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Random Thoughts on Being Religious in Secular Recovery

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Random Thoughts on Being Religious in Secular Recovery

Old 07-20-2008, 09:55 AM
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About "dry drunk" - I agree it can be a nasty term when used about a person, for all the reasons given above. But don't forget that at the time when a lot of AA terminology was coined, "a drunk" meant EITHER "a person" or "a drinking spree". "He went on another drunk", etc.

So "dry drunk" can also refer to a kind of mood or behavior pattern, like Freya suggests. It's akin to the term "dry bender." This is something I can totally identify with - even though its getting on for two years since I had a drink, there are sometimes days and even weeks where I totally lose any sort of even keel, when I'm full of myself and my own resentments and obsessions.

In the past, I would have drifted from pub to pub, drinking myself into a coma until I woke up and started again. These days, i find other ways of wasting my time and my energy, until I wake up to myself and come out of it - but the patterns are very similar.

I do believe there's such a thing as a "dry bender." And during *those* times, I am a "dry drunk." Definitely.
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Old 07-20-2008, 09:59 AM
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Ananda:

I didn't mean to imply that it would be helpful for anyone, in the context of trying to work on their own behaviors, to "bundle" them all together like that...I was just trying to point out that, for the sake of easier communication, it can be helpful/expedient/whatever to have a "blanket" term to designate a certain group of behaviors and that using such a term is not necessarily a bad thing.

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Old 07-20-2008, 11:00 AM
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I love all those old, corny AA terms. Wet blanket is my favorite. LOL
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Old 07-20-2008, 11:05 AM
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yeah...I get it freya

Thats what language is all about after all...did a paper on that once...how conversations have a history and we develop code words that carry certain meanings between certain people who converse alot...thus conversation becomes clearer, more consise (sp) and meaningful!

you are correct...if we all tried to describe water without saying the word water...we'de die of thrist before we got some!

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Old 07-20-2008, 11:10 AM
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The old "dry drunk" term. I hated that because I felt it demeaning. Yet inside, I would go through times when I acted as if I was still using.

I think it is not the term I hated, but the way it was said. Almost like name-calling by some. It wasn't until I had a very understanding friend that opened my eyes to what it actually meant.

I have since learned there are certain behaviors I need to look out for. If I catch them early, apply my secular program, I can break that cycle.
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Old 07-20-2008, 11:20 AM
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"getting tight" OMG!!
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Old 07-20-2008, 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by windysan View Post
"getting tight" OMG!!
Never understood how they came up with that one. "Getting loose" always seemed more like it...
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Old 07-20-2008, 04:32 PM
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In regards to a "dry drunk":
Originally Posted by freya View Post
"an alcoholic who is not drinking but seriously working any kind of recovery and is actively engaged in many -- or all -- of the other negative behaviors associated with the disease of alcoholism and also, often, strongly involved in other addictive behaviors."
In the best usage of the term "a dry drunk" is someone that exhibits some or many of the symptoms of alcoholism with out drinking. Unfortunately the term can apply to someone with a mental or personality disorder.
Originally Posted by nolonger View Post
So "dry drunk" can also refer to a kind of mood or behavior pattern....
However because of the double meaning of a dry drunk, attributing anyone's behavior by a fundamental causation is a tricky. I prefer to identify the emotions someone displays, than to identify the whole person with some psychological condition.

example: He is angry. Rather than, He is schizo effective with a histrionic personality disorder (dry drunk?...lol).

I personalty will not use the term because I cannot be fully aware of all the contributing factors that cause a persons behavior. And if I could, I still think attributing singular causes to anybody's psychological condition (outside a professional setting) is foolhardy and mirrors prejudice too closely.

Originally Posted by windysan
"getting tight" OMG!!
LOL....unfortunately I would get too "loose" and run amok.

Last edited by Zencat; 07-20-2008 at 04:52 PM.
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Old 07-20-2008, 05:54 PM
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The old whiskey in a glass of milk gets me every time. Love that story.
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Old 07-20-2008, 07:32 PM
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Originally Posted by windysan View Post
The old whiskey in a glass of milk gets me every time. Love that story.
LOL....that will cause some looseness in one way.
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Old 07-20-2008, 08:15 PM
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I combine Science, Biology, Wisdon, and honesty where ever I can find it to keep my mind from making the choice to pick up.

