Dry Drunks

Jesus said, "But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart." This illustrates that even though the physical act of adultery was not committed, the sin was committed. Likewise, the sin of drunkenness can be committed without actually drinking. So I tell you the truth, the dry drunk is guilty of drunkenness because they are drunks at heart. The dry drunk is still a slave to alcohol, still loves to get drunk and is still inordinately attached to drunkenness. Unless they completely lose their interior attachment to drunkenness they will remain a dry drunk. The good news is that the dry drunk disorder can be healed.

Except for a bonafide genuine miracle, once an alcoholic always an alcoholic, but the dry drunk disorder can be healed by less extraordinary means like Professional Christian Counseling and the dry drunk's hard work.


The Dry Drunk Disorder

The Dry Drunk Disorder is a chronic, and progressive problem which stems from difficulty adjusting to abstinence.  Heavy drinking has caused serious alcohol induced spiritual and psychological problems which persist after sobriety.  There are some generally accepted alcohol induced mental disorders which include: Alcohol-Induced Psychotic Disorder, Alcohol-Induced Anxiety Disorder and Alcohol-Induced Mood Disorder.  The Dry Drunk Disorder is not listed in the DSM but it is a valid syndrome, and it appears to have features of each of the above mentioned recognized disorders. 

The dry drunk can only be understood in the context is alcoholism, drunkenness, and recovery.  Their mental state is virtually identical to that of the heavy drinkers except they don’t have the sedative effects of alcohol to soothe their aching mind and emotions.  Despite sobriety, their disordered drunken personality is still in control.  The journey of 1,000 miles begins with the first step, but the dry drunks first step took a detour onto the road of psychopathology.

Even though they stopped drinking, a torrent of repressed thoughts, feelings, attitudes and behaviors can explode like a raging volcano. This means that they are usually very mean and angry people who use their anger to manipulate those closest to them.  

In Galatians 5:22-23, it is written, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control."  It seems reasonable that these qualities are a part of God’s personality.  Consider that the personality traits of the fallen angels’ are the opposite.  Therefore, the demonic personality is full of hatred, unhappiness, despair, dissension, discord, restlessness, impatience, wickedness, deceitfulness, rudeness, and vulgarity.  It is inflamed, stirred- up and crazed.  Unfortunately, the demonic personality sounds a lot like the dry drunk’s personality.  The dry drunks personality is so pathological that he is more in the image and likeness of the demons than God.  Now wonder they don’t like to go to church.


Repression, Suppression and Reaction Formation, not Denial

The heavy drinker relies mostly on denial.  Through this defense mechanism, they refuse to perceive the unpleasant consequences of their drinking.  What is being denied through denial?  Reality!   The heavy drinker’s soul develops defensive mechanisms which support their sick soul's misperceived reality.  The dry drunk also drinks deeply from the cup of denial.  Although the dry drunk uses denial, his primary defense mechanism switches to repression and reaction formation.  Through repression, dangerous desires, like the desire to drink, are kept out of consciousness.  Repression helps them control their desires to drink while simultaneously lessening associated anxiety.  If they didn’t rely so heavily on repression, their anxiety level would probably cause a heart attack.  As if their use of repression wasn’t a big enough impediment to genuine recovery, their use of the defense mechanism reaction formation is equally damaging.  Through reaction formation, the dry drunk’s behaviors are the opposite his repressed desire to be drunk.  The paradox is that he is sober but he hates sobriety.  This unconscious bondage makes him a genuine dry drunk.  Delusion through euphoric recall has set in with sugar coated memories of prior drinking experiences. 

Separation of Religion and Spirituality

Reformed heavy drinkers should realize that Jesus went to church.  He knew the problems with the religion of his times and testified to its faults, nevertheless, he attended church.  He even preached in church.  Jesus understood the need of the church in the world so he established the Christian church. God would like all reformed heavy drinkers to have a healthy balance between spirituality and religion.  They should have the desirable traits of both, without the faults of either.  

