Search for Addiction Treatment Centers Near You Forums Alcohol Abuse Question: about "dry-drunk" syndrome.

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  • #27714
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    I read about it, every bit of info I could get my hands on. Talked about it in alanon and with my therapist.
    My AH (sober almost 6months) does attend a couple of meetings a week. Had a sponsor, but one that just kept telling him ” Are you drinking”? “No”. “Then everything will fall into place.”
    Here’s some of my story, my apologies if you’ve alreday reading it On “famiy and friends” board. He get’s out of rehab, finds a job at a local restuarant 40-60hrs a week. Then he’s offered a job freelance writing gig, covering a local baseball team. He takes it (writing is his passion) it only pays $30 a story but he don’t care. Seems his boss at the restuarant does. Strick policy, can’t work two jobs if you work for him. So, he quits? He has child support to pay, car payment, etc. He continues to write for this paper while looking for jobs in his field (not jobs that pay the bills). Child support caught up with his a$$ ( they don’t mess around here in NC, like they do in NY). Sheriff, delivers a summons to appear in court (the day conflicts with our vacation plans to Bflo). We argue, I’m so upset but I think we can find a way to do it. Drive to bflo together, he spend time with his son (mom of son ageed to let him stay at her apt and she would stay at her b/f place). I go to the lake house with my family and spend time with them. He drives back for his court appearence, I fly home. Of , course being the controling B#&&* that I am, I find a solution to the problem myslef. Then tell him how it’s going to go down. I was so angry with him, I wanted some peace on my vacation, some alone time with my family. He don’t like this much but says nothing.
    Next day I wake up, he’s gone so is my ATM card. I quick get online to see if money has been withdrawn Yup: $500 meant for bills that hadn’t cleared yet. I’m stunned and mad as hell. He must be drinking I think. I call him he answers, says you didn’t want to be around me anyway so I thought it best if I went alone. :*******:
    To make a long story short so I don’t loose anyone, I couldn’t go on vacation, had to take money saved to cover what he stole to pay the bills. Went crazy, trying to get revenge, nothing worked.
    He calls after 5 days and says ” i want to come home, and work on things”. I say “no” stay right where you are be with your son he needs you. I even tried to bribe him ” I’ll pay the car until it’s paid off and keep you on my insurance for a year.” His reply ” you’re just like my mom, trying to buy me to keep me away”.
    Law in NC, can’t change the locks his house as much as mine. So he comes home. Boundries set: I start alanon and detach in anger. I couldn’t do it any other way (BTW: he’s still sober through all of this). Kinda, sorta looks for a job again in his field, not to pay the bills. Missed his court appearence, he’s arrested and put in jail. I can’t bail him out, I don’t have the money and I’m glad that’s where he is. He got his bail reduced to an amout I could afford so I bailed him out. Found a job in 5 days, jail was not for him.
    So, I’m told he’s a dry drunk and I’m just as sick if not sicker than him. He still attends meetings. Last night he set a boundry: “Don’t keep asking if I’m working the steps.” He says; ” It’s like when I was drinking, what ever you said or did to try to make me stop fell on deaf ears. I had to figure it out myself.” “Now I have to figure out my recovery, myself. It’s like I put one foot in the pool and you keep trying to push me in when I’m not ready to go swimming.”
    So, I promised that to the best of my ability I would adhere to his boundry.
    Today, I’m full of fear (bad, I know).
    Do you have to follow the steps to truely become sober?
    Is there another way?
    I know it’s none of my business. But, he’s so depressed, it’s difficult to see him this way.
    Has anyone here been able to become truely sober without working the steps? Gosh, sorry so long. For those of you who stayed with me thank you in advance

    #106993
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Yes, this has been discussed many times on this forum. There are many people who get and stay sober without AA. I am one of them and am almost 6 years sober. AA works for many people but there are other paths to sobriety.

    You need to take care of yourself at this time and do whatever it is that you need to do to deal with your life. I hope that you find peace.

