Removing alcohol from a person’s life may not be enough to expect life to improve. Not drinking is part of the first step in the road to recovery. If one doesn’t put enough time and effort into his recovery, he may not be able to feel as fulfilled and happy as he desires. Loved ones may complain that the dry drunk is just as difficult to be around as he was when he was drinking.
He may suffer from a lack of interest in activities or loneliness. Has a low tolerance for stress and gets easily upset if things don’t go his way, or may engage in self-pity. He might romance the drink, meaning he only remembers the good times he had while drinking and forgets about the wreckage it caused. He may continue to lie, or be full or pride and arrogance.
A person who chooses alcohol for comfort may do so because he finds life difficult to handle. He might choose alcohol to avoid challenges. When alcohol is removed from this equation, he cannot turn to drinking anymore, but his problems are still there. He has run away from the hardships in his life through alcohol, so now he only knows how to avoid dealing with difficult situations. If this is the case, he may return to old behaviors.
A good recovery program teaches a person how to start a new life, one that is better than before. No one lives a stress-free life, and there are challenges in everyday living. AA teaches one how to deal with challenges effectively. He learns new coping skills that allow him to lead a wonderful life without alcohol.
Changing one’s way of thinking and behaving doesn’t happen overnight. He has to be willing to listen and learn. He must put a lot of effort into his recovery in order to reap the seeds he has sown. Many times in AA groups, one will hear “you get out what you put in” meaning if one puts a lot of effort into his recovery, he will be rewarded.
Membership to AA gives a person an enormous advantage because he is surrounded with people who are committed to lifelong recovery. Many people in AA continue to grow mentally and spiritually. Of course it’s possible for a few to have a fulfilling life in recovery without being a member of AA, but many people benefit tremendously from the fellowship.
If you or someone you know is suffering from active addiction or alcoholism or has stopped using but life hasn't improved, a 12 step drug and alcohol rehab may be useful and well indicated. You can find some of the best 12 step treatment centers on Passport to Recovery.