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Old 01-01-2007, 11:20 AM   #1 (permalink)
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What the heck is a dry drunk?


Hi, I have read and heard this term alot and have yet for someone to explain what it means? Any takers? If one is not drinking, that is a good thing right? Even folk's regularly attending AA start by not picking up the first drink any more? Some times I think AA terms can be self destructive.

For instance, I went to a meeting a while back and this young man had a relapse. For the next 20min he beat himself up that he realizes he fell because he went to only 5 meetings that week instead of 10. Isn't that just an excuse? We can't always go to meetings. Just like we don't always go to church but we still live the life. I think meetings are great but they (for me) help, but are not the cure all. God (for me) is that. In/and out of the rooms. AA cannot be an excuse to drink. Being dry is a good thing. end of story.
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Old 01-01-2007, 11:30 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Here you go...

http://alcoholism.about.com/cs/info/a/aa081397.htm

Thanks for starting a new thread!

I never use the term Dry Drunk...
it's rare I hear it in AA meetings.
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Old 01-01-2007, 11:47 AM   #3 (permalink)
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thanks Carol. Good article.
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Old 01-01-2007, 11:49 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Dry drunk just means you are not drinking, but, not doing anything else to better your life. When people do this,...they are never far from their next drink.
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Old 01-01-2007, 11:54 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Carol nailed it. Thanks !
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Old 01-01-2007, 12:20 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Something I shared in a discussion recently...

Some people come into these (AA) rooms seeking to learn how to drink "normally". It usually doesn't take them too long to figure out that they're in the wrong place.

Other people seem to come in to the these (AA) rooms seeking to learn how NOT to drink. That's fine and dandy for as far as it goes, but its only a start. Alcohol is only mentioned once in the steps, and only in the first step at that.

Many people either come into these (AA) rooms, or come to the realization while in these (AA) rooms, that they're here to learn how to live -- either "again" or in some cases for the first time.

That was certainly the case for me. Its like that saying, "Its not so much that I wanted to die as it is that I had forgotten how to live".


I think one of the aspects of a dry drunk is that they've simply stopped using alcohol -- for whatever reason they haven't made the transition yet to wanting to live again.

Some common characteristics include still obsessing about whether or not they are "really" an alcoholic -- since "enough" time has gone by to dry out, maybe they can safely use again kind of thing... denial even though they aren't using... "white-knuckling".

Another is the "alcoholic mindset" -- emotional hypersensitivity... "you just don't understand"... "I'm better than this (and therefore better than YOU)"... delusions... inability to face facts... isolating themselves, even in a crowd.

Its like they've gone back to where they were right before they started using regularly. They're again continually faced with the decision of whether or not to start drinking. Despite all the empirical evidence they've already collected, they still haven't turned away from alcohol use as a possibility in their lives.

Sometimes old-timers recognize this as a need for the person to "...go out and work on your story some more..." They see that the person hasn't yet come to the realization that alcohol won't solve their problems, it will only make the problems worse, because the person STILL isn't willing to face head-on the PROBLEM OF LIVING LIFE ON LIFE'S TERMS. This is also part of what old-timers mean by "...willing to do anything..."

"...Its not so much that I wanted to die as it is that I had forgotten how to live..." And somewhere in that messy morass I crossed a line with my alcohol use and found myself locked into a death-spiral.

Stopping drinking is only the start. My life's problems were still there waiting for me. Not using alcohol allows me to face those problems and to deal with them. To me, a dry drunk hasn't yet come to that realization, or isn't yet willing to start dealing with those problems, so they stay in their misery. Perhaps they're white-knuckling, still in denial. Perhaps they're waiting for someone ELSE to do it for them. Perhaps they're STILL looking for some sort of "escape". Perhaps they're paying some kind of penance. In any case, I don't think they've made the decision to tackle dealing with their own lives head-on and without fear.

Just my two cents...
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Old 01-01-2007, 05:38 PM   #7 (permalink)
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The Spiritual Malady

Hello Mercedes1

You are asking the RIGHT question!

The Big Book says, "We feel that elimination of our drinking is but a beginning." -- 19:1

Before I got sober I believed that "drinking" was my problem :-) If you'll do some research on the Spiritual Malady (aka untreated alcoholism & unmanageability) you'll learn that OUR problem lies much deeper. The symptoms of the Spiritual Malady are listed on page 52:2

The Big Book tells us that, "SELFISHNESS-self-centeredness" (or the "ego", as some people refer to it) drives us to respond to life situations with the above "symptoms" as well as disorders and addictions other than alcoholism. The "Collected Writings of Dr. Harry Tiebout" deals almost exclusively with this phenomenon and its successful treatment. I consider it the definitive work on this subject.

I can literally write ALL NIGHT on this topic which is the TRUE cause of alcoholism. I have tons of articles and reference materials on this fascinating subject if you are interested.

When alcoholics & addicts fully understand the answer to this question they are lifted of the MENTAL OBSSESSION to drink and/or use drugs. Isn't that cool!

Feel free to e-mail me directly if you have questions.

Warmest regards,

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Old 01-01-2007, 05:50 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Hi gibbonsm...Welcome to SR!
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Old 01-01-2007, 05:54 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Carol

Thank you! I really like SR so far. I'm learning new things and in accordance with our 12th Step I hope I can help out too!

Warmest regards,

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Old 01-01-2007, 06:02 PM   #10 (permalink)
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We do have a Forum for AA/12 Step Support

http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...-step-support/

Please share there as well as here on Alcoholism.
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Old 01-02-2007, 03:51 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I don't think alcoholics have a monopoly on dry drunk. My Father called it stinkin' thinkin', I call it sour grapes. Ever had a non drinking passive-aggressive give you the silent treatment for a week? Ever been to an Al-Anon meeting? You'll see them their too. For an alcoholic their's one sure cure, get drunk. I do what "normal people" do when lifes stress and tensions build up. I don't need a bottle to get away from everything, just a car. They go on vacation to unwind and it works like a charm.

Every two months I spend a weekend in the Smokey Mountains or the beach. It will really rejuvenate you. Works for me.
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