    #106986
    Anonymous
    Inactive
    blizzard77 wrote:

    So, I’m told he’s a dry drunk and I’m just as sick if not sicker than him. …
    That is nonsense. There is no such thing as a ‘dry drunk’. People have emotional problems, couples have conflicts. That’s what you’re describing. Anyone who tells you that you are ‘sick if not sicker’ is, IMO, setting back your progress and should be avoided like the plague.
    Please consider seeing a counselor or someone who knows more about dealing with anger, communication issues, and goal-setting. You’re getting bad advice.

    blizzard77 wrote:
    Has anyone here been able to become truely sober without working the steps? …
    Yes. That’s how most people become sober. Some do find 12 step programs helpful. Most people use other means.
    #107002
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    I personally don’t follow or subscribe to the 12 steps and I am sober. I am happy. And I am moving forward in my life. Don’t get me wrong, I find a lot of value in the AA materials, just that the steps and the “program” doesn’t work for me.

    My older brother hasn’t drank in 20 yrs… it was causing problems, he was unhappy and his wife was unhappy… he quit… end of story. So no, you don’t necessarily have to follow the “program” to find lasting recovery, but it does work for many, as you will see on this site. You do have to make the effort to change your life. If he isn’t doing that then he is still using or will soon be and that’s that.

    Peace, Levi

    #106997
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    I hated the term “dry drunk” when I first heard it, found it really demeaning, because in my mind, ANYONE who stops drinking and does not drink (when they are an alcoholic) deserves a medal!! It really is NOT an easy thing to do.

    I did not go to AA, but I did have snippets of the AA thoughts and I had a couple of people who were really close at different times that I discussed all my drinking and not drinking issues with. It really has helped to discuss this stuff with other alcoholics who are non judgemental and really understand and have the same thing.

    Maybe you can try to look after you and just let him look after him, financially as well as other things. And then just try to find enjoyable time together that is not demanding the help of each other, but appreciating the time together … don’t know, just a suggestion.

    I do try to look after me a bit more these days and the rest seems to be following.

    love and peace,
    Brigid 🙂

    #106994
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    ((blizzard)) IMO, sobriety takes time. And changing ourselves has alot to do with it. Making the right decisions instead of always just doing what we want. Even in sobriety, I have made some bad choices. The thing is, I’m willing to learn from those mistakes, with the hope of not making them again.

    #106995
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Your (ex I assume?) husband sounds like hardheaded but someone he also seems to have a lot of common sense. You gotta admit you didn’t give him a chance to make up with you either, now maybe he’s blown all his chances with you, I dunno, I’d suggest you take care of yourself tho and a lil hint: telling him how much you admire he’s sober works wonders. But maybe, I really dunno the situation, you’re really tired of him and this all, so take care of yourself and don’t believe that talk that you’re ‘sicker than him’. Also I dun think the word ‘dry drunk’ was ever mentioned in the offical Big Book text.

    Marte

    #106987
    Anonymous
    Inactive
    BSPGirl wrote:
    Your (ex I assume?) husband sounds like hardheaded but someone he also seems to have a lot of common sense. You gotta admit you didn’t give him a chance to make up with you either, now maybe he’s blown all his chances with you, I dunno, I’d suggest you take care of yourself tho and a lil hint: telling him how much you admire he’s sober works wonders. But maybe, I really dunno the situation, you’re really tired of him and this all, so take care of yourself and don’t believe that talk that you’re ‘sicker than him’. Also I dun think the word ‘dry drunk’ was ever mentioned in the offical Big Book text.

    Marte
    The term seems to have been popularized by R.J. Solberg in a book and pamphlets distributed by Hazelden.
    If you want a description of a “full blown dry drunk”, here’s a link:
    .enotalone.com/article/4410.html

    Grandiosity -unrealistic expectations of your own abilities,
    Judgmentalism – being highly critical of others,
    Intolerance – not accepting others’ individual mistakes or differences,
    Impulsivity – acting without thinking,
    Indecisiveness – inability to make up your mind,
    Dishonesty – lying, cheating, making false promises,
    Controlling – pressuring others into doing what you want, and
    Self-centeredness – unable to consider others’ feelings and needs.

    Lots of interesting characterizations, pretty subjectively defined, and frankly I think we all know people like that. A lot of them run for public office.
    Don

    #106985
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    The term seems to have been popularized by R.J. Solberg in a book and pamphlets distributed by Hazelden.

    Google and find more opinions.

