Thursday, 8 March 2018

Day Six - Dry Drunk vs Sober

I've seen other writers talking about the difference between 'dry drunk' and 'sober'.

A dry drunk is someone who stops drinking. A sober person is also someone who has stopped drinking. And the difference seems to be a combination of motivation and goal.

This wouldn't have made sense to me before - but I can see it now and I think today is a good day to think about my two most recent 'dry drunks', both occurring in the past two years:

- dry for nearly five weeks following a severe bout of viral meningitis, although for the first 10 days of this I was in hospital vomiting with pain so that bit might not count!
- dry for six weeks after I hit a horrendous low point of anxiety and depression and the most serious suicidal thoughts I've ever had. I was, of course, drunk at home at the time. It was awful and I wanted to die to stop all the feels and particularly to stop being the source of pain to my family. 

Both of these times I would say I was a 'dry drunk' because all I was doing was stopping, for that day and maybe the next. I didn't have a goal. I didn't have a plan. I didn't know what to expect or how to get through it.

The post-meningitis dry was really more about convalescence than anything. When the lining of your skull and spinal cord gets a virus and inflames, you don't feel like eating or drinking anything much at all so a bit of self-denial doesn't really earn any points.

And the post-low-point dry was one of those 'prove you don't have to drink' dry periods.  I'm as stubborn as the next man and a lot more stubborn than the next woman, so setting myself a test like that is not so hard.

Why is this different?

Well that's the thought that made me set up a blog for Day Minus-One, isn't it?

This is different because I know what I want to achieve (sobriety) and I know how I want it to feel (clean bodied and clear headed) and I know how to get there (keeping the long game in sight, not just day by day).


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