I seek calmness, understanding, and support by giving it and taking it.

Keeping it simple...

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Old 07-21-2008, 06:30 AM
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The thought of whiskey in a glass of milk makes me gag! So does the term dry drunk...funny how only people who have had contact with aa in some way, shape or form understand what the term means. The first time I heard it was in an aa meeting and my sponsor used it to describe that nights speaker. LOL She went on to say that he didn't have "quality" sobriety.

LogCabin...I like what you say about combining science, wisdom and honesty and utilizing them to make a choice to not pick up.

I am confused however by the word choice. Whenever that word is used in regards to alcoholics there tends to be an onslaught of post that declare one is not a "true alcoholic" if they still have a choice of weather to drink or not. Now I think that whole ideology is just pure BS, but it is a huge tenant in aa doctrine and literature...how does one who works the program reconcile that? I am legitimately curious.
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Old 07-25-2008, 02:14 PM
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Alera,

I have read several of your posts and respect your positions and thoughts. I have a different view of Steps 5, 6 and 7. Call it homage; I look to make myself small in the eyes of a Creator who gave me another chance to live.

Steps Six and Seven are the humble cumulation of each pledge in Steps One, Two and Three and as defined and shared in Four and Five; that I am no longer the center of the universe and that the greater good of others outweighs my own personal good. I simply give my Creator, this Greater Being the recognition for allowing me one more shot at life.

I appreciate your good work here, thanks!

Bugs! Where 4 art thou? Bone appetite...like my french?
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Old 07-26-2008, 12:58 AM
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you do know this is the secular forum right Ruf?
LOL

seriously tho there's nothing in Alera's stance (which, I think, by and large I happen to share)
which is anything about 'embiggening' the alkie - for me, I'm simply (and finally) taking responsibility for my own life, and my own mess, utilising those talents and attributes I've been born with.

How can you not look at yourself as small when you see so many others on this site struggling?
Like you, I know I'm not the center of the universe, and I believe that the greater good of others outweighs my own personal good.

Maybe it is that we just disagree on elements of demarcation LOL
D
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Old 07-26-2008, 03:42 AM
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only in AA/NA can you have 10 years clean and be a dry drunk/dry addict or not have "quality soberity"

one of my teachers, who i love to death BTW but just to prove a point, said she previously had 6 years clean off of no program at all, just staying clean. But while she was clean 6 years it was not "quality clean time". now she has been clean 2 years in AA but it's quality becuase she's working the steps. I pointed out to her how can she be in a position to knock the 6 yeras clean she had when it's the longest she's ever been clean since she started using? how much sense does that make?
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Old 07-26-2008, 03:43 AM
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only in AA/NA can you have 10 years clean and be a dry drunk/dry addict or not have "quality soberity"

one of my teachers, who i love to death BTW but just to prove a point, said she previously had 6 years clean off of no program at all, just staying clean. But while she was clean 6 years it was not "quality clean time". now she has been clean 2 years in AA but it's quality becuase she's working the steps. I pointed out to her how can she be in a position to knock the 6 yeras clean she had when it's the longest she's ever been clean since she started using? how much sense does that make?
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Old 07-26-2008, 06:47 AM
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Usually I know where I am at Dee, but not always... The simple truth, which I have my true friend bugworth to thank for is I am more secular in my belief system than I like to let on. I am very self-determining and more stubborn than many a mule; I believe in choice and not predestination. Having said that, I refuse to throw the baby out with the bath water; acts of humility allow questions to resurface in my life and I need to question in order to grow. I believe in something greater and ease of use, I call it God.
Responsibility is my primary key, but my personal responsibility is not the sum of who and what I believe or attempt to embrace on a daily basis, but rather a part of the whole. The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous has been my life preserver and though as some would say poorly writing, sexist and out of date this text has for 30 plus years in my life formed the foundation which I stand on today. I see the similarities more than the differences in a new life filled with hope and even without proof that there is a omnipotent being, I believe in something greater than I as I follow the directions prescribed in the pages of this life changing volume.