As the alcoholic disorder progresses, the heavy drinker will naturally begin to dislike the church and religion. This is normal since these are the visible reminder of their guilt and rejection of God.  Demons progressively manipulate drunks emotions and shape their memory so that they become adverse to religion and church.  They looked at the living church with their deadened eyes and as a symptom of stinking thinking, determined it dead, hence useless.  But it was actually they, who were dead not the church.  Because of this spiritual formation, combined with the other spiritual ravages of drunkenness, the newly sober have great difficulty when they try to reestablish themselves with religion, in the Church.  Until repentant, the drunk was destined for Hell.  Church and religion are truly culture shock.  As a contingency plan,  in case the drunk ever decides to become sober, the aversion to religion is a residual demonic influence and it establishes and exacerbates the dry drunk personality.  Without restoration to the organized church, reformed heavy drinkers will either relapse or become dry drunks. 

The main reason they become spiritual but not religious is because they are not born again with a spiritual awakening,  but merely experience a psychological awakening, so they are the blind, and if a sponsor, the blind leading the blind.  Therefore, despite their prejudice, there comes a time in the reformed heavy drinkers recovery when they must return to church.  The heavy drinker is severely damaged and often the road to recovery begins at the crossroad where that damage and religion parted ways.  Their reintegration is God's plan and therefore a necessary milestone in the recovery of all heavy drinkers and the healing of dry drunks. 

The dry drunk claims that their spiritual progress is not dependent on organized religion. They say they get their spiritual needs met without being religious.  When the dry drunk claims that they are spiritual but not religious, most mean they don’t want to go to Christian church. Those who claim to be spiritual but not religious are really saying that they know better than the collective Christian community.  It is God who established religion, but they say to Hell with it.  

The spiritual but not religious philosophy, as if the two were competing ways of life, is as old as Cain and Abel and has been fully explained away by all the major religions.  Dry drunks try to make a distinction between religion and spirituality when there is much more in common between them than different.  Dry drunks have tried to separate the two as if it were possible to get a pound of flesh without blood.  The dry drunk has removed themselves from the source of grace most necessary for their personal recovery:  His Majesty's church. The spiritual and religious were meant to coexist simultaneously in order that grace may abound. 

As light is to fire, religion is to spirituality.  They are more than two sides of the same coin.  Religion and spirituality are the same thing in different form, just like water and steam.   God put religion and spirituality inseparably together.

The ideal recovery process includes religious and spiritual activities.  Certain interior traits can't be acquired or developed without the practice of corresponding religious acts.  The saints who practiced religion were not deceived.  They practiced their religion devoutly and were more spiritual than most.  Without the exterior practices of religion the interior spiritual traits are usually weakened and soon defeated by the wear and tear of the enemy.  The person who has a genuine interior spirituality which manifests itself in reasonable religious practices has gone far on the road of genuine recovery and made much spiritual progress.  It is God's church, spirituality and religion combined, that gives the reformed heavy drinker the most power to resist the temptation of stinking thinking and achieve liberation from dry drunkenness.  It only makes sense that genuine recovery is more easily accomplished by those in a good church.  God gave His Church great power and authority over illness.  This is another reason why spirituality without religion is a very serious thinking error.  Remember, demons roam the Earth like lions looking for people to devour. Generally a predator doesn’t attack the strong, healthy animal in the herd, but searches for the isolated and weakened.  They do not want the reformed heavy drinker in church because then they are more easy to destroy.  Since demons are economical in their diabolical efforts to destroy the reformed heavy drinker, it only serves the demons when a recovering alcoholic doesn't belong to a church.  The spiritual but not religious, rejection of religion, only serves demons.

It is spiritually very profitable for dry drunks to pray the serenity prayer with the intent to discern God’s will about their position on the spiritual but not religious argument.  Anybody with two eyes and common sense knows how important it is to go to church, therefore, dry drunks don’t possess this wisdom they pray for.

