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Diary of a Dry Drunk


Prayers do get answered.

If you need hope that you can recover – please read my “Diary of a Dry Drunk” below, written in 2008 at almost 10 years sober.

It is sad and unsettling for me to read how I was suffering and in self-pity that I couldn’t see. I was living in the spiritual malady surrounded by the solution, but unable to access it in a meaningful way.

If you know me, follow me, read my posts, the difference then and now is as stark as someone’s before and after weight-loss photos.

The last words that I wrote in “Diary” caused me to burst into tears when I read them last night: “…so I can in turn, be used as your instrument to help others realize the miracle of AA.”

My prayer has been answered LITERALLY- EXACTLY as I wrote it in 2008.

There are not enough words to share my gratitude, which is why I live it and dedicate my life in service to others.

Please, if you resonate with the below, send me a message. You don’t have to suffer – either in your recovery or in active addiction.


I got sober when I was 22 years old – almost 10 years ago. The first few years, I was especially proud of my AA membership; I shared it with anyone who would listen. But more recently, my attitude toward my sobriety has changed.

The first 5 years, I lived in mostly happy exuberance at my new found freedom from alcohol and drugs. I went to meetings at least 4 times a week. I was firmly rooted in the fellowship.

That did not mean that I was firmly rooted in the Steps, however. I worked the 12 Steps through in my first year of sobriety. Since that time, I have only made a few half-hearted, unfinished attempts at the Steps, mainly playing the 1,2,3 game.

Earlier this year, I once again had a go at it. I got through the resentments and fears parts of Step 4, but looking at my sex conduct seemed a huge mountain I did not know how to climb, so my Fourth step went unfinished.

I point my finger to my lack of true sobriety squarely at my conduct in sex and relationships.

But I do owe my marriage to AA – I married another recovering alcoholic almost 2 years ago.

That opens another can of worms. I have followed in the footsteps of many in the fellowship and made my spouse my Higher Power. And, of course, he’s become my sponsor, too.

This brings me to today in sobriety. Or, rather, being dry.

I am ashamed of myself for wasting a lot of time in this program “resting on my laurels.”

In the past year or so, drinking has become an option in weak moments, more so than at any other time in my recovery.

Sometimes I think that drinking could help me escape uncomfortable feelings – insecurities, worries, fears – and give me a temporary reprieve from my thoughts.

I just don’t have the same enthusiasm about AA that I used to have.

I know there is no excuse for me not going to more meetings, not the gas that it takes to get there, being tired, or just plain laziness.

I went to any length to drink. I need to do what I used to do and go to any length to stay sober. It’s all just rationalizations, excuses, justifications. Don’t get me started on my resentments. Or fears.

I live in fear constantly today. I am afraid of someone breaking in my house at night, of global warming cooking us all to death, and of dying of a brain tumor from my cellphone.

Obviously, I know my issues. Being in this program for 1/3 of my life, I am a pro at self-analysis. My problem is that’s as far as it goes. I get overwhelmed with all this shame at not living up to my expectations of where I should be at 32 years old, 9 1/2 years sober. I should be happy, joyous, and free, at most.

At least, I should be able to get along without having this huge chip on my shoulder that is so easy for anyone or anything to knock off, ruining my serenity.

It would be nice if I could look back with accomplishment and pride at what has transpired in my sobriety.

And, yes, on the outside, things don’t look bad at all: I found a rewarding career since I’ve gotten sober, have made many friends, and have a wonderful husband. The promises did come true in my life, then most gradually fell away as I got complacent.

I compare my sobriety to an old deflated balloon nowadays, that once was bright red and full of air and I held onto it by a shiny curled ribbon. I held it high and was proud to show it off, this beautiful gift given to me.

Now, the balloon is just a scrap of rubber, the air long since deflated, the bright crimson faded to a grayish white.

I have treated my sobriety without the reverence and respect it deserves. I have abused it, toyed with it, taking it to places sobriety is not meant to go. I have trampled it, literally forgotten about it and left it stuffed in a corner lying under a couch cushion; done everything but pour alcohol down my gullet.

Again, why do I wonder why I feel the way I do?

God, please take my sobriety. Blow healing life back into it, so I can be the light and buoyant soul I once was when I was first blessed with the GIFT of sobriety. Help me to be tender with myself and my balloon of recovery, and help me realize that it will take time to blow it back up to its original size. Humble me with the knowledge of the enormity of the grace of sobriety once again, so I can in turn, be used as your instrument to help others realize the miracle of AA.


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