It's similar to a new religious convert who believes he was wrong about everything before he saw the light. Now, he's suddenly right about everything.
The "dry drunk" as known in AA, is the one who thinks and can even behave like the worst addict, but is abstinent. The pain brought on by all-or-nothing thinking can be so tortuous that another cycle of abuse- or the creation of substitute addictions- easily begins. Too, the ceaseless judgmental and condemnatory attitudes and behaviors can drive others to drink, or just run away.
Some compare the "first stepper" dry alcoholic to a Christian who never goes beyond conformity to the expectations of others. Well- explained by Richard Rohr in Breathing Under Water, The result is a sacrificial, elder brother religion, driven by resentment and unhappiness- with God, others, and self. The deeper experiences in the classic stages of prayer and faith, such as purgation, illumination, and union, have to be set aside to keep appearances.
Not being able to serve two masters, professional clergy can easily sacrifice genuine spirituality for something that looks good instead. And while looking the part has its rewards, one of them is not progress in loving God and others God has given you to love. Matthew 6:1-18 The Apostle Paul knew that growth in love was the best fruit of our spiritual life, and even if we sacrifice our lives in martyrdom, if not rooted in love, there is no spiritual benefit for anyone, including ourselves. I Cor. 13:3