    From the 12 Step National Meetings Policy Rules and Regs Forum

    4 Post links to promote sites. Promotional links of any kind are not allowed. That holds for both commercial and for non-commercial sites.

    #106988
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dry_drunk

    alcoholism.about.com/cs/info/a/aa081397.htm

    #106991
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    “Now I have to figure out my recovery, myself. It’s like I put one foot in the pool and you keep trying to push me in when I’m not ready to go swimming.”

    Actually, I think this is a good analogy… and good advice. Funny, that he is the source, though. I have to admit, I’ve learned a thing or three by watching my addicted loved ones.

    So, I promised that to the best of my ability I would adhere to his boundry.

    Are you clear about what the “boundary” is? Is it to let him work recovery any way he sees fit, or is it to allow him to LIVE any way he see fit? The first one is his business, the second one may impact you very much.

    I would say that living in his recovery does NOT include taking $500 from a joint account… I don’t care what the reason.

    Do you have to follow the steps to truely become sober?
    Is there another way?

    Mr. Big and I got sober together in 1983. I think we exhibited many of the symptoms listed on Don S.’s list … so I guess by that definition -we were/are dry drunks.

    I can also tell you that my kids are both currently sober, and neither one is working a program. I hope they stay that way, but if I am working MY program….. then, if they do go back out; the thing that will keep me sane is Alanon.

    I may not have needed 12-step to get sober, but I desperately needed it to deal with a loved ones using.

    ((((Blizzard))))

    #106989
    Anonymous
    Inactive
    CarolD wrote:
    Google and find more opinions.

    From the 12 Step National Meetings Policy Rules and Regs Forum

    4 Post links to promote sites. Promotional links of any kind are not allowed. That holds for both commercial and for non-commercial sites.
    [You agree not to]
    “4 Post links to promote sites. Promotional links of any kind are not allowed. That holds for both commercial and for non-commercial sites. Links to informational, inspirational, and educational sites not related to products or services are permitted.”

    orange-papers . org is an informational site. It is privately owned, non-commercial, and sells no products of any kind. It’s definitely educational, and some find it inspirational. Although certainly controversial, orange-papers . org clearly fits in the policies here and may be of interest to people exploring a forum about the broad topic of Alcoholism.

    The outline there about ‘dry drunk’ is a useful perspective.

    Here is a key excerpt:
    “The term originally referred to a rather rare condition that some people have during the first months of recovery from alcohol abuse — they stumble around in an uncoordinated manner as if they are drunk, even though they are 100% sober. But A.A. has turned it into a slur, which is supposed to mean that someone is thinking and acting like a drunk man, displaying all of the objectionable characteristics of an obnoxious drunk, even though he is sober.”

    #107003
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    I’ve heard that If you sober up a drunken Horse thief
    what you have is a sober Horse thief..

    The term discribes an “alcoholic” who stops drinking, but doesn’t do anything to work on the rest of his personality problems..like dishonesty and other things that he/she did to cover up their drinking

    This is a pretty basic explanation

    #106999
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Maybe you can try to look after you and just let him look after him, financially as well as other things. And then just try to find enjoyable time together that is not demanding the help of each other, but appreciating the time together … don’t know, just a suggestion.

    Thanks Brigid,
    He has a job waiting tables and has now taken over all of his finances, with a little left to spare to contribute to household expense’s. We haven’t had any enjoyable time together since this all went down in July. I was sooooo angry and hurt but I’ve been able to forgive him..the resentments were literally eating me alive. I still take care of me by going to meetings, educating myself more on co-depandancy than the dry drunk stuff.

    #107000
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Little Missy,Well considering he believes he’s been an alcoholic since age 15, I guess being sober almost six months is a huge accomplishment. I was very supportive and behind him 100% until he pulled this big boner. Since then I’ve been working on me, this is when/where the term dry drunk keeps coming up..at my meetings and with my ex-therapist. :smileeek:

    BSPGIRL, He’s not my ex. We’re still married but not sharing the same room, speaking much. Lot’s of tension in the air. You’re right, I didn’t give him much of a chance to make up to me. I was so angry and hurt I shut down emotionally from him completely. I put up with a lot of [email protected]#$ when he was drinking(my choice, I know). I didn’t expect this at all. At least when he was drinking, I could rationalize his behavior by saying it’s because he’s drinking but he was sober. Is this just who he is??

