Are You or Is Someone In Your Life a 'Dry Drunk'?
If you have an alcoholic in your life whether it be a spouse, family member, loved one, co-worker or friend, you have probably thought at one time or another, "if they would just stop drinking everything would be ok".
This isn't necessarily true, for sure things can be better if the alcoholic stops drinking but if they don't address their alcoholic behaviors and attitudes, they're just a 'dry drunk' that stands a good chance of relapsing in the future.
Have you ever known someone that stopped drinking and you thought to yourself "he or she just needs to have a drink" because they're impossible to live with or be around? Sometimes non-active alcoholics are harder to be around sober than they were when they were actively drinking. This is because they never truly addressed their abnormal thinking, attitudes, and alcoholic behaviors. Until they do, they're just sober miserable non-drinking alcoholics.
Throughout an alcoholics drinking years they develop unhealthy abnormal thinking and attitudes that don't disappear just because they stop drinking. Sometimes these behaviors get worse not better when a person is sober because they're angry, angrier than they were when they drank. It's very important for anyone with a drinking problem to recognize these feelings, thinking patterns and their alcoholic behaviors in order to be happy during their sobriety. In no way can anyone truly recover from any addiction if they're still living in some form of denial.
There are some distinguishing characteristics or 'signs' of a dry drunk that can include:
- Either knows it all or feels sorry for them self
- Self absorbed
- Judgemental of themself or others
- Irresponsible behavior
- Seeing shortcomings in others that are really true about themself
- Dishonest with little things
- Impulsive behavior
- Mood swings
When you think about it, a dry drunk is very unhappy and miserable inside while they're abstinent which is very unfortunate. There is help though, because everyone is different it's important to find what works for you. 12 Step programs are designed to help the alcoholic recognize negative thinking and behaviors, take responsibility for them, develop healthy and positive behaviors while relying on strength received from your 'higher power'. This is a way of finding spiritual healing which is very important for many people when healing from addiction. Spirituality is different for everyone but addiction does affect a person psycologically, emotionally, physically and spiritually because it affects who you are inside.
Alcohol Treatment Programs that provide cognitive behavioral therapy also recognizes and addresses negative unhealthy thinking and behaviors which helps to attribute to sober thinking as well as sober behaviors. Many Holistic or Faith Based treatment programs also offer 12 step treatment programs and comprehensive therapies that address unhealthy thinking patterns associated with alcohol dependency.
No matter how long a person has been sober until they recognize their negative alcoholic thinking and behavior they will never be able to be truly happy inside and the people in their life will be just as unhappy.