Dry Drunks Have a Psychological, Not a Spiritual Awakening

Dry drunks experience a psychological awakening, not a spiritual one.  It is the spiritual awakening which is a prerequisite to establish genuine recovery.  Since the dry drunk does not experience a spiritual awakening, most only feign recovery.  The psychologically awakened dry drunk practices futility because the driving force behind their drunkenness is fully active.  The psychologically awakened never experienced an interior change of heart. As a general rule, if they are spiritual, but not religious, this is proof positive, that they had a mere psychological awakening, which causes the thinking error at the core of all dry drunks.  

The best spiritual awakening for successful recovery takes place within a true Christian context.  Jesus said, “You must be born again.”  Therefore, the chances for continued peaceful recovery increase when he experiences the inner transformation of becoming a new creature in Christ.  These spiritually awakened are fully aware it is God’s grace working in their recovery. This grace from God is the missing factor in the dry drunk's sobriety.  Until they acquire this grace they will remain a dry drunk.  Therefore dry drunks have a multitude of spiritual impediments which prevent peace of mind and serenity.

Dry Drunks Practice Pseudo Recovery

Immediately after hitting bottom, and initiating sobriety, most drunks are happy to be sober.  At this point they all share a common experience.  They begin to detox.  Here ends the similarities in sobriety between those who begin genuine recovery and those who begin pseudo recovery as a dry drunk.  Soon, the honeymoon of sobriety wears off and the mental state which will accompany them through the rest of their sober life establishes itself.  When they are still experiencing severe psychological problems after a year of sobriety, they have not begun to heal and degenerate into an official card carrying dry drunk.  Sobriety gets more difficult for the dry drunk, instead of easier.  A lesser man would drink, but not the dry drunk.  He will constantly fight the desire to drink, and be miserable. They pathologically turn the misery of resistance into energizing a progressively wicked personality.  

Although the dry drunk has stopped drinking, they have not initiated genuine recovery.  Without genuine recovery, it is a permanent personality damage. 

Based on sobriety, the dry drunk appears to be in recovery, but is unconsciously at odds with recovery. When this desire is repressed, not healed, the wet drunk becomes a dry drunk and feigns recovery.  By two measures, abstinence and 12 step meeting attendance, many deceive themselves into thinking they are in genuine recovery.  Dry drunks suffer a unique blend of pathology, far beyond the healing scope of 12 step groups.  This is evidenced by the large number of dry drunks who continously attend 12 step groups.  Anointed professionals, both clergy and mental health, not sponsors, are necessary to beat the dry drunk disorder. 

The demonic contingency plan is to prevent the reformed drunk from entering genuine recovery, by delusion of recovery, to be a dry drunk.  They are so sly that they can appear as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14).  They would look like an ice cold beer if that would cause a relapse; they would look like recovery in order to create a dry drunk.

The ideal recovery process includes religious and spiritual activities.  Certain interior traits can't be acquired or developed without the practice of corresponding religious acts.  The saints who practiced religion were not deceived.  They practiced their religion devoutly and were more spiritual than most.  Without the exterior practices of religion the interior spiritual traits are usually weakened and soon defeated by the wear and tear of the enemy.  The person who has a genuine interior spirituality which manifests itself in reasonable religious practices has gone far on the road of genuine recovery and made much spiritual progress.  It is God's church, spirituality and religion combined, that gives the reformed heavy drinker the most power to resist the temptation of stinking thinking and achieve liberation from dry drunkenness.  It only makes sense that genuine recovery is more easily accomplished by those in a good church.  God gave His Church great power and authority over illness.  This is another reason why spirituality without religion is a very serious thinking error.  Remember, demons roam the Earth like lions looking for people to devour. Generally a predator doesn’t attack the strong, healthy animal in the herd, but searches for the isolated and weakened.  They do not want the reformed heavy drinker in church because then they are more easy to destroy.  Since demons are economical in their diabolical efforts to destroy the reformed heavy drinker, it only serves the demons when a recovering alcoholic doesn't belong to a church.  The spiritual but not religious, rejection of religion, only serves demons.

