I think it’s first important to preface this by saying the only reason I feel compelled to continuously share my stories and journey and be “vulnerable” is that I am hopeful that someone may connect with something and help in some way. I cannot begin to tell you all the times I now look back and see how something someone has said or done has helped or taught me to grow.
It’s also important to note that I am pretty damn confident that were it not for my wife Kathryn, it would be exceedingly more difficult to do this, and I am not sure I would even have made it to this point in my life anyway. Lastly, any opinions or views expressed in this “blog” are not in any way a representation of my employer.
So, six months of no alcohol. There are a plethora of thoughts that flood my mind constantly when I think of it. To some, it may seem or not be a big deal, but for those that understand the controllable devious nature of an addict, every day of sobriety can be a miracle. There are many types of addicts, some that use every day, some that once they start, they can’t stop, some that binge, and some you would never know they struggle or have a problem.
In my short journey of six months of recovery, I have learned that you will be in your head more than you EVER have! I was also introduced to a term called “dry drunk.” Would you believe that WebMD says it’s even a syndrome?
So if you care to learn, read on.
What Are the Symptoms of Dry Drunk Syndrome?
Everyone’s experience is different, but some symptoms of the dry drunk syndrome include:
• Wanting to be the center of attention
• Feeling like you’re always the victim
• Having trouble communicating with other people
• Mood swings that range from depression to extreme happiness
• Fear that you can’t change
• Anger and resentment towards family and friends who intervened in your drinking
• Frustration over time wasted due to your alcohol abuse
• Believing that sobriety is boring
• Romanticizing past substance abuse
• Not acknowledging the problems your substance abuse caused
• Feeling jealous of people who are showing signs of healthy recovery
• Believing you always know what’s best
• Refusing to accept constructive criticism
How Can You Deal With Dry Drunk Syndrome?
It’s important to understand that quitting drinking without changing lifestyle, behaviors, and thought processes aren’t enough. People become addicted because they start drinking to deal with a problem.
People drink for many reasons, including:
• Social conditioning
• Genetic predisposition
• Inability to cope with circumstances
• Negative beliefs about yourself or your life
The first step in dealing with the dry drunk syndrome is the same as it was for quitting alcohol. You have to recognize it and admit it. Once you do that, you can seek help and support from those around you. You may need to turn to a support group or 12-step program. Connecting with other sober people and establishing healthy routines can help as well.
Yeah, a lot of that has sure happened in that short span of time. Most of it, to be honest, I don’t even think I realized it until a new friend of mine shed some light on some of my behavior. There are many difficulties with sobriety and recovery. Walking through a room as people look at you, wondering how you may have hurt or angered them in the past, if you made a fool of yourself, or if they are looking at you for no real reason.
Get ready to be living in your head, like all the time! Over time, I would start to have more and more memories, some good and, of course, some bad. The way they come is quite different, they can be pretty vivid, and I can instantaneously “feel the feels” of the moment. I have found that almost everyone is very supportive; when many ask if you want a drink or beer and say no, some immediately ask, “What’s wrong?” News travels fast, so that is short-lived and never bothered me.
It may go without saying, but it most certainly takes time to learn to be social without drinking and interacting at certain parties or get-togethers. At times deal with the “drunk crowd” while not being a judgy jerk just because you are Mr. Sober. 😜
As “they” say, “time heals all wounds;” I feel like I have my whole life ahead of me. I have had a lot of clean fun in my life; not all were appropriate, safe, responsible, or mature. So I have also been thinking it’s time to pay back some karma. If you need a ride, ANYTIME, please call.
With all that stuff out of the way, how about some good news? I have never felt better in my entire life (that I remember)!!! I have lost pretty close to 80 pounds, I can walk better, breath better, my mind is sharper, I’m more organized, and it’s developing all the time; I am more focused and overall MUCH happier. Did you know alcohol is a depressant? Like DUH, not for someone to abuse, especially if they suffer from depression.
There is still a lot of work to be done, lots of amends to make, and lots of days of sobriety ahead. I feel more confident daily and have a different pride in myself. There is still a lot of anxiety, fear, and insecurity to deal with, but again, my wife, Kathyrn, is unlike anyone I have ever met. She continues to amaze me. I think I get mad that she is so great. It’s true, but she knows it, and I work on that too. Well, if you made it this far, thanks for reading. I appreciate the support, I appreciate you, and most of all, I appreciate myself.
Show yourself some self-compassion; it’s a lot different than self-esteem. It’s hard not to judge, and I still do, but everyone deserves to break free from whatever addiction afflicts them. Support them if you can; it’s also ok to distance yourself if you need to; addicts can be tough on you. There is help for everyone on both sides of these situations. Whether addict or a person dealing with an addict.
Thank you again.