Long Term Sobriety Struggles

Long Term Sobriety Struggles

Home What We Help With Trauma Disorders Long Term Sobriety Struggles

While we have a page full of information on chronic relapse, here we discuss struggles that come with long term sobriety.  The two are not one in the same, but certainly related.

What is long term sobriety?

The 12 Step Program known as Alcoholics Anonymous is nearing a century in existence, and some records show early treatment programs for substance abuse as early as the 1840’s.  With the focus shifting from a criminal and deviant element to biological and psychological, sobriety from substance continues to be possible, and with it, so does the hope of long term sobriety.

Sobriety by definition simply indicates the absence of alcohol, drugs, or being under the influence. Most people who identify as having long term sobriety typically maintain this state of abstinence for several years or more.

Long Term Sobriety Struggles
Long Term Sobriety Struggles

Dry Drunk Syndrome

A slang term that originated in 12 Step Program Alcoholics Anonymous, Dry Drunk Syndrome became a widely used term to describe someone who is abstinent from using alcohol or drugs, but the following may be present:

  • Mood Issues
  • Anxiety and/or Depression
  • Sudden Mood Changes
  • Irritability
  • Boredom
  • Behavioral Symptoms
  • Coping with Abstinence with Other Negative Behaviors
  • Acting Out Towards Loved Ones
  • Lying About Behavior
  • Hiding Behavior
  • Not Following or Continuing What Got You Sober
  • Not Setting Up a Support System
  • This list is certainly not comprehensive.  Many other behaviors and symptoms can be present.

Dry Drunk Syndrome has always had a negative stigma attached to it, and thus for our purposes at The Bridge to Recovery, we do not use the term much. 

Long Term Sobriety Struggles

At The Bridge to Recovery, we prefer to recognize that while abstinence from drugs and alcohol is achievable, often the symptoms of the underlying trauma still present wreak havoc on one’s ability to achieve RECOVERY, healing, and overall emotional wellness.

Sobriety vs. Recovery

  • Sobriety is a state of being.  
  • You either are sober, or you are not.
  • Recovery is a journey. A Process. 
  • You are on a journey of wellness.
  • You participate in ongoing work to heal the “whole self.”

When someone is in only long term sobriety, they often continue to experience the same behaviors and symptoms they did before sobriety, except now that are trying to tackle them sober.  This, of course, is difficult and leads to ongoing struggles with the behaviors we identified above.

Finding Long Term RECOVERY

Long term recovery is possible and begins with addressing underlying trauma.  Trauma is a big, confusing idea.  It is helpful to check out our section on understanding trauma here.

When we can uncover, discover, and heal from our trauma, we can enjoy a journey of wellness.  We can enjoy all recovery has to offer.  The Bridge to Recovery is a place where you can begin that journey.

Just 45 minutes north from Nashville, Tennessee sits our healing refuge.

Hidden away on 115 acres of rolling Kentucky hills.

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About The Bridge To Recovery
The Bridge to Recovery is a transformational residential program located 45 minutes north of Nashville, Tennessee in beautiful rural Kentucky.  We provide hope, healing, and happiness to those suffering.
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