It is spiritually very profitable for dry drunks to pray the serenity prayer with the intent to discern God’s will about their position on the spiritual but not religious argument.  Anybody with two eyes and common sense knows how important it is to go to church, therefore, dry drunks don’t possess this wisdom they pray for.

The Dry Drunk Personality

Unfortunately for the dry drunk, his personality sounds a lot like the drunk’s personality.  The dry drunks personality, springs from the spiritual and psychological formation caused by drunken debauchery combined with, maladjustment to abstinence.  There is so much interior damage caused by the drunken lifestyle that mere sobriety is insufficient to clean it out.  Although sober, their disordered drunken personality continues and worsens into abstinence.  Outwardly, the dry drunk may appear to be making progress, but just below the surface there is a growing disordered and dysfunctional personality very similar, but usually worse, to when they were a drunk. Dry drunks appear to be clothed in the virtue of temperance but inwardly they still have much psycho pathology which often triggers their evil nature to quickly erupt, and transforms them into the beast they were when drinking heavily. They appear to be in recovery but it is a pseudo recovery, a fake recovery, a false recovery.  This delusion of recovery prevents them, from beginning genuine recovery.  Dry drunks believe this illusion of recovery much as a demon can appear as an angel of light.  They may have stopped drinking but have not been healed.  They are still drunks at heart. 

When a heavy drinker manages to stop drinking, the demonic contingency plan is to form the dry drunk personality with its delusion of recovery. 

Though abstinent they unconsciously hate sobriety and love drunkenness.  This ferments and festers creating, reinforcing, and establishing the dry drunk personality.  The more interior pain they experience from sobriety, the more fuel they have to pathologically turn that misery into a progressively worsening personality.  It is a vicious downward spiral.

Like all heavy drinkers, the dry drunk also drinks deeply from the cup of denial.  But, as the dry drunk personality begins its formation, they start to rely on a combination of repression and reaction formation.  

Through repression, dangerous desires, like the love of drunkenness are kept out of consciousness.  If they didn’t rely so heavily on repression, their anxiety level would probably cause a heart attack or stroke.  Repression blinds them from their unconscious desire to, and loving to get drunk.  Their love affair to be drunk is repressed. 

Through reaction formation, dangerous desires, like the love of drunkenness, manifest in their thought life as its opposite.  Consciously they are unaware of their unconscious love.  Consciously they believe they are actually in recovery and they think they like it.  The paradox is that they are sober but unconsciously hate sobriety.  This is why they are miserable.  This conflict generates much of their stinking thinking.  Delusion through euphoric recall sets in with sugar coated memories of prior drinking experiences. 

Dry Drunks are Spiritual But Not Religious

To be spiritual but not religious is a serious impediment to recovery.  This philosophy sets up the person in recovery to become either miserable, a dry drunk or to relapse.

God would like all reformed heavy drinkers to have a healthy balance between spirituality and religion.  They should have the desirable traits of both, without the faults of either.  Reformed heavy drinkers should realize that Jesus went to church.  He knew the problems with the religion of his times and testified to its faults, nevertheless, he attended church.  He even preached in church.  Jesus understood the need of the church in the world so he established the Christian Church.  God gave His Church great power and authority over illness, including alcoholism and the dry drunk disorder.  It is God's church, with spirituality and religion combined, that gives the repentant and reformed heavy drinker the most power to resist stinking thinking, achieve interior freedom and genuine recovery.  Therefore, it only makes sense that genuine recovery is more easily accomplished by those in a good church.  Unfortunately, some deliberately remove themselves from this most necessary source of grace:  His Majesty's church.  The spiritual but not religious philosophy, as if the two were competing ways of life, is as old as Cain and Abel.  There is no genuine Christian church that claims spiritual health without religious practices.  Yet they, being deceived and diabolically led, make the claim that spirituality and religion are at variance with each other.

