One of my favorite shows of all time is Rescue Me with Denis Leary. Not only does Denis play Tommy Gavin, drunk of all time of all drunks but he also goes through AA and the series got into a lot of topics around the struggles with alcohol. One of the episodes that stuck in my mind was Episode 344. (I looked it up) The reason is bothered me was he talked about being a “dry drunk.” At the time I saw the episode, I was still drinking but this scene fascinated me. How could someone not be drunk but still do the things they did when they drank? Did they blackout but without booze? Did they go into a hallucination? What happened?
In the scene, there is basically total disregard for other people’s property, Tommy goes a little crazy and he also pulls out a bottle of vodka and doesn’t remember it. He didn’t drink it though. The whole episode is actually entrenched in trauma (his trauma) and coping. It can confuse anyone BUT the behavior was something he would have done in his drinking.
Well. Something has happened. Day 120. I woke up yesterday and I was in a great mood. I worked out at the gym, I got my little one to school early and I drove to work. I forgot my laptop, turned around and went home and got it. So, I would start later than I planned. I was also listening to a podcast. In the podcast there was discussion on “resentments.” I started to think about when I will work the 4th step and what resentments could I possibly own? I had none. I was convinced. Then I pulled into the office. I realized that I resented working at my office. Then all HELL broke loose.
I became RESTLESS
I became IRRITABLE
I became DISCONTENT
This lasted me the whole day. I went to a meeting and upchucked it all out. I also realized I was exhibiting dry drunk behavior. It is not fun. I would rather be…wait for it…drinking. Or so I think. Overall, it was a day long battle with my moods and my fight to not cave into my desires to drink. Notice I didn’t say craving. The cravings are gone. The obsessions are gone; what is left is coping. How do I cope with behaviors that through drinking helped me succeed and relax through life?
Thankfully, I am able to recognize that through continuous work and understanding – this is my new normal. Once I figure out how to navigate my resentments things should be more fluid. Right now I feel like my pink cloud highs and my dry drunk lows are literally like this UP and this is DOWN. It is like having an elevator with no stops in between floor 99 and floor 1.