if something happens really bad it's like, you know you get into it like a movie still but it's not.

Kiki: Like a third person?

Kaila: Yes, but it's not deeply traumatizing.

Kiki: That's very interesting that's cool actually. I don't know why but I think also like when - I think I am a very dark person let's be honest, like I am a pretty smiley and happy person, but I think I am really dark. So like getting sober it really brought out the darkness in me. So that's why I can't watch really scary movies because I am like a very like I can't. It's not that I get scared but I am a very dark minded person, so I just have to surround myself with happy things.

Another cool thing, do you know like going off like the wasted track. I remember when I was in San Francisco working out there for the Korean company at an accelerator. That was really stressful because I was removed from all of my friends and then - or I was removed from all of my friends [12:53].

Kaila: Was that when you were sober?

Kiki: No. I was not sober and when I finally got back to America, which everyone spoke English, like I was trying to make friends and then you are also trying to make deals and trying to pitch to different VC's and stuff. So it was a whole new environment which was a lot of stress. So I drink every single day without question and there was no one to stop me. One of the craziest things was I could track my sleep with my Fitbit because you are like so fucked up. So I can see the stages of sleep wake.

Kaila: Oh really, does it do that?

Kiki: Yes, it does a little bit it can sense it. And I remember when I drink heavy and I would look at my Fitbit readings and it was just Flat line. It was the craziest thing; I am like how to fuck did I not move.

Kaila: Did you just sleep, because I never sleep through the night. Do you sleep through the night now?

Kiki: I actually do much better than when I was drinking, because when I was drinking I didn't wake up for a while. Or I would just pass out and then wake up and feel like I am really hungover at 6 a.m. 6 a.m. was my jam. 6 a.m. was like okay it's time to go and fucking throw up. But yes honestly like - did you find any difference after you got sober with your dreams?

Kaila: I don't remember the difference of before and after. But I remember one year of my sobriety I just didn't dream, and then I'd be like I just don't dream. So that was just one year, and then there was another year and this is still how is today, like I have really fucking boring dreams a lot of the time, they are just me sitting at the office working.

Yesterday I had a stressful dream. I was going to Peru on a media trip that day, and I was looking for my ticket and I didn't know what airline we were on and I wake up all sweaty and stuff. But it's weird that the stress dreams that we have change throughout the years, because for the longest time, maybe just a couple of years ago they were - oh my God I have 3 credits left to go at UCLA, but like there is no time to get them I have to sign up for a whole new quarter, and they would be so stressful.

Kiki: I don't know what's wrong me, but I guess the dreams today that stress me out.

Kaila: Or the being on stage and not prepared dreams.

Kiki: Yes, that's the ones that I get. I am riddled with that lately as with the ones where you go on stage and play for a band you don't know and you don't know any of the songs. Or for some reason performing in musical theater. Like I used to be in musical theater, and I still have that like I am about to go on and they don't know where your line is.

Kaila: But I used to do musical theater. This thing that used to happen when we used to do red carpet event. Remember the reporters or the interviewers would always be like - because we are a band, they would be like sing something and we would be like what the fuck - like you don't ask No Doubt to come together and just randomly sing something. I guess you would do that to like NSYNC or something.

Kiki: Maybe they thought we were a girl band like Destiny's Child.

Kaila: Yes, maybe they thought we were like Destiny's Child, but we are like a rock band we don't do that, but if you do musical theater you could kind of do that right.

Kiki: I wouldn't want to but if I'm forced I would be like.

Kaila: Even if you are a really good singer, it's just fucking lame to sing out acapella it's not cool.

Kiki: Yes, like when does it ever been success.

Kaila: And if you are like walking by you are like who are these idiots. Even if they are really good it's just like why are you randomly staying.

Kiki: Unless you're specifically in Barbershop.

Kaila: Yes, but you would be like why is it a barbershop contest here.

Kiki: And basically no one wins ever because it's not a good idea, but they would always ask us - why.

Kaila: Always, and then we would like just look so awkward because it would be like no. I do just every once in a while. Just every once in a while but it's rare, I will have a sobriety losing sobriety dream - where I'll just be doing coke and then later I will be like why did I do that, like what the fuck. And then now I am going to have to tell everyone like I am one day sober. It's going to be so embarrassing should I just lie about it. But yes that's what happens in the dream.

Kiki: And it's always like it's an accident.

Kaila: Yes, it's always like why did that happen.

Kiki: Yes, and like I wasn't drinking that. There is never really a conscious thought into it, but all of a sudden you were just there in that space again.

Kaila: Yes, usually an aftermath like why did that happen?

Kiki: And then there's always this sensation for me where it's like fuck it - is that terrible. I'm like well shit happen and then I am like fuck it.

Kaila: And it's like you have to tell people.

Kiki: But there is one that I will never forget. I had basically drink somehow; someone slip that shit in my whatever.

Kaila: That doesn't count.