Some make a distinction between religion and spirituality when there is much more in common between them than different.  They try to separate the two as if it were possible to get a pound of flesh without blood.  God put religion and spirituality inseparably together.  They are meant to coexist simultaneously in order that grace may abound.  As light is to fire, religion is to spirituality or spirituality is to religion.  They are more than two sides of the same coin.  Religion and spirituality are the same thing in different form, just like steam and ice. 

Remember, demons roam the Earth like lions looking for people to devour.  A lion doesn’t attack the strong, healthy animal in the herd, but searches for the isolated and weakened.  Since demons are economical in their diabolical efforts they prefer the reformed heavy drinker not go to church because then they are easier to destroy.  The spiritual but not religious philosophy, only serves demons.  Most who practice spirituality without religion really mean they don’t want to go to church.  It is God who established religion, but they say to Hell with it.

Those who claim to be spiritual but not religious are really saying that they know better than God and the collective Christian community.  They believe that their spiritual progress and recovery is not dependent on organized religion, that their spiritual needs are met without being religious.  This is more than stinking thinking, it is a lie from Hell! 

As the drinker becomes a heavy drinker and the alcoholic disease progresses, the demonic strategy is to progressively manipulate the heavy drinkers stinking thinking so that religion and church become uncomfortable, adverse, and avoided.  When this formation is accomplished the alcoholic will enter recovery with an aversion to religion and church.  They look at the living church with their deadened eyes and determined it dead, not them.  But it was actually they, who were dead not the church.  Because of this disordered perception and formation, combined with the other ravages of drunkenness, many newly sober, the ones most likely to become Dry Drunks, have great difficulty when they try to reestablish themselves with religion, in the Church.  This isn’t so far fetched since until recently, the drunk was destined for Hell.  Church and religion are truly culture shock to them. 

For many Dry Drunks,the road to genuine recovery begins at the crossroad where spirituality and religion parted ways.  Healing requires the reintegration of religious and spiritual thoughts, feelings and activities.  Many interior traits can't be acquired or developed without the practice of corresponding religious acts.  The person who has a genuine interior spirituality which manifests itself in reasonable religious practices has gone far on the road of genuine recovery and spiritual progress.  The ancient saints who practiced religion were not deceived.  They practiced their religion devoutly and were more spiritual than most. 

Therefore, despite their aversion to religion and church, there comes a time when they must either return to church, remain a dry drunk, be perpetually miserable or relapse.  Their reintegration of religion with spirituality is God's plan for them and therefore a necessary milestone in their recovery. 

Dry Drunks Stop by Will Power, Not Surrender

The alcoholic suffers under a compulsion to drink which is so oppressive that it appears their ability to remain sober is beyond free Will.  Actually, they never lose their free Will, they abdicate its degrees of freedom.  They become less free and more determined the longer the disorder progresses.  For many heavy drinkers, sobriety, is like holding their breath.  They can hold their breath by an act of willpower, but only for a short duration.  

Whoever stops drinking by willpower will struggle with constant craving because the burning desire for alcohol continues to reign in their hearts.  They suffer an unconscious conflict between wanting to continue drinking and intending sobriety, and this generates a dysfunctional synergy that turns the act of resisting temptation into pathological increased desire to drink.  Their healthy Will has been so damaged that it only exists to do whatever is necessary to drink.  So, it is the intent of their Will, which is inordinately attached to drunkenness, which directs them to apply their willpower dysfunctionally.  Try to stop them from getting their alcohol and witness them demonstrate much willpower.

Many want sobriety, but it’s only a wish for sobriety, a good intention, and they can’t muster what is needed.  I think God appreciates their good intentions and graces us for having them.  He knows our flesh is weak and warring against our spirit often making us unable to follow through with our Will’s good intention.  Obviously, more is needed than good intentions.  True repentance, genuine remorse and firm resolution ignites the generation of willpower and also connects the desire for sobriety to the act of sobriety.  How is this accomplished?

