So you just got off rehab and so far, you haven’t been using or drinking. But then, you haven’t really worked out the other elements that you need to have a completely clean, healthy, sober, and positive lifestyle. As brash as it may sound, you are sober but you are still destructive. You still fight with friends and family, and aside from your abstinence from drugs or alcohol, you still act a little like you were still on drugs or alcohol anyway.
This is called the Dry Drunk Syndrome.
Dry Drunk Syndrome is experienced by many people who are in early recovery. Often, this is just a phase when you, the recovering addict, are inexplicably sad, angry, indifferent, and friends or family around you fear that you may relapse anytime.
Being a Dry Drunk puts you at a high risk of relapse as you exhibit drug cravings, distorted thinking, emotional dysfunction, and overall destructive thoughts and behavior that results in even greater instability than before the addict entered recovery.
How do you know if you’re a dry drunk?
As a dry drunk, you will be exhibiting the following characteristics:
- Regret and frustration about your mistakes in the past
- Hopelessness about life and goals
- Inability to make any decision
- Being too hard on oneself or others
- Bottling up feelings
- Difficulty to express feelings
- Unpredictable moods
- Sudden anger or irritability
- Feelings of self-importance
- Feelings of jealousy towards others
- Feelings of worthlessness and helplessness
- Blaming others for their situation
- Lashing out against loved ones and support groups
- Isolating yourself from your support system
- Not attending 12-Step meetings
- Replacing their former substances with other addictive behavior or substances
If a recovering addict is not progressing, he is at risk of regressing. If you are not being productive, you are at risk of being destructive.
Recovery is more than just abstaining from drugs or alcohol. It is a process (most of the time an arduous one) of redefining your life. This is why you need to be committed to your recovery, and to continuously asses and reassess yourself and your progress.
As one day turns to 10, and 10 turns to 100, and 100 turns to 1,000, you’ll see that recovery has eventually and dramatically replaced addiction as your way of life.
Get on the road to a healthy recovery. We’re here to help.