Kiki: Yes, I am like fuck it and then I started drinking crazy and crazier. And then a friend from high school that used to be in my band was there. This is so bad, this is like really bad but he was there and we were in a taxi in New York, and we were like driving around and then all of a sudden he got out, and then like the car ran him over, and then I had death on my hand because I drink or something, so there's always. My dreams are X-rated they are not sexy at all they are terrifying.

Kaila: People have way crazier dreams than that, people have crazy dreams.

Kiki: Okay good because sometimes I wake up and I'm like this is not right, but most of the dreams fortunately for me is that they are a friendly reminder to not drink.

Kaila: Usually that's what they are, they are like oh shit that would be bad if I did that.

Kiki: Exactly, and for those people who are having dreams that are like - oh this is actually a good thing. Sometimes [19:44] while people will have the dream and they feel good about it. And that's sort of like the possibility that whenever you used to drink or do drugs or whatever that it gave you some type of positive confirmation to those people, so it makes them feel like they are doing something right. So there's nothing wrong with having those dreams either at the same time. The bad ones are threatening, but in a good way because then you wake up reminding yourself that I don't want to go to that place.

Kaila: Yes, and I am always curious like what the hell dreams mean, because if they are your thinking, I am not thinking these weird things while I am awake. Why are there all of these weird crazy things happening.

Kiki: It's actually funny that you say that because there is a whole world of sleep analysis that you can go into. There is something called Dream Therapy, which is sort of like a Wellness treatment if you want think of it like that. And what they do is they take several different ways to analyse your dreams, and it can make you feel more comfortable and give you self-confidence and feel overall better.

So one of the processes they do like a conscious and subconscious balancing. So they determine what the balance is between your conscious and subconscious mentality. They will even go in and examine like your insights and into your mood, like what's your mood like why is your mood - maybe if you are having negative dreams why is your mood negative, or if you are having conflict dreams why are you having conflicts in your real life.

And exploring symbolism is always interesting because everybody is searching for meaning in the things that we do. So that's another way that they go, it can even spark creativity. I have been dreaming sometimes and like I will write a full song in my dream, and then I woke up. One time I woke up and I played the song from my dream on the piano and it was fucking crazy. Martin was like what the fuck are you doing, but it was like one time only one because I always forget in the morning - but I was like I have to remember it. It was really creepy and weird but like it was definitely a weird [21:58]. I dream Journaling as we mentioned also in our 30-day travel challenge book.

Kaila: Well that's the best thing to do because once you wake up you've got, not only your crazy thoughts in your head [22:11] like the craziest thoughts of stress happen in the middle of the night and I will wake up and be like why do I even care about that. But the same with dreams, I think that's where you can figure things out when you start writing about it.

I have been having a lot of coincidences in my life lately. So there's like I guess a spiritual teacher that I had, who's like look out for the coincidences in your life, just like a year ago and I was like I can't see none - for a while and I was paying attention, and she was like you are going to start to see things in threes and I was like I don't.

But anyway maybe I just wasn't ready at the time, because lately I have been just bumping into - just weird coincidences. We took this vision board workshop that we are going to talk about more later, and when I first got invited to this Workshop I was like this is great I would like to do a vision board for the start of the year. And I was like I actually have another commitment on Saturday, I don't feel like moving it so I guess I can't go.

But then I was getting my hair done and all crazy. I rented a car to just put in some work quarters, and I bump into Anna the facilitator just on the street, and she was like oh yes you don't RSVP yet, and I was like oh shit this thing is like a coincidence that I should. And then I got there and my friend Keith, who I have already bumped into at the grocery store while I was getting [23:48].

And you know I don't bump into people I am out and about. I am at coffee shops and grocery stores; I am not bumping into people all of the time it's not an everyday occurrence. So it is pretty coincidental that I bumped into him at a grocery store and then at this thing. And then a third coincidence, and I don't know what the hell this means but I have run out of stuff to watch on Netflix.

Being someone who doesn't go out at night I have plenty of time to catch up on my Netflix. So I started watching Very Cavallari. The show by Kristin Cavallari from the hills or whatever, and I am not particularly a huge fan of her. I am obviously aware of her because I watch MTV - and I didn't really watch Laguna Hills but I guess I watch the Hills here and there. So it was pretty random for me to be watching her show because I am not a big fan.

But I literally watched that show, I started watching it, and then 2 days later we were at KTLA filming our best sober destination segment. She was the person on right after us - now that's a coincidence right and I don't know what the meaning of it is, but I will say that her husband is fucking hot. You know what the meaning I got out of it I forgot, I actually did get a meaning out of this story.

Okay I do like her, like after watching the show I am like she's like a boss bitch. But I do think like damn this bitch has had everything handed to her. She literally was just in school. MTV Combs cast her and she is a celebrity overnight. And so I am like paying attention to coincidences now, so I bought her book or whatever, that she calls Valentin Hill, I started reading just the beginning of it. I love to read by the way, but I was trying to figure out what coincidence is here. So how she met her husband her super husband. His name is Jay Cutler.

