Wet Alcoholic, Dry Alcoholic

Posted on 01/01 23:52

For this entry, I take a break from my story, which now flows into 2004, and give part of my perspective on gay & bi-ness. As my title suggests, I compare it to alcoholism--only in reverse.
With alcoholics, it's said that when they are drinking, they are wet (practicing) alcoholics; which is bad. In drinking excessively, they have impaired judgements and their relationships & jobs suffer. DUIs & verbal abuse, liver damage, and of course bad examples to kids, all come too. On the other hand, being a dry (nondrinking) alcoholic means your relationships are better, your judgement isn't muddled by booze, and you become healthier.

Alcoholics take this route, being dry, because that is what best helps them function & be healthy; emotionally and physically. Ex-gay groups say that if we go 'cold turkey' (dry) on our feelings, we can be healthier--maybe even go straight. But in reality, that's not true for many--the opposite is. We need to be 'wet' (practicing) to be healthy; and staying dry can actually hurt. Let me clarify.


We can function better, and be healthy, when we accept our sexuality and practice it responsibly. It is very satisfying, and beneficial, to be in love, have the love returned, and physically express that love. Gays, bis and straights are all capable of having that. When we have supportive friends and/or family, we also feel better about ourselves. Being able to share with people like ourselves also opens up new, satisfying bonds & hobbies. Conversely, staying 'dry'--repressing--can cause feelings of worthlessness, and guilt for not feeling as we 'should.' Especially with those who are very devout, and feel their feelings go against God's plan for intimacy. Denying outlets for our feelings can also cause frustration, and try something in desperation. Stats have shown gay/bi teens have one of the higher suicide rates. They have also shown gay bonds that last decades--esp the noted one of 51 years between 2 women whose bond lasted til one passed away (I think 2007).
Celibacy is a possibility for some; clergy & nuns choose it willingly. But many can't abstain permanently; and need the gift of having someone to love, and love them. To be intimate with, and connect with. Straights and non-straights both need that love connection. So being a 'wet' gay/bi person (unlike being a wet alcoholic) can give more emotional health and confidence than staying 'dry'. Here, denial & 'dryness' can bring harmful frustration and self-loathing. In short: alcoholics don't need the substance they avoid--they do better without it; and 2) gay/bi folk do need the substance they're told to avoid: intimacy & love. Whether we accept our sexuality easily, or struggle for years (as many do), we are NOT better without love. That, regardless of views on sexuality, is an indisputable fact.
Toss the beer can, and call a friend.
Bi for now.



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