Tuesday, June 15

Are you a Dry Drunk?

The Dry Drunk-
A central term used often in AA. Pretty much a wholly AA term and an AA concept from what I know. And based upon logic that is just as circular as much of the rest of AA Dogma. Dry drunk referes to stopping drinking without a religious conversion and/ or without making other "spiritual not religious" changes in your life. I've heard it bandied about in AA...repeatedly.
It is just one unhelpful way of thinking on it though. I'm actually not going to rail about AA (much) but I do think that to a great extent we make our own reality by what we hold in our mind. Is that "being a dry drunk?" Do you have to have a religious conversion into a sect/cult to stop drinking without being labeled a "dry drunk?" Poppycock! I do declare!
Like Adam Savage on Mythbusters: "I reject your reality and substitute my own."
I'm not talking about magical thinking here just that there is real value in arguing and holding court in our heads for our abilities and attributes rather than our limitations and faults.
I don't repeatedly call myself an alcoholic any more for example. I found it to be counterproductive and dis-empowering and not good for my psyche. I don't want to be an alcoholic so I don't hit myself over the head with that label all the time and constantly reinforce and reaffirm that I am one. That is not denial. It is realism. That is logic. And it works.
I think we all come into recovery with an set of thoughts, beliefs, needs, wants, habits, routines etc that is an amalgam of our genetics and experiences. Most of us also come into "recovery" (dislike that whole word and concept too but different discussion) with a set of problems that are somewhat unique to substance abuse. When you compound these quite normal (usually) "issues" with the fact that many of us drank them away and that the alcohol crutch is no longer there it doesn't seem surprising to me that one is "unhappy" (or, to use the AA mumbo-jumbo term, a "Dry drunk.") In fact it seems like it is logical to feel that way and should be expected. And I also think it is normal to have a lot of guilt at first when you stop drinking. After all many of us have done things we regret while drunk. We _should_ feel bad about that. That is normal! 
For a while, for certain, these feelings may cause you to feel angry or bitter. While AA calls this being a "dry drunk" in reality is is just being human. You probably _should_ feel bad. You should make it right to the extent you can. But the thing I'm finding out is that the very best way to make things right is to not drink. Over time that will do more to "make amends" than some variation of "I'm sorry."
I'll repeat that for emphasis - If you want to "make amends" the best way to do that is to stop fucking drinking!
It seems to me there is no hurry to "fix" all the other stuff that is "bad" in your life. You have probably been drinking a lot and wasting a lot of time doing that (I know I did) so it is ok to take some more time maybe and just concentrate on not drinking. I'm not talking about procrastinating or ignoring the personality behaviors you want to change but I _AM_ suggesting that the principle behavior to change is DRINKING. If that is being a "dry drunk" because I have not accepted a magical talisman or ju-ju as my higher power then so be it.
All those other personality issues are not going anywhere anytime soon no matter what you do. You don't have to have wholesale change immediately on _any_ single issue but the NOT DRINKING.
Dry drunk indeed!
By; hobbs

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