Active Alcoholism and the insane lifestyle of the Alcoholic was my suit of clothes for an eternity it seems. I ventured through a Faustian struggle for decades attempting to discern between good and evil, right and wrong and even up and down. I studied everything I could get my hands on from Anton LaVey to Billy Graham. Was I just deformed, a reject? On occasion, I witnessed others breaking the surface and breathing in hope, though I could not muster the courage to do the same. My long and winding road took me to places I have lightly mentioned in my posts, but in truth I was seconds from death more often than not. If I was to be free, I needed to believe in something and stick with it. The time had passed for the luxury of denial, I had to find a place to roost and I chose the principles of AA. You see, AA offered me room to be myself; I did not have to mold my insides to others outsides, I could be a part of AA and still be myself. I took the lessons of AA and they worked! The results of a thing inspire me to action.

Today, after realizing sobriety without relapse for over five years, something is working and I would return to the fool I was if I didn’t acknowledge the miracle that has blossomed in my life. I am no longer a slave to booze! I have a loving and good Wife! I have the ability to be there for others! I can give without taking! I have a career! I have possibilities, I have hope! This from a man who is a convicted felon, who has served prison time, who has lost everything conceivable, who has been in state mental hospitals, who bears the scars of self inflicted pain, who has been homeless repeatedly, who has been raped and beat and who has return ever blow without regard, who was knifed and bleed, who has stolen and lied and deceived and manipulated, who has lost all sense of hope, who has lost the last grain of self in the sewer of more. I know pain as well as anyone and the seat I find in AA meetings is mine, I belong finally somewhere for which I am grateful beyond words.

Am I agnostic, that fellow who believes in something greater without form? YES. Does my lack of a currently accepted belief help you to get sober and stay sober, NO. So put away the excuses and recover.
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Old 07-26-2008, 06:48 AM
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Hey Rufus! Good to see you...I can identify with what you say in regards to being thankful for a second chance, I too feel tremendously grateful. Like Dee, my recovery sits squarely on my shoulders. My success or failure will be my responsibility only.

I have never felt as if I was the center of the universe...quite the opposite in fact. I always felt uncomfortable at aa meetings when members acted as if this was a characteristic found in every alcoholic....this simply is not true. Believe it or not we are all unique!!!! LOL

Vengeance...I find the fact that your teacher would regard 6 years of sobriety as not having quality as sad....It makes no sense.
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Old 07-26-2008, 06:59 AM
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Rufus...we posted at the same time! LOL

Thank you for the acknowledgement in your newest post. Our relationship, I am sure, will seem strange to many as our views are more often than not, quite opposite. Bottom line is we are both free...free from the bondage of self, free to learn from each other and free to be who we are.
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Old 07-26-2008, 08:31 AM
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thanks to everyone who has shared. What helps me the most is when people share from their heart. Hey buggsy! I'm at the place right now where I seem to find that all people (alchoholic or not) have more in common than different...but we are all also unique and that adds to the value of life for me!

I post here some, but the truth is (eeeeeks) I have to combine my religion/spirutality with AA in order to stay sober.

I learn just as much from those who are not in aa, not in religion as i do from those who are in either or both of those things. And i DO NOT mean examples of what I don't want..sometimes that saying is used as a code for that and I do not mean that....i say this with gratitude!

people from all kinds of ways of thinking, philospy, psychiatry, etc. share so many expereinces that i relate to and have so many things that can help me on my journey....I guess to me maybe that is what spirituality is an I find in everywhere.

Rufus...I really don't always understand you, but you have helped me. Even when we disagree, you help me ask the questions that help me understand what i do belive. Dee, well you know you really are an example to me of living spiriutality and sobriety and buggsy...can't quite figure you out either...but you're great!!!!! And definately help me out on some stuff!

Just wanted to say that! looking forward to more posts to the threads!
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