In trustful surrender, it’s no longer the alcoholic's Will power which causes sobriety, but God's healing kindness.  Faith, not works.  The alcoholic trustfully surrenders, their Will voluntarily declines to assert itself and to activate its defenses.  Interestingly, the act of trustful surrender generates healing power into the recovering alcoholics Will giving it the internal resources to begin genuine recovery.  For the alcoholic who surrenders, God usually makes sobriety relatively easy to accomplish.  The subjective experience of these alcoholics is that God took the desire away from them.  It appears that alcohol was never the serious problem it actually is. Therefore, their chances of success are greatly increased.  Trustful surrender does not mean that the alcoholic must give up his own mind, Will and emotions.  It means he would give up his pathological “stinking-thinking” and trade it in, for the renewing of his mind.  That is why surrender, not resistance, is necessary.  

Dry Drunks Are Sober for Worldly Reasons, Not Spiritual Reasons

The most perfect reason to abstain from heavy drinking and drunkenness is love of God.  The second best reason is obedience to God's will.  The third reason is fear of the loss of Heaven and the pains of Hell.  These are all good spiritual reasons to be sober.  When the primary motivation for sobriety is worldly reasons like to escape dire temporal consequences, such as cirrhosis, divorce, jail, etc., instead of spiritual reasons, the dry drunk disorder is often initiated.  Abstinence for worldly reasons breeds dry drunks.  In order to prevent the dry drunk disorder, the heavy drinker needs to do the right thing (abstinence) and for the right reason (spiritual).  Some may argue that whatever the motive to abstain, it is better to abstain than to be a drunkard.  On the most superficial and worldly domain, this is true.  If they would only decide to stop drinking for love of God, or obedience, or fear, then His abundant grace be more helpful to heal them. 

The Dry Drunks Recovery is Based on Works, Not Faith

All heavy drinkers accomplish abstinence through a combination of faith and works.  There is a wonderful healing synergism generated when the proper combination of faith and works are in place during the start up and maintenance of abstinence. 

When there is over emphasis on the works side of the equation, under this condition, they are acting out a rebellious self sufficiency which is always a cause and reinforcer of the dry drunk personality. This means the dry drunks abstinence is accomplished through his own efforts, not God’s grace; by works, not faith.  Works without faith is also dead.  They mistake their own effort as being the sole cause of their sobriety.  When works are primary, the dry drunk will either remain miserable or relapse.  Most dry drunks don’t really believe they owe their sobriety to God’s mercy because they suffer from a self satisfied complacency based on successful abstinence.  This measure, successful abstinence, is shallow and superficial, but suits them well because they lack the necessary change of heart.  They have not actually embraced Alcoholic’s Anonymous Steps 1-3.  They aren’t faking it until they make it, they believe by delusion they have made it.  Their sobriety is a workaholic sobriety.

When faith is primary, grace promotes genuine healing.  Through faith the heavy drinker crosses over into the supernatural realm, grabs hold of a healing, and pulls it back to this side of reality.  Dry drunks can’t reach across the veil and pull from the body of faith.  Faith based sobriety automatically rules out the self reliance which produces the dry drunk’s works-based personality.  Pray as if everything depends on God (faith) and act as if everything depends on you (works). 

Dry Drunks Have a Behavioral Change, Not a Change of Heart

While it is true that the dry drunks drinking has stopped, it is untrue that there has been any deep interior spiritual healing.  The dry drunk didn't have a change of heart, and although they stopped drinking, their personality is unchanged.  Actually since the disease is progressive, and since they can’t use the sedative effects of alcohol to soothe their aching personality, it is probably exponentially getting worse.  The dry drunk only practices external behaviors which superficially look like and mimic genuine recovery.  They don’t possess that necessary inner transformation, accomplished through carrying their daily cross, amending their life, renewing their mind and purifying their soul.  Instead, their behavioral focus, as an indicator of their progress, becomes a delusional recovery, built on sand.  Spiritual healing, not mere behavioral change, is the only guaranteed way to prevent or heal the dry drunk personality.  

