By most definitions, the term dry drunk refers to someone who is not acting out, but has failed to do the work that leads to recovery. A dry drunk is like a man crawling across a desert, depressed, angry, and craving the water that he won’t allow himself to drink.
Sobriety is about replacing the thinking and behavior of an addict with that of a sober person. The damage that alcohol and other drugs facilitate is in the form of emotional, physical and spiritual harm, as well as severe damage to externally visible things such as relationships, attitudes, work, and legal problems. Continue reading →
Of all the addictions, food has to be one of the trickiest. Let’s face it: we don’t really need tobacco, heroin, cocaine, booze, shopping, sex, religion and so forth in order to survive, although we may think we do. It’s hard to convince an addict who’s shaking it off cold turkey, or an alcoholic who’s in the midst of an unsupervised detox, but people do survive these things every day and, despite how it may feel, no one is going to die if he doesn’t get laid today.*
Many of us say stuff like “My worst day sober was better than my best day acting out” (definitely hyperbole, but whatever). If asked, most of us could make a list of the things that we’ve gained from recovery, and perhaps list some of the things we’d like to improve.
Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a checklist that we could use to measure our progress and help guide us in the future? Well, as it happens, those exist. You just don’t hear much about them in most or our fellowships. So I’ve presumed to look at a couple and herewith present an amalgam that I think works pretty well for me. Your mileage, of course, may vary. Continue reading →
Addicts are attracted to chaos. Although we crave stability, many of us find it extremely uncomfortable. Despite what we believe to be the case, we find chaos and lack of control normal, because it reflects the conditions in which we grew up: lack of autonomy, capricious decisions and behavior by others, and no stable foundations for our lives.
Who’s running the show?
Whether we came from dysfunctional families where complete chaos was the norm or equally dysfunctional roots where all the reins were held by others, the effects are the same. As kids and in adulthood we continually tried/try to gain control of our lives by controlling others or by acting out. By attempting to control others we unconsciously create the familiar conditions of our childhood in an adult setting. By acting out, we stifle our lack of control beneath drugs, eating, sex, shopping or what have you. In either case — usually, both — we are attempting to control feelings and/or situations that we find uncomfortable or intolerable.