- ****DRY DRUNK..WHAT DID THEY SAY??****

****DRY DRUNK..WHAT DID THEY SAY??****




Topics related to AA Meetings - and alcohol addiction recovery

****DRY DRUNK..WHAT DID THEY SAY??****

Postby ROBERT » Thu Apr 02, 2009 7:29 am

OK...I HEAR THIS TOSSED ABOUT IN MEETINGS...LETS HEAR SOME GOOD OLE' A.A. ON THIS ONE---WHAT DOES IT REFER TO, EVER HAD ONE---COULD IT BE HELPFUL TO A NEWCOMER? "OUR PRIMARY PURPOSE IS TO............."
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Postby Jools » Thu Apr 02, 2009 8:18 am

Good morning Robert,

I was on a dry drunk for NINE years. I was SO miserable! I was full of anger, insecurity, depression, and negativity. Kind of like I am now! :wink: :wink: Thats why I'm in so much of a hurry to work the steps because I know that that's the only thing that works for us alcoholics.

You see, I've taken the drink away and now I have all that stuff I drank over just boiling over inside me so it's either drink or work the steps. If I'm going to be this miserable not drinking and don't work the steps then, by God, I'm gonna drink.

I was listening to Joe and Charlies BB study and Joe said, they tell you to keep coming back and you'll start feeling better...feeling more resentment, more anger, etc. I think that's how they put it.

I see a lot of people going back out and I think the reason is because AA has been watered down. When I hear people share that they waited a yr, or two or three to do the 4th step I shudder. Why suffer if we don't have to?

KCB,
Julie
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Postby Dallas » Thu Apr 02, 2009 9:45 am

Robert wrote:WHAT DOES IT REFER TO, EVER HAD ONE---COULD IT BE HELPFUL TO A NEWCOMER? "OUR PRIMARY PURPOSE IS TO............."


A "dry drunk" is an AA slang phrase that refers to "the twisted alcoholic thinking, toxic emotions and abnormal behaviors that are exhibited in an alcoholic that is sober and not drinking alcohol.... and isn't treating their alcoholic malady."

Alcoholics reach a place in there malady that will not allow them to live comfortably with or without drinking. Drinking is the treatment that treats the alcoholic condition. Take away the drinking -- and the alcoholic is like a mental patient without medication.

This is why -- if the alcoholic is to remain sober -- not drinking -- they will need to find a way to live comfortably without alcohol.

This is where AA comes to their aid.

AA offers a plan of recovery to treat the alcoholic malady that will allow the alcoholic to live comfortably and to pursue a happy and productive life without alcohol.

Big Book page 143 wrote: "... To get over drinking will require a transformation of thought and attitude. We all had to place recovery above everything, for without recovery we would have lost both home and business."


The above quote from the Big Book is located in the Chapter to Employers, and some of the instructions and suggestions that should be given to the new man (or woman) alcoholic -- that desires to get sober and remain sober.

So... Your question: "Would it be helpful to the newcomer?" (assuming you mean to tell them what to expect)... the answer would be "yes".

Your reference to the preamble with: "Our primary purpose is to..." (stay sober and help other alcoholics to achieve sobriety."

This is often used as an argument that I've heard from well meaning AA's... who conclude that trying to help the new person avoid the next drink is what we should be doing... to help them achieve sobriety. And, it is based on a misconception of alcoholism.

Hey... if we alcoholics could get better by not drinking... we would have stopped drinking before we got to AA! We wouldn't need AA. No sponsors. No meetings. No 12 Steps. No reason to treat the condition -- that literally drives us back to drinking!

Yes... we first have to stop drinking before we can take the next right action... which will be to treat our alcoholism with a sufficient substitute... for the alcohol. That's so that we can "maintain our state of sobriety" after it has been achieved.

So, it should be explained to the newcomer "why they can't drink like they used to... and why not drinking will probably kill them.... if they do not find a sufficient substitute for the alcohol." And, the treatment that we offer in AA... is a plan of recovery that must be pursued so that they can get well... and maintain their sobriety... by finding a way to live happily and comfortably without alcohol.

