In my last post our immature, childish Jim was let loose and ranted on about how Dry January spoilt his sense of being special. Well it’s time for grown up Jim to redress the balance.
So here goes, Dry January is a great idea.Simple.
It was interesting that some USA bloggers were unfamiliar with the concept. Over here in the UK we have had to put up with numerous American imports; trick or treat, line dancing, McDonalds and that great celebration of crass materialism, Black Friday. Thanks a lot.
Well in return I think the US should import Dry January. It’s a simple concept. During January, when typically very little happens, quite a few people try going a whole month without drinking alcohol. It’s a noble concept that harms no one and eases the pressure on A-and E departments, relationships and policing.
Some people say it’s tokenism and I get that. Many who start crack after a few days but a significant number stay the course. From that experience some cut back on their overall alcohol consumption whilst others extend the experience into other dry periods during the year.
For me Dry January was my first tentative step towards giving up alcohol let’s say for the foreseeable future. I first tried it about 6 years ago and although I did manage the whole month, it was tough. It really struck me that I had never gone so long without a drink since my late teens; even in January there were so many events and encounters that involved alcohol. I experienced cravings, feelings of denial, but also towards the end of the month better sleep, loss of weight and it became clear to me that alcohol or the absence of it were significant issues.
The first month of stopping drinking is always tough so the Dry January experience really does highlight how we have become physically, socially, emotionally and psychologically dependent on this drug alcohol.
Dry January helped me see this and gave me that distance from alcohol which aids reappraisal. More, less successful Dry Januarys followed and led to alcohol free days in the week and ultimately to a more alcohol free months at different points in the year. Going back to the alcohol always resulted in the pattern of excessive drinking returning within days and so finally