Email to a Sponsee to let him go!
It breaks my heart that our relationship as Sponsor - Sponsee had to end on the note that it has. I am really concerned for you and wish you well. A the same time having discussed in length in a trio with 72 years of sobriety plus talked about you to a counselor with 23 years I believe you really need to open up your eyes and ears and look at the amount of relapse warning signs that you are living under. You thanked me for participating in saving your life so if you really mean that please look at this in leisure and act upon it before it is too late. I put this together for you with love so treat it so please. I do not want to see you return to jail because you are not able to take care of business.
A dry drunk is a terrible place to live in because when we are in one we lead impoverished lives. We experience severe limitations to grow, to mature, and benefit from the possibilities that life offers. We lack the freshness and spontaneity that genuinely sober alcoholics manifest. Our life is a closed system, attitudes and behaviors are stereotyped, repetitive, and consequently predictable. Denial of reality keeps us there and we are not looking at root causes. Some alcoholics who experience the dry drunk seem to know all the answers, are seldom at a loss for words when it comes to self-diagnosis. Their knowledge is quite impressive, their apparent insight, as opposed to genuine insight, is convincing. They are convinced that they are sober, they are convinced that their life is OK, they are convinced that their program is in order….and yet the truth speaks otherwise. You cannot rip people off or kite checks if you are sober.
Since the abnormality of the alcoholic's attitudes and behavior during the drinking career is generally recognized, the persistence or these character traits after stopping drinking (or the reappearance after an interlude of sobriety) is equally abnormal. The term "dry drunk" therefore denotes the absences of favorable change in the attitudes and behavior of the alcoholic who is not drinking, or the reversion of these by the alcoholic who has experienced a period of successful sobriety. From these conditions, it is to be inferred that the alcoholic is experiencing discomfort in life. The self-destructive attitudes and behavior of the dry drunk alcoholic are different in degree but not in kind. The alcoholic, when drinking, has learned to rely on a deeply inadequate, radically immature approach to solving life's problems. And this is exactly what one sees in the dry drunk. Long story short what this means if you are still living life exhibiting the character defects which were present when you were still using and they have not yet been arrested by your surrender then this is the syndrome we are talking about. Yes you can continue to live the way you are convinced you are working a meaningful program but without surrender and action the symptoms will not be attacked. Wishful thinking is very much in evidence in the dry drunk syndrome as the individual slips farther and farther from reality and is no longer able to deal with the sober unmanageability is his life. A return to using is just a matter of time.
We see them and recognize them in the 12-step rooms... been in the program for years and their lives seem to be a constant unmanageable struggle. All those years and they have no more of a spiritual awakening than they did the first time they walked into the room. "Dry Drunk" has been described as "A condition of returning to one's old alcoholic thinking and behavior without actually having taken a drink." Or as one wise old drunk put it, if a horse thief goes into A.A. what you can end up with is a sober horse thief. Or a personal favorite: you can take the rum out of the fruit cake, but you've still got a fruit cake! You will wind up living a miserable life!
With help you will learn to see the world and yourself more realistically, and develop habits that lead to a happier life. The basic aims of this phase of your recovery should be to develop responsible behavior, patience, honesty and self- acceptance. The implication here is that people in this state only outwardly adhere to AA — but, deep down, they have not really accepted the 12 steps and still live in a state of denial. From everything I see I believe that you’re experiencing the effects of a dry drunk, and I suggest you find yourself a sponsor as soon as possible and make sure he knows all the things you are dealing with.
Before you do that let me remind you of what character defects you should have looked at in Step 4 and then ask yourself if they came back?
Aggressive, angry, apprehensive, argumentative, arrogant, avoidant, compulsive, conceited, cynical, defensive, defiant, denying, dishonest, evasive, fearful, gluttonous, gossiping, hyper sensitive, impatient, indifferent, jealous, justifies own actions, lack of purpose, lazy, lustful, lying, manipulative, crude, rude, sarcastic, self important, self centered, self justifying, self seeking, slothful, stealing, stubborn, undisciplined, untrustworthy, vain, wasteful, willful, wordy, verbose