Dallas
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Postby sunlight » Fri Apr 03, 2009 6:47 pm

I first heard this expression in a meeting when I was new. Someone said, "I've spent some pretty dry times in meetings." I thought he meant he was bored!

After I learned what it meant, I understood why some sober alcoholics are so miserable. Then it happened to me! More than once, I'm here to tell you!
It still amazes me how fast it occurs - it's like I get blindsided. Next thing I know I'm no longer on serenity street. I've taken a wrong turn down dry drunk drive.

What was helpful for me, to keep me alert to the possibility of ending up in that gulch again, was the acronym HALT for Hungry Angry Lonely Tired. I don't think it's part of AA, but all my sponsors have endorsed it & I find it useful.

If I let myself get too hungry, angry, lonely or tired, I'm headed for problems. And I can't be useful to anyone if I'm dragging.
Also, staying in touch with other alcoholics is necessary for me. It's like - I'm not able to see my face, except in a mirror. Another alcoholic is my mirror, showing me myself in a way I can't see.

I think it's helpful to tell the new person that it's going to happen & also not to be too upset when it does.
Step ten says, "Continue to watch for selfishness, dishonesty, resentment & fear. When these crop up, we ask God at once to remove them."
Not if but when.

The good new is that it's simple to get back on track with the steps.
And I stay ON the track as I remain diligent, vigilant, disciplined & conscious.

What an order! I think I'll go through with it. It's MUCH better than a dry drunk!
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Postby ROBERT » Fri Apr 03, 2009 10:47 pm

Sunlight.... thank you. The [when] it happens, I NEVER saw before...when not if....thanks.
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Postby Dallas » Sat Apr 04, 2009 12:57 am

Sunlight wrote:It still amazes me how fast it occurs - it's like I get blindsided. Next thing I know I'm no longer on serenity street. I've taken a wrong turn down dry drunk drive.


I've observed that this seems to be one of the common denominators for many of us alcoholics! We do the little things... and life starts getting so good... then we have a tendency to stop doing the things that made life get so good.

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Postby garden variety » Tue Apr 14, 2009 11:08 am

Hi everyone,

I was doing some reading about Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS). That's where I understand "dry drunk" in it's "classic" sense comes from. I heard it is the state of mind and body that happens after detoxing from alcohol. Some folks experience all sorts of things that fall into the category of "restless, irritable, and discontent" and these are all a part of PAWS. But there are a couple things like interupted sleep and some folks lose coordination and become clumsy and bump into things. Other folks seem to lose their "competency" at doing things they used to do while drunk or during the drinking career. But when they stop the alcohol, they "lose their skill". I heard a lawyer tell in his story how he used to prepare deed transfers which are pretty simple legal documents. Well after stopping drinking and going into PAWS, he couldn't remember how to do the deed transfers even though he'd been doing them correctly for the past 25 years.

All in all, I believe the "dry drunk" thing originally speaks about the way a person acts and behaves after stopping drinking, but they still have "drunk" looking symptoms like forgetfulness and uncoordination. I know that today we call "dry drunk" the restlessness, irritability, and discontentment that happens when we're not working a recovery program, like everyone said.

I heard that thing Dallas described "and life starts getting so good... then we have a tendency to stop doing the things that made life get so good" - a friend of mine calls that "alcologic". But it is so true. SOme folks say it's taking a vacation from the things that made us able to take a vacation.

Either way "dry" is not good for me. I've been there, and it almost took me back out after five years. I'll take "working" a program of recovery today, thank you much!
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Postby ROBERT » Tue Apr 14, 2009 10:53 pm

too-shay------thanks G.V.
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Postby ccs » Tue Apr 14, 2009 11:55 pm

OHHH!!!! PAUL SOOO nice to see you posting and touching us with your ES&H LUV YA CESS :wink:
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