    Don, Thanks for all the information I plan to check it out tomorrow on company time (just kidding). Of all the characteristics noted impulsivity decribes what he did the best. He was impulsive when he drank too. Infact he was all of those things when he drank. I posess many of the same characteristics as a co-dependant. Maybe that’s George W’s problem…Could he be a dry drunk??LOL

    CarolD, Thank you for the info.

    BIGSIS, That was his analogy alright. He’s very intelligent and he knows me well enough to know that in stressfull situations when I tend to worry, obsess and control, it’s best to make it as simple as possible for me to understand. By trying to respect and adhere to his boundry, I was clear in that I would stop asking about whether he attended meetings, quit asking him if he believe’s in the 12 steps and if so what step is he on etc. etc. CONTROL…..A hard thing to give up for one that has been in control of everything is our relationship as far as finances and anything that had to do with personal responsibility. I always rescued him from the consequences of his actions, did my best to sheild his kids eg: I was the one who remembered their B-days, bought the cards and presents and made sure they arrived on time. He loves them very much but when drinking things like that were the last thing on his mind. His memory was poor, he forgot a lot. I didn’t want them to feel daddy forgot about them. Turns out they ain’t stupid. After he got sober the two oldest told me they knew it was me all along that bought their gifts (bday,christmas, paid for vacations, bought their plane tickets to come visit etc. etc.) I still don’t understand why he stole $500 from MY personal account. He says he don’t really understand either. He said when he left it was his intention “to get f’d up” but instead took the long way to Bflo. Stopped and had some nice steak dinners on the way. Says he knew in the back of his mind if he got there with any money left he would have drank it away. Just confuses me more.:C023:

    Thank you to all who responded. I was given the name and number of a retired therapist, 22yrs sober and member of alaon the first meeting I went to. It was suggested he could help us. We go, he says he can’t begin marriage therapy because we’re both sick. This is when he told my AH and I that he was a dry drunk and needed to start working the steps. Said I was just as sick and needed to do the same. He gave us each a work sheet on how to work on step 4 and said he would see us individually. He charged us $40 for one hour. MY AH was skeptical but being a newbie I thought hell I’ll pay anything for my mental stability.
    I went and saw him two more times. The first time we went over my list of resentments. He was sitting too close to me for my comfort but I thought he’s 70yrs old, married and a VETERAN of the program…get a grip Michelle. That visit was $40. Next visit we went over my defects that I’ve been living life with of my own will and I saw how self-destructive that had been. He did help me understand it better, but this time I didn’t have any $$ to give him. I told him this before my visit and he said ” I’m not worried about that, it will get paid when you can pay it.” Then in the middle of that visit he said something along the lines of “you don’t want to get too far into the hole”.
    What the hell I thought. Next night I was at a meeting he was at, apparently one he started (he’s very respected by many in alanon and just as equally disrespected by others). We got to talking about rageing maniac’s, something I told him was my worst problem I was trying to understand and deal with (in our private session.) All the sudden he says ” I was brought to my bottom by a rageing maniac just like her” and pointed to me. I laughed, hell everyone laughed. You have to be able to keep your sense of humor through all of this or you’ll go nuts (as if that’s not how I already feel).However, driving home I was thinking how unprofessional his comment was and how he was not maintaining my anonimity. He’s the one that’s been driving this dry drunk business down my throat. There’s really only one meeting a week that he’s not involved in or with so that’s the only one I’m going to go to. Any suggestions on whether we should see a therapist together or apart? How do you find a good one that will really give you the time and patience that’s needed? Or should we attend marriage consouling? Just asking for opinions. Thanks Again,
    Michelle
    PS: I still love my AH very much and am very proud of the fact that he has been able to stay sober this long. I’ve been with him for nine years and I’ve never seen him sober this long. I think the longest was 2 months, but he was still smoking pot that time. When I spoke my marriage vows to him, I took them very seriously and I did say:” For better or worse”, ” In sickness and health.” He’s sober at least for today, and if he can committ to that then I believe our marriage has a chance. (My family hates him and would love nothing more than to see me divorce him. Infact, they haven’t talked to me since they found out we are still living together.) :abcn:

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