I understand this to mean two different things. One, it’s a drunk (alcoholic) who isn’t drinking. AA wisdom says that the alcoholic has to change in order to stay sober and be happy. “If you sober up a horse thief, you will have a sober horse thief.” The horse thief must change her way of life to live rightly and stay sober.
The second meaning is an alcoholic in recovery who who goes on an emotional bender without drinking. This would be the excess of negative emotion mentioned in the steps. A dry drunk, a drunk without alcohol, endangers the alcoholic in that if it continues, he will more than likely drink. I can’t stay in the negative emotion for any period of time without risking my sobriety.
“Stuff” is going on for me. Count me into the 50% of Americans who are stressed by this election. And let me meet the half who aren’t, because everyone I know is. I’m also experiencing some very minor economic insecurity. I’ve never been good with that, even as I’ve had everything I need every day of my life, and people to help me if I don’t. I won’t call this a dry drunk, and I hope I’m acting mostly rationally. Both of these situations will eventually pass and remembering that is one way I stay out of danger.
I was at a meeting last night where we read the part of How it Works that follows the fourth step demonstration page. I was reminded that any time I have a resentment I am at fault, if only for having the resentment, but usually for a good bit more. I will add that for me personally it’s often more about fear than resentment, but I believe these are two sides of the same character defect.
Politics brings out the worst in me. It brings out a little good as well, but mostly the worst. I fail to see how someone who would mock a person with disabilities is OK with anyone anywhere, for anything. And I could go way on from there.
But I work a program, right? And I believe that resentments will kill me, don’t I? Big Book to rescue! These (people who are on the other side) are sick, how can I help them?
I’ve been trying to grow plants that my indoor cats will eat. They like wheat grass, and I sprouted that, but everything else is a bust. My previous cats ate every plant in the house, and my daughter’s cat a few years ago ate my “poisonous” poinsettia. The cat lived. I don’t mean that it’s safe at all to do that. I know what doesn’t hurt one cat will kill another. But anyway my current cats are finicky. This pot held an old sunflower sprout they wouldn’t eat, and parsley they wouldn’t eat. And a caterpillar they may have eaten but I didn’t take it inside. I let the caterpillar have at the parsley because no one else was eating it. What I don’t know about caterpillars could fill many volumes. Like why it arrived in September, and where it disappeared to.
This all has nothing to do with sobriety. My sobriety news is sparse. My meeting marked its twelve year anniversary, so that way nice. The attendance is down a little bit and that’s also nice. We’re getting just over 20 people instead of just over 30. I don’t like the book “Daily Reflections.” They read it at a meeting I go to and it often confuses people or, to my mind at least, sends them off on a faulty path. My mother is upset with her sister and so she drinks, and tries to make plans. My kids have a sober mother and I’m so grateful that they don’t know this particular experience. And those are random thoughts for sure.
This means that I have to change. Some fortunate people come to AA and get a little sober time. For whatever reason, they are able to stop drinking. Some to be sure get a sponsor, work the steps go to meetings…and drink. Some do it again and again. I did it again and again.
I had heard the expression, “If you sober up a horse thief, all you will have is a sober horse thief.” Now I think the automobile reigned even in AA’s early days but the point is that unless you change, you will drink, just as you always have. That dysfunction person that made you first darken the doorstep of AA is still there, and that person will drink again. You have to change. No one comes to an AA meeting because life is good.
Happily, the way to change is laid out in the twelve steps, so there’s that. It’s a very difficult process, and life long, so only a very few very fortunate individuals get to stay and change. The drunk who brought me in cannot take me out. She doesn’t exist any more.
Vacations are over and Carole, as a teacher, will go back to work tomorrow. Always and adjustment. We’re still living with a little fear inspired by very minor vandalism inspired by our very big Hillary sign. I always try to take these things as a lesson to be more compassionate toward people who have real problems, and to do something to help them.
We went to a church gathering yesterday and took a quiz about our spiritual gifts. My top gift was MERCY. Hm. That was followed by writing and administration, then exhortation and service. I can say that all these gifts have been given to me by sobriety and AA. And, AA style, I looked immediately to where I scored the lowest and these would be music-vocal (not much I can do about that), then hospitality. The people at the gathering said I am hospitable enough to their eyes but there are people I’ve known for many years. I question how much I should push myself and how much is my inborn personality that will not be altered. I NEVER enjoy meeting new people. I know my objective is to not let them know this, to not make others uncomfortable because I’m uncomfortable. How much should I seek to meet new people?
At meetings, of course, this is my context. I being greeted by an uncomfortable but trying to hide it me better than not being greeted by me? Can I let the extroverts socialize until over time people become familiar to me? What is best for the blessed newcomer?