Kiki: That's a hot name.

Kaila: Yes, right it sounds like a hot guy name. Anyway he's like a Hall of Famer or a football player, but he is not bulky he's tall and he looks really good. And how they met, he asked her out like there's publicist, he saw her on TV and ask her out basically. So I am like is that not being handed shit you know, but what I've got out of this is there are - look I haven't had the most difficult life in the world, like I have a good family, my life could have been a lot worse but I always fucking got in my way and like sabotage things.

So maybe there are some people, because I know lots of things were handed to me, but I sabotage the shit out of many things that came into my life. Maybe we are all handed things, but maybe some people accept them. Because I think before I got sober my self-esteem was really poor. And when your self-esteem is poor, if a great guy comes you are like fuck that I am not attracted to him this great guy. Or that great guy might never even be attracted to you because your self-esteem is low. So I don't know if this is the meaning, but that's what I have gotten from it so far. Because there's one way I can just be like [27:50] and that would be the end of the story.

Kiki: I think that's an excellent way to look at the situation, and realize that you do take advantage of opportunities when they come and it's good to have that realization too. I think that's my inner turmoil as well, like things that are and I don't know maybe I haven't watched enough of the show, but I just like the antithesis of the person that I would want to be friends with, that girl.

Kaila: She is nicer than because she was a bitch, I mean she was known for being the bitch on the Hills and whatever right.

Kiki: But even if she was nice or not I think I would judge. It's so fucked up it's not right but I would judge her that's just me.

Kaila: But maybe you were handed those things too, but we were too drunk or high to attract those things first of all, because a guy like that is not looking for a coke addict obviously.

Kiki: Right, and we have a future episode coming up on self-esteem, so we will definitely [29:09]. That's some good stuff I definitely want to continue that conversation because it's really, really good - but honestly a hot guy we should show a picture as well.

Kaila: Okay, but he's not even like so gorgeous.

Kiki: What's his name again?

Kaila: Jay Cutler. It's kind of his personality on the show, he just doesn't give a fuck he's just like chilled all day long, because he's a retired football player. Obviously he is also attracted because he's a millionaire footballer.

Kiki: NFL or football?

Kaila: I don't know the difference between any of that stuff. I think he is a NFL Hall of Fame or something. But all he does all day, because he's retired, is he farms on his farm and he watches deer cams, which is all it is, just deer’s walking in front of a camera.

Kiki: But that's kind of endearing, I mean you don't want a guy that's out and about - he's like you know I am enjoying the deer, it's so funny. [30:28] he's definitely like - oh no he is cute there.

Kaila: He's a good-looking guy actually, but here is him on the field.

Kiki: I like this photo of him he's cute.

Kaila: Okay I am going to get into something, which is like I don't think Gwyneth Paltrow is that beautiful. She is an attractive woman, she's definitely not ugly, but she's just like Kristin Cavallari like everything handed to her, because do you know why here is another thing. We have Asian parents which are very critical and they don't mean it they're trying to do their form of building you up, but they are not building you up they're just tearing you down. They don't know that that's not their intention they do love us very much. But like Kristin Cavallari, she was like my mom is my biggest cheerleader and my best friend. She loves everything I do and she thinks everything I do is great. No Asian has had that experience.

Kiki: No Asian has ever had that. Unless they are like super Asian-American and like they're a 3rd generation, like it does not exist. But I think in a weird way like I have that inner turmoil also. I have a good relationship with my mom now, but growing up in Asian it's hard it so hard because you have standards, but I think so much better to grow up the way that we did. It is fucked up a little bit but if you have someone telling you. I dated this guy oh my God he is a fucking nightmare. He grew up in a family like that, where he was told that he was the greatest thing. His parents were super rich and he got everything handed to him, and he was useless.

Kaila: But she runs the Empire. Or maybe is it bad for guys but okay for women, because woman I think needs more building up because we have more to overcome.

Kiki: That's true, that's curious I wonder about that.

Kaila: Yes, maybe it's not good for males.

Kiki: I wonder what that's like. I wonder like what really successful women in business, like what their backstory is and like their relationships with their moms. That would be an interesting study out there. If you have one, please send it in the comments.

Kaila: And to continue on this story, I will let you know if more coincidences are [33:06] from these coincidences.

Kiki: Well that was an amazing episode I had a lot of fun. And if you guys had a lot of fun, don't forget to give us a rating, describe how you felt and what you thought of the episode. Hopefully give us some 5-star ratings, hopefully but no pressure. We appreciate you guys are listening. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to send us an email at kiki@fromhelltowellness.com. Or leave a comment below and we will catch you next week. By the way just in case you didn't know, we drop podcast episodes every Thursday so tune in. Just a friendly reminder, every Thursday tune in on your ride to work Thursday mornings, and we will catch you next time, bye.


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