Dry Drunks Can't Forgive 

A very important milestone on the road to genuine recovery and restoration is forgiveness.  Most heavy drinkers have an impenetrable fortress of unforgiveness, much of which continues into dry drunk sobriety.  This is why AA’s Step 4 is important.  Barriers which prevent forgiveness are the cause of more relapses and dry drunks than any other inaction.

Receiving God's forgiveness begins with the confession of the heavy drinker’s own sins, which are very often grave sins.  Receiving God’s forgiveness requires heart felt repentance and a firm resolution to amend your life.  If the heavy drinker truly repents and confesses their sins, God is faithful and just and will forgive their sins and purify them from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).  Many relapse or become dry drunks because they did not truly repent and therefore God could not forgive their sins and purify them from all their unrighteousness, drunken unrighteousness specifically. 

Confession to God is necessary, while confession to another person, as defined by 12 step programs is often helpful and healing, but must be done with discernment and prudence.  Some people who have stopped drinking have an unnatural propensity to expiate their guilt by confessing their offenses.  They confuse their motive of selfish guilt reduction for some more noble cause.  Just because confession is cathartic is no reason to further damage the one already hurt.  How many alcoholics with less than a year in recovery have tried to make amends with their spouse by admitting adultery and lost the love of their life forever?  Confess it to God and sin no more.  However, wisdom may task the reformed heavy drinker to confess to the person they sinned against.  This is the case when the offended person knows about the sin committed against them.  The heavy drinker’s confession may be the only way the offended person can be moved to forgive.  Once again.  Discernment and prudence should be applied.

During the alcoholic's drunken debauchery there were many people who have offended him.  The heavy drinker must also forgive others.  Matthew 6:14-15 teaches, “Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us” This is prescribed by Jesus for healing the soul.  

Therefore, unless they forgive those who offended them, God's restoration to them may be blocked.  The parable of the unmerciful servant (Matthew 18:21-35) illustrates this.  A man was forgiven a great debt.  Although he was forgiven a great debt, he refused to forgive someone’s little debt owed to him.  The story ended with this man's original debt being reinstated.  So be wise and forgive those who have sinned against you.  God wants reformed heavy drinkers to forgive those who have sinned against them for many reasons but it will release the person who forgives, from their own hurt which would otherwise ferment in their soul.  God wants everyone to be as generous in forgiving others as He is in forgiving mankind (Ephesians 4:32).  It is more than God's desire for us to forgive each other, it is a mandate (Colossians 3:13).  Practice forgiving others, don’t worry so much about them forgiving you. 

Another obstacle which blocks restoration from forgiveness and hinders recovery is when a sinner does not forgive himself.  When a person forgives himself it is truly a wonderful thing, not only are they forgiven but they are also the forgiver.  I recommend that all reformed heavy drinkers pray that God would shine the light of Christ on their souls interior darkness bringing that darkness to the surface so that they can then apply reason and prayer to that which was previously in darkness, setting them free from its bondage.

There is a very diabolical thought which prevents many from experiencing God’s forgiveness.  In 12 step programs it’s called stinking thinking.  In cognitive behavioral therapy we call it a thinking error.  In truth, it is a lie from Hell.  Some falsely accuse God and believe He wronged them.  There was once a drunk who was angry at God, for thirty years, because he blamed God because  his parents died.  He did not pray or go to church and willfully separated himself from God.  He judged God and determined that, since he prayed to God, God should have let his parents live.  In this case, it is not God who needs to be forgiven, but a delusional thought process which needs to be healed.  It would be a sin to counsel this person to forgive God because God is all good, above reproach, and deserves all our love.  

Dry Drunks Can’t Embrace the Pain of Recovery

The two main reasons heavy drinkers don’t recover, after not caring as in the case of the reprobate, is they are unwilling to embrace the pain of recovery, and if they are, they don’t have the perseverance to run the race to its end. 

There is a lot of pain associated with being a heavy drinker.  There is the pain of hangovers, injuries, drunken violence, etc.  Arguments with your spouse, car accidents, DWI’s with their related court costs, missed work, neglecting children, etc. Also there is the heavy drinkers guilt, shame and embarrassment.  All these troubles cause you pain.  Let's say these cause 50 units of pain.  

Staying sober is also very painful.  This pain comes from resisting the burning desire to get drunk, and going thru the stresses of life without the sedative effects of alcohol.  Just because you stopped drinking doesn't mean your problems with friends, family, and work automatically disappear. The criticism from those you hurt over the years doesn’t stop the day you stop drinking.  Your spouse may still want a divorce, you may still lose your job, etc.  So let's say the pain of staying sober is also 50 units of pain.  The one exception is the dry drunk.  Despite sobriety the dry drunk's pain continues to worsen.  

It's important to know that the pain of continued heavy drinking will turn into 60, 70, & 80 units of pain, while the pain of staying sober will turn into 40, 30, and 20, units of pain. Therefore, whether sober or drunk you will initially have 50 units of pain Initially it’s easier to live the 50 units caused by heavy drinking, since this is what you are accustomed to, but remember this. The 50 units of drunken pain increases while the 50 units from genuine recovery lessens over time because Christ’s burden is lighter.  The heavy drinker must come to understand that, over time, the pain of sobriety hurts less than the pain of drunkenness.  Choose well.  The heavy drinker actually needs to accept and embrace the pain which causes healing, rather than avoid it.  Embracing the pain and working through it is the only way to heal. 
The pain associated with sobriety is the daily carrying of the cross and dying in Christ, which Jesus prescribed to all on the royal road of spiritual recovery.  Sobriety can be a living sacrifice because every fiber of the former heavy drinker seems to be screaming for alcohol.  Actually, when the drunk abstains it is he that is dying in Christ.  Jesus was serious when He said we should die to ourselves and daily take up our cross.  The drunk, dry or wet, usually carries a very heavy cross; the alcoholic in genuine recovery, his cross is light. 

Dry Drunks Don’t Have Peace of Mind

Let there be peace on Earth and let it begin with me, is a saying that definitely doesn’t apply to the dry drunk.  Since their emotions are as disordered as when they were a heavy drinker, almost everything they do creates interior and exterior friction.  Peace is impossible for the dry drunk because in order for them to stay happy, they must recreate their interior drama in all those around them.  The dry drunk can’t leave others alone because they are compelled to share their interior state with others.  Their passions are running wild, and its pressure makes it impossible for them to contain those passions, and they act out those passions against those closest to them. This is especially difficult for those close to them because it is never ending. 

In order to have true peace the dry drunk must be humble, but their self sufficient success with abstinence, is prideful.  The truly peaceful person is singlehearted but for them the littlest of problems in their lives meet the criteria of turning molehills into the mountains.  How can they have peace if in their head they are a walking time bomb ready to explode at the littlest of difficulties?  Another reason dry drunks do not have peace of mind is because they have a very heavy conscience which presses down on them.  Life is full of suffering which they have great difficulty bearing.  In fact they try to avoid all suffering to their own detriment.  There is a correlation between one’s ability to handle suffering and interior peace, but with the dry drunk there is an inverse correlation.  They avoid the pain of spiritual growth like the plague.  The dry drunk is either unwilling or unable to do those things necessary to acquire God’s grace for interior peace.  Those things which are necessary they find especially adverse.  For healing and peace to occur, the flood gates of Jesus’ Divine Mercy, must pour into a soul.  But they must also cooperate with this grace but are disinclined.  Since they are on a crooked path with many detours, obstacles, and pot holes, they find it virtually impossible to reconcile their past and find peace. 

The summary for the Dry Drunk’s spirituality is that they are living in the flesh and not walking in the Holy Spirit.  If they claim to be a Christian, they are a carnal Christian.  This being said, there are many dry drunks who are carnal Christians.  This category includes those who are spiritual but not religious.   Spending time with Jesus is the only way to quell this interior state that prevents peace.  









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