October 1, 2007
The Dry Drunk
A dry drunk is someone who exhibits alcoholic behaviors and thinking but has not actually had any alcohol. A dry drunk displays the same signs and symptoms as an alcoholic, such as denial, anger, resentment, and spiritual and emotional immaturity. Actually, there are many dry drunks in the twelve step rooms. They have gone to alcoholics anonymous for years but still live an unmanageable life as they struggle through each day without a drink.
Unfortunately, a dry drunk is still not sober, at least not in the sense of being spiritual aware and mentally at peace with himself and others. He still craves alcohol in the social sense because alcohol to him was his best friend. Chances are high that a dry drunk will relapse over and over again because they are not healthy spiritually, emotionally or mentally. In essence they have a difficult time dealing with negative emotions and issues that affect their daily life.
The good news is the dry drunk condition can be totally eradicated from a person’s life, and they can be productive and happy people without ever having another sip of alcohol. I call this total sobriety. Total sobriety is getting to the root of the alcoholic’s problems first, and then tackling the drinking problem, which is only a symptom of something greater going on within the alcoholic. We often overlook the mental, emotional, and spiritual condition of an alcoholic, and instead focus only on the drinking. The drinking is secondary to the addiction.
All alcoholics need some kind of inner healing, and whether they know that or not is another matter. An alcoholic will drink to feel better emotionally and mentally. That, of course is part of the problem that gives the alcoholic the compulsion to drink. Intense emotions like anxiety, fear, panic attacks, mistrust, and insecurity are some of the more prevalent signs that the alcoholic thinks he needs another drink. A dry drunk does not use alcohol to medicate his feelings with; therefore, they suffer needlessly every day of their life.
Should the dry drunk drink so they will not have to suffer? Of course not. They need to focus on healing the inner demons within them by retiring their old life (sins, emotions, pride, selfishness, addiction, past) to God. Unfortunately many dry drunks end up finding another addiction to take up, which once again suppresses their emotions and keeps them from seeking God for their life challenges.
Why is a dry drunk still not happy and at peace with himself? Why do some alcoholic’s have a hard time coming to total sobriety? They are not going to the root of the drinking problem, and they are not going to God for the inner healing they desperately need. God is our source – period! What is so hard about believing that? God is what makes a person whole in body, mind, and soul because He is our source!
Total sobriety is having a healthy body, mind, and soul. Without the three components of sobriety coming to light for the alcoholic, he or she will almost always crave alcohol and, live in an unmanageable state, living to drink, and drinking to just get by.