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Old 04-13-2005, 07:23 PM   #1 (permalink)
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What is Sobriety?

Is it just abstaining physically from alcohol?

Or is it something more?

Clean VS Sober..............

Whats the difference to ya'll?
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Old 04-13-2005, 07:27 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I guess it would depend on ones own definition of the two words.Without looking in a dictionary clean and sober are the same to me.Now to be in recovery is different.And that is my goal.Recovery.
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Old 04-13-2005, 07:31 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Being clean is used in NA and sober is used in AA
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Old 04-13-2005, 07:37 PM   #4 (permalink)
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For me...Sobriety is abstaining from alcohol.

Clean is drug free. Sober is not drinking.

I am a simple woman.
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Old 04-13-2005, 07:40 PM   #5 (permalink)
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This is why I dont bother with dictionaries

Quote:
to save from loss and restore to usefulness : RECLAIM
intransitive senses
1 : to regain a normal position or condition
I'll go with that.
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Old 04-13-2005, 07:46 PM   #6 (permalink)
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To me, sobriety is a way of living.
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Old 04-14-2005, 03:13 PM   #7 (permalink)
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To me:

Clean : not using chemicals. Period.

Sober: Actively working a plan of action (ie: program) to change my negative thinking and behaviors, in addition to abstaining from chemicals.


Just staying clean doesnt make one sober. Emotional abstinance is a requirement for sobriety as well.
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Old 04-16-2005, 04:43 AM   #8 (permalink)
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i'm coming up on 22 months clean and sober, 8 or 9 of them clean, the rest are sober!

to me clean is just not using, dry drunks are clean, but are they truly sober? for me that answer is no!!!
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Old 04-16-2005, 09:13 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Personally, I think that all abstinence is a worthy accomplishment. I've seen the distinction used far to many times to berate someone elses efforts.

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Old 04-17-2005, 03:30 AM   #10 (permalink)
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sorry for hijacking this thread...

I'm married to a man who's sober 13 years. Didn't know him in his drinking days but he is extremely difficult to live with. I never know what his mood will be, when he will turn on me, feel like I'm walking on eggshells all the time.
He goes to lotsa of meetings and seems to think he knows everything about sobriety.
Yet he fights with everyone, his workmates, boss, neighbours (especially), other drivers - he hates where we live, hates his job yet will do nothing about looking for a new one, has really terrible anger and really low self esteem and seems to have no contentment at all or only for brief periods,
He has no sponsor and argues all the time with other AA members. He has no friends.
I think he has issues beyons his alcoholism but he will not hear of counselling and will not talk to me - as he said this morning "no good will come of psycholanalysing each other"
FriendofBill - what did you mean by emotional abstinence?
Can anyone tell me if he is a dry drunk? I 've read what I can find on it but don't understand what it means (apart from not drinking) and what can be done if he is.
I'm desperate, we're only married a year and a half and he's a really good man and I do love the man, but hate the disease.
I've been to some ALanon meetings without his knowing as he thinks its a gossip shop and it has helped me.
Sorry again for butting in but you guys know what you're talking about.
Sophia
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Old 04-17-2005, 10:46 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Wow! I feel for ya... Sounds like a perfect example of what AA's would call a "dry drunk". However, I have met people who fit this description who are not alcoholics, just unhappy discontent people who take their frustrations out on everyone around them.

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Old 04-17-2005, 11:03 AM   #12 (permalink)
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A dry drunk is somebody who is sober, but hasn't delt with their past or current resentments and issues. He needs a sponsor to work the steps. That is the key in working through the issues to find healing and happiness. Resentments will eat away any joy if not delt with. This is refered to as untreated alcoholism. Unfortunately, nothing will change unless he's willing to make the changes needed. He knows no other way than living in a world of self centeredness and discontent. Until he steps out of that world, he has no other comparisons. He can find contentment if he puts some effort into it. I wish you and your husband the best. I hope he will listen to your suggestions. He needs to get a sponsor and work the 12 steps as soon as possible.
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Old 04-17-2005, 11:39 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Sounds to me that he needs to get a sponcer and do a 4th step so that he gets to know himself.
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Old 04-18-2005, 12:33 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sophia57
I'm married to a man who's sober 13 years. Didn't know him in his drinking days but he is extremely difficult to live with. I never know what his mood will be, when he will turn on me, feel like I'm walking on eggshells all the time.
He goes to lotsa of meetings and seems to think he knows everything about sobriety.
Yet he fights with everyone, his workmates, boss, neighbours (especially), other drivers - he hates where we live, hates his job yet will do nothing about looking for a new one, has really terrible anger and really low self esteem and seems to have no contentment at all or only for brief periods,
He has no sponsor and argues all the time with other AA members. He has no friends.
I think he has issues beyons his alcoholism but he will not hear of counselling and will not talk to me - as he said this morning "no good will come of psycholanalysing each other"
FriendofBill - what did you mean by emotional abstinence?
Can anyone tell me if he is a dry drunk? I 've read what I can find on it but don't understand what it means (apart from not drinking) and what can be done if he is.
I'm desperate, we're only married a year and a half and he's a really good man and I do love the man, but hate the disease.
I've been to some ALanon meetings without his knowing as he thinks its a gossip shop and it has helped me.
Sorry again for butting in but you guys know what you're talking about.
Sophia
Irrespective of whether he drinks or not, he really, really, really needs to see a counselor. If he doesn't, perhaps you do. It might help answer the question of why he is so angry and has such poor self-acceptance.
And if you don't mind my asking a very personal question: why did you marry him, if he's as difficult to live with as you describe?
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Old 04-18-2005, 01:18 AM   #15 (permalink)
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'emotional sobriety'

There may be such a thing as emotional stability or emotional maturity, but for me there is no such thing as emotional sobriety. It's another invented term that doesn't stand up to reason. How can my emotions be sober? Really? When AA's get preoccupied with this term they usually have other members in mind and not themselves. Like the other invented term, 'dry drunk', it is judgemental, means nothing, feeds into members hype and drama. Perversly, using these terms implies the accuser actually is afflicted with them.

I know that drinking was but a symptom. That however, is my business. I have enough difficulty dealing with my expectations, let alone yours. Don't most alcoholics arrive at AA full of false expectations and pressures for themselves and others. Last thing they need is someone going on about invented things like dry drunks and emotional sobriety. Unconditional sobriety and self-acceptance yield far more rsults than all the judgemental tosh.
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Old 04-18-2005, 01:53 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Thanks for your replies.
DonS - when I married him his behaviour wasn't so extreme, just the odd flare-up. I lived with him for a little over a year before the wedding. It's since we've been married that its intensified - its almost like he feels secure enough to let it all hang out now!
I have been to a counsellor myself and would continue to go if I could afford but I can't - they're very expensive and I'm the main breadwinner and he has a child to support.
He won't hear of going to a counsellor himself - I tried to approach the topic again yesterday saying I was concerned because he seems so unhappy. He said he didn't want pychoanalysing and cut me off and ran off to a meeting.
He did the steps years ago (remember he's in AA that long), fell out with his sponsor and doesnt think he needs one.
I'm stuck between a rock a hard place.
AndyF - thanks for your reply but to be honest I don'r really understand it. I'm just struggling to understand why my husband is as he is when he goes so much to a peogram that's all about serenity, hunility and tolerance.
Thank you all so much - any more insights would really help.
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Old 04-18-2005, 02:19 AM   #17 (permalink)
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I'm sorry to confuse you. My post was not in response to your question, but to the earlier and general running theme in AA about 'emotional sobriety' and the term 'dry drunk'. Thanks for bringing it to my attention so we can clear up the misunderstanding.
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Old 04-18-2005, 02:31 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Well, sobriety doesn't create happiness, it just makes it easier to recognize. He sounds angry, depressed, possibly anxious--all things that often underlie our drinking behavior, as we use alcohol as a means (ineffective as it is) of coping with those things. So he's achieved sobriety, but not dealt with the underlying issues.
If he won't get a new sponsor and won't go to counseling, one of you is going to have to try to deal with those things on your own. There are lots of resources on line. I'd be happy to discuss this more with you on the Alcoholism forum, since I'm not in AA.
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Old 04-19-2005, 06:08 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Whether one finds sobriety or addiction is irrevelent, the concepts are basically the same, stop drinking or using long enough to realize that your life is unmanageable, then having the capacity to be honest and openminded, be willing to go to any lengths. So basically they are both programs of recovery, which is great because we tend to find where we feel most comfortable until we realize it`s our ass and not our face that we are saving.



chris


P.S. Keep it simple and god bless
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Old 04-19-2005, 06:50 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Emotional maturity is stunted at the time a person picks up a drink or a "think", if your al-anon. When I am living in anger, resentment, fear...I have stopped growing spiritually and emotionally.

Example: A 5 year old reacts to a tragedy (Fire in the home) with terror, dread that the family will no longer have a home and cannot imagine that everything will be allright again.

A 25 year old emotionally and mature person would probably react similarly, greiving the loss, but with much less negative dwelling, remembering they have insurance to cover the loss and that sometimes this happens in life.

A dry drunk or active user tends to think in the childish manor of thinking, dwelling only and always on the negative, seeing no hope or help in sight, constantly complaining about all the woe that befalls them.

In other words,,,their actions and reactions are much like a frightened child.

They know no other way to deal with life on life's sometimes bitter and vicious terms.

In my opinion, a chemical relapse is always preceeded by an emotional relapse (NOt going to meetings, not calling sponsor, not doing service). MAny times they dont relapse chemically, but pick up other addictions: sex, food, work, anger,etc.

For those who work a decent program, honestly and thouroughly, those who go to any lengths, reap the full scale of benefits of living a clean AND sober life.

Just cus someone walks their selves into meetings, and doesnt drink alcohol, doesnt mean that they are truely sober.
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