Audio: Dry Drunk

i have an audio podcast subscription thingy, and this is one of the audios.

I know you’re here because you’re sober, you want to be sober, you’re interested in being sober. Maybe you’ve tried other shit that just didn’t work for you. Maybe you’re looking for some new ideas.

yeah. well, that said, I know this audio is going to be kinda controversial.

I say some things that are going to be pretty unpopular to certain listeners.

I talk about the term “dry drunk” … and what I think of it …

yes, i’d really like to hear what you think, agree or disagree. Just be polite 🙂

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I want to put this online, to hold myself accountable. I want to document the noise in my head. I'm tired of thinking about drinking. date of last drink: june 30, 2012

  • Oh hell yes!!! My mind is boggling with the intense technicolour of having normal emotions. I have clearly been so numb for so long. I thought I was a relaxed and mellow person – I wasn’t – I was an apathetic and emotionally dead person. The irony in all this is that I thought being sober would be boring. I have never done anything less boring in my life.

  • I’m new to sobriety so not sure how much my opinion counts, lol. I know for me AA is not my choice at this point. For me sobriety is my only goal. Belle I took your advice to not take too much on. (Diet, sobriety, ammends, exercise etc). Right now I’m focusing on not drinking. If I can fit in a trip to the gym too, I will. I try to eat right but if I want a treat at night instead of wine, I will. If I want to sleep in instead of exercise I will. My main focus is no booze. In the past when I take too much on, I dropped things. I fail. I can’t let that happen to my sobriety, I finally made it to day 24. That works for me right now.

    What ever works for you~ is all that matters.

  • The first few attempts I made to stop or to control my alcohol intake were hard. I bought a copy of Kick the Drink Easily by Jason Vale and that was that. He talks about as he calls it the whinging alcoholic- so to me that would mean the dry drunk. It means you are not free. Freedom from the trap is important. What I also read in it that struck me was the idea of thinking/not thinking about alcohol. He says it is important about HOW you think. That it is important to realize that you are free. If you try not to think of something then that will be the very thing you think of.
    I feel very lucky to have found that book-so as you said Belle what is important is that you are sober and that is true- although it is even better if you are not angry or depressed because you are still thinking about the drink. Watching out for wolfie did not help me- and I stopped rewarding myself or counting days- but that is me. Also eating healthy foods, exercising and self care are important- but they always have been! I think there are as was said here many roads. Bottom line is that alcohol is a poison. There is never a reason to drink. If a person can handle a drink or two and no harm done that is their choice- what I started to remember is that I never liked the taste of any alcohol. I was lucky to never start smoking even though I tried that but unfortunately addiction to alcohol wasted my time and money. Now I am free. Now I am happy- and of course not all the time but I have a solid happy foundation.

  • YEs! worse than a dry drunk, is a drunk drunk! absolutely. be kinder to myself. i will, thank you. I love your post on “treating yourself” or maybe that was another blogger. about giving yourself daily rewards or treats. I really ascribe to that philosophy. about the AA controversy …there’s an author who would agree with you totally. ..Augusten Burroughs. He’s one of my favs. He says being a member in AA is second best to being drunk. A place where you can go to be around other alcoholics talking about drinking. I have an internal conflict. I do believe the 12 steps work and the “promises” come true for those who surrender to a higher power. however if you are an atheist or agnostic or don’t believe there is any higher power, it will be difficult to stay happy and sober, because you still believe you have control. you must surrender control to the illusion that you, as an alcoholic, have any control over drinking. but you know, there’s this marvelous sponsor who tells me AA and the principles work on anyone…not just drunks. like, reaching this spiritual peak and believing in the benevolence of a force beyond self is profound. call it prayer, call it meditation, call it being in the moment…if AA helps a person find that peace and serenity, fantastic. i am open-minded enough to know, however, there is more than one way to skin a cat. sharing things with other alcoholics is beneficial sometimes, and for many, a meeting is the only opportunity to do that. you gave me a warm fuzzy with this podcast, because i know that “dry drunk” is a label and belongs to a program. and i’m not so into institutions and dogma and bla bla…i won’t beat myself up for “not doing it the AA way” anymore. I’ve been working on that the past year, struggling to be proud of my sobriety when AA says not to. and this struggle makes me sad. but your podcast is affirming that being sober is enough. and any way we get there is to be celebrated not criticized. thank you.

    • I know that AA works for lots of people. AA is literally saving lives. And yet there are others that can’t do AA for whatever reason … and as you so rightly say, there is more than one way to skin a cat! I’m not much of a ‘joiner’ myself and I hate joining groups. i know that makes me my own worst enemy. so I’m glad that the sober blogging community has provided me with alternatives. and yes, for me, being sober is enough for today : )

  • YOU are awesome! I agree: getting sober in and of itself will make a lot of stuff a lot better, and will take a lot of stuff, like self-loathing and negative thinking, away. Bam. We don’t have to DO anything, we just have to behave differently. We don’t have to change anything inside, we just have to change how we react to what’s going on. So, yes to this! YES. (Btw, I took my unicorn out for a run up and down the beach just today–and I’m going on 240 days! 🙂

    • yes and yes! and like you wrote in your lovely blog, it’ll be time soon enough to deal with our shit. the shit itself lets us know when it’s time! whenever that time is, is a good time. holy bad sentence construction! well, just go read DDG’s post. she can say it better than I can this morning!

  • I had been down so long thanks to wolfie that keeping it simple was where I had to start my journey…just do one good thing for yourself every day I said…and that one thing was staying sober…some days I can fit in lot of good things for myself but everyday if I only do one good thing, staying sober, I am supporting myself and I win.
    I tried going to AA but didn’t feel like I had found a safe place, a tribe…I think that is important in this journey, to find that safe place…I found it here and I appreciate the simplicity of the message in this audio, Belle. The support and community is mighty helpful.

  • Thank you, I totally agree, I’ve so new to sobriety and don’t like the sober feelings too much emotion, but I’m not going to quit, thank you being here.

  • Maybe I’m missing something but what could there have possibly been in that podcast that would upset anyone. Several times you said this is MY opinion. You said be kinder to yourself and get sober any way you can. I’d say that’s very sound advice. I’m doing what’s best for me and I can atone for my sins in my own way, thank you very much. Life’s too short to argue about how we get somewhere, let’s just get there.

  • Belle, I am so glad to have found this community. I am still wobbly on my sober legs – trying to figure out what it all means. AA doesn’t resonate with me, but I am willing to try all avenues at this point. I’ve made lists of things to do instead of drink (pulling my fingernails out comes to mind); I’ve got my blogs I check; I’m writing; etc.. etc…
    But at the end of the day, it’s just me and my thoughts.

  • I hear where your coming from. Consider this though – when I look back on relapsing after 7 years sober…one of the things I’ve learned to take more seriously in the every day is the importance of taking care of basic needs – paying attention to my feelings, eating well, taking care of my relationships…because when I don’t do these things, when I get in the habit of not doing these things – that’s a step in the direction of relapse. Sounds like you hear the term “dry drunk” as pejorative, some people certainly use it that way, and I agree that it’s extremely important to not refer to oneself or anyone else pejoratively – there’s no help in that. But – for me – it is a very useful term.

    I guess I’d say I’d agree with your underlying message, not your specifics. Nor do I agree with the sentence that begins “I know people in AA would say….” I don’t go to AA, but I have good relationships with people who do – and there’s a diversity of approaches there, certainly. And a diversity of kinds of meetings and what they ask of participants. One thing that most people in AA say though is – put sobriety 1st, prioritize this above all else in the 1st 90 days, even if that’s the only thing you can do in your life (plus go to meetings, true…) I also agree with you, as would most people I know, that this is a quality that one can only observe about oneself after mre than a year sober. Most people, anyway.

    Just as I think I understand and resonate with your underlying point, Belle….. I think of the 90 meetings in 90 days advice similar to your urgings to plan little treats, and nap. I get the point, but these things don’t work for me. Sleeping too much is my alternate temptation to drinking, I get pretty severely depressed – and then drinking seems like a good idea. For me – I really have to force myself to get outside and interact. HAving something to look forward to is a good idea – figuring that out every day, or every few says would be too much for me – feels oppressive actually, not at all fun – another chore…. much like going to a meeting every day feels like a chore to many of us…

    But – just like with AA, I take what’s helpful and leave the rest – your encouragement to prioritize self-care generally, is hugely helpful. and tweaking that message with my own insight, is part of learning to trust myself again regarding my capacity to decide for myself what I need…

    • Yes, I’ve heard “dry drunk” in the negative sense several times in the past, when attempting sobriety. Now when that comes up, I’m listening for context and if it’s negative, I’m gone. I’m dry and I’ll deal with my shit my way.

  • Belle-love, I listened and it all sounded like quality advice, good experiences to share and a tone of voice that is so calm and welcoming and loving. What a gal you are, Belle. I didn’t do AA either and I held onto sober without it – whatever works for each individual is the way to go. BFB, blogging for oneself, reading other blogs, talking to others, podcasts, journalling, psychotherapy, hypnosis, standing on one’s head and doing yoga… It’s all good and workable and healthy.

  • Wow! Thank you for this! today I really needed to hear this. I was trying to do too much. I have been sober 93 days and have lost weight, been dieting. and was trying to kick the internet addiction thingy. Was doing really well with that until 3 days ago. I started staying on later than my “alloted time”
    I am going to say screw that and just keep on keeping on. Because I am sober dammit! and I need to be on line reading blogs and staying intouch.
    So thanks again!!!!

  • This fucking this! You been reading my journal again? I am 4 months sober and I don’t go to AA. I don’t even tell some of my friends that are in AA that I am sober. I don’t want or need to be judged. I mean I don’t care that much really, but it is more of a “mind your own business” not caring. You can mind my business if I’m drinking, but if I’m not then I’m cool. Let me be. I 100% agree with you – there is more than 1 road in to Sobertown.

  • Completely agree with you about the dull the emotions… when in rehab early on another person just said “I simply do it to be numb” and the penny dropped and I was like “yes. Yes. YES!!! YES!!!! That is me.” I’d arrived at one of the many doorways I’ve had to walk through

  • What a great Podcast! I’ve been beating myself up for not attending AA. I’m not ready to share my problem with anyone in real life, let alone strangers. But, Damnit, I am sober in a way that works for me.

    You’re right. If we aren’t out there telling our story and helping others, then who cares?