Have you ever been around an alcoholic who isn’t drinking?
What is their demeanor? Are they nice? Are they grumpy? How do they react to you?
If you grew up in an alcoholic household, then you know that when mom or dad did not have something to drink they were not happy. Actually, they could be quite irritable.
Some people would even say that their significant other can sometimes be in a better mood when they are drinking. Being clean can be the equivalent of being a dry drunk or white-knuckling your sobriety.
Just because someone is clean does not mean that they have treated their alcoholism. Stopping drinking is only the first part of an alcoholic’s problem.
They also have a problem with their mind, which works to avoid and be resistant to feelings of anger, fear, shame, loneliness, and guilt.
When these feelings arise in the alcoholic who has stopped using alcohol to cope with these emotions, the reaction can be extreme.
What does being sober mean?
In the 14th century, sober meant, “reduce to a quiet condition.” Although this definition does not exactly match what we mean by sober, we can use it here.
Through proper treatment with the 12 Steps, you can “reduce to a quiet condition” the feelings you are resistant to and be comfortable with being honest with yourself.
Alcoholics and addicts have a difficult time being honest with themselves.
Sobriety means you are free from addiction. You have recovered, not recovering. Read about the difference. You can handle the feelings that arise while not using alcohol, and you can even be helpful.
Struggling to Stay Clean
If you’re struggling with addiction to drugs and alcohol, a recovery community and support groups can also assist in your recovery.
But the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous states that it takes a psychic change to stay sober. You need to get help rewiring your beliefs, behavior, and how you respond to situations.
Usually, this can be accomplished in an addiction treatment center. Other people can get sober by doing the 12 step program at an A.A. meeting.
The point however is that life for an addict or alcoholic has a lot more meaning than just being clean, and constantly fighting temptation over and over again.
When sober and recovered from alcoholism or addiction, you cease fighting alcohol. The book says you recoil from it like a hot flame.
Having trouble staying clean and sober?
Learn how Burning Tree Ranch has helped thousands of family members and their loved ones since 1999 recover from alcoholism and addiction. Find Freedom
If you or a family member needs help getting sober, then call our admissions staff for more information.(877) 389-0500