Diet & Weight Magazine

Recovery: I Do Not Want to Be a "DRY" Drunk in My Recovery!

By Sobrfit3
Written By:  Cathy Shuba
"Happy Tuesday!"
When I drank I was not nice to myself or others.  When I drank I was self-centered, restless, irritable and discontent with mostly everything or everyone.  When I drank my attitude was doom and gloom.  When I drank my irrational, sometimes impulsive, resentful, angry, living in my denial and unrealistic behaviors became problematic to me and my spirit.  When I drank I was not too,...inviting!  I was cold to many friends and family!  When I drank I was miserable!  When I drank,...I was a "WET" drunk!
On April, 3 1993, I became sober!  I became a member of AA.  I became aware of what I needed to do in order to stay sober, work a good program and live in a recovery that made me appear and feel appealing, inviting and welcomed by others.  I needed to decide what type of recovery I was going to live in.  I say, live in, because that is what it is, in your recovery!  My recovery is not with me, but within me!  I needed to realize I had to do much more in my recovery than just not drink and drug.  As a result to this, I had years of distorted, destructive and abusive behaviors that destroyed me spiritually, mentally and physically.   I needed to work the program, get a sponsor, go to meetings, share, grow, listen, become independent in my recovery, not codependent of the program, find and learn about boundaries that were healthy for me, learn to say NO and learn to love and know myself all over again.  This was not easy, this was not a piece of cake, this was what it was all about in order for me to live a life in my recovery that was not considered "DRY!"
What is a dry drunk?  Something I experienced myself after being sober for 5 years, yes, that's right...I was a dry drunk at one point in my recovery!  I think all of us experience this in our recovery and if we haven't then someone is in denial,!  I remember how I was, I couldn't understand why or what the heck was wrong with me but I do remember feeling all those crummy feelings I once did when I drank the only difference was I was not engaging in alcohol or drugs!  I hated how I felt!  I was,...again MISERABLE!  One night, I had gone to a discussion meeting and the topic was living as a DRY drunk.  I listened and did not comment.  After that meeting I had realized I had become a dry drunk and it scared the heck out of me.  It was something I did not plan for myself to be or mostly continue being.  I knew at that time in my life and doing an extensive inventory on myself that I had become, stale, discontent, restless, irritable, disconnected from the program, disconnected from myself, disconnected from family and friends and isolation started to creep in.   I started to go backwards in my recovery, the lack of progress was taking over, I was not willing to change my attitude on anything, I became angry, allowing myself to become resentful with every little thing that was not going my way.  I, again, became a crabby, unwelcoming and thinned skinned person!   Not to mention the result of the old grandiosity thinking, impulsive thinking and judgmental thinking was present all over again.  Lastly, the result of complacency, becoming bored, dissatisfied with myself, along with my emotions became listless, dull and nothing excited me anymore.  I was either telling you what to do, how to do and yes, telling you what I thought "BRUTAL" honesty was all about!  I was really just living in an angry and resentful recovery,...without the drink or drug!  I was a "DRY" drunk at it's finest!
Living in a "DRY" drunk recovery will either result in a relapse or a miserable life.  Not only for yourself but for the others who have to tolerate, live with and accompany you throughout your life.  For me, I needed to wake up from my denial and see the real me,...all over again.  Thank God for that meeting, thank God for allowing me to listen that night, thank God I shut my mouth that night and allowed someone else to talk, thank God my ego was not as big as that meeting, thank God I chose to change, see things for how I was and take the steps that I needed to take in order to find the recovery I have today.  I thank God for that message and from that day forward I have always looked for God's message in everything and everyone.  My message was clear that evening and although I lived as a dry drunk for some time I never regretted it.  It had forced me to really work on me, see me and love me the way God planned for me to do in my life today.  It allowed me to have compassion for those who come to meetings, make angry comments on my blog or on Facebook groups or anytime I see someone who is just not kind at all.  It allows me to take time out of my day and say a prayer for them.  It allows me to keep having that gratitude I have in my life today.  It allows me for so many wonderful things in my life that I could go one for hours.  I choose not to be a DRY drunk today, what do you choose?
How did I change in order not to continue to be a DRY drunk?  I went to a meeting every night like I did when I first became sober.  I got a new sponsor, did another 4th step, worked the 12 step program but worked them in a way that became a part of my life and daily living, I shared more and mostly asked for HELP when I needed it.  I did more writing in order for me to understand my feelings, went to outside therapy and learned not to avoid things or tasks in my life that fear me, bother me or cause me anxiety.  Today, I handle things, I do not deny them.  I still struggle in areas but it is not nearly as much as how I was when I did not deal at all.  I say what I mean without being mean.  I say NO without guilt, shame or explanation.  I love myself today!
Did you ever experience this in your recovery?  I feel we all have at one point or another in our recovery, I am just glad I realized it and did something about it.  On the other hand, do you live with a DRY drunk?  If so, say a prayer for them, because there is really nothing you can do in order for them to change.  I am blessed in so many ways!  I am no longer a DRY drunk!
Sobriety Fitness by Cathy Shuba is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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