• Kim

Dry January

Updated: Jan 10

I was never a big fan of Dry January. Or Sober October. Or any designated period of time that forced me to question how much alcohol I was drinking on a daily basis. I know now that Dry January is a great way to tell how dependent one has become on this deadly substance, and in retrospect, I realize I had my own thing going on because I wasn't ready to face some personal pain that I was avoiding and the struggles I was dealing with. Alcohol was the easiest way out back then.


Dry January is good for many reasons, because it allows you to take some time off after the holidays to reset or reevaluate your relationship with alcohol, which often gets too intense for many people between Christmas and New Years. My friends and I always joked about that week as a black hole of drunkenness, feeling lost in time, unaware of what day of the week it was.


I always knew that I was way in over my head when the topic of doing a Dry January ever came up and I got that feeling of dread in my stomach. I knew this, because I was never able to complete the challenge. I tried once, and I failed.


A few years back when my good friend, Jen, was doing a Whole 30 Wellness challenge, I wanted to try to do it with her. I truly believed that I could stop drinking for (most of) the 30 days and maybe I could lose some weight - cool! I bet my skin would start glowing too! My priorities were clearly off. I was doing it for the wrong reasons, but at least I tried. In the back of my mind, I wanted to prove to myself that I didn't need alcohol. I also had part of me that was terrified to face life without a glass of wine for a month and wasn't sure what I was going to do with all that time not drinking. Plus, we had a few parties on the weekends scheduled, so I was doomed before I began.


So - my one and only attempt at Dry January, I didn't make it past the fourth day without crushing a bottle of wine at 5pm. I blamed it on the kids fighting or the cold, bleak weather or being stuck inside. Whatever my excuse was, it doesn't matter. When Evan came home and saw me with a half empty bottle of Cabernet, I still remember the look on his face. He didn't seem surprised, but he seemed sad. I remember him saying. "Seriously, you couldn't even make it a week?"


I was embarrassed and annoyed at myself. Maybe I felt too much pressure knowing everyone was doing it and finding it so easy to stop, when I found it excruciatingly difficult not to drink. For me it was easier to keep on drinking instead of facing what was so obviously a serious problem for me at the time. I believe that is the purpose of Dry January though - to shed some sort of light on your relationship with booze, and why I believe everyone should try it out. It is a really good learning experience.


I kept on drinking for a couple more years after that. I blacked out many more times. Upset my husband again and again. I disappointed myself every single time. My failed attempt at Dry January was part of my story that brought me to where I am today. It was one of many red flags that alerted me to the fact that I was on a path of destruction, even if I chose to ignore that red flag and many others for a long time.


If you are sober curious and considering Dry January or maybe you just want a reset after a shitty 2021, why not go for it and see what happens. I believe it is more than just completing the challenge though. Pay attention to how you feel and the changes you experience. Are you sleeping better? How does your stomach feel? How does your head feel in the mornings? Are you waking up earlier? Are you less foggy on a regular basis? How is your energy level? How is your overall emotional mood? Are you less irritable around your kids? You may learn a lot about yourself. Try journaling and writing about what you experience. Just jot down some notes every day. You may surprise yourself.


Let me know in the comments below if you ever tried Dry January or if you are going to try it this year! Or send me an email. Good luck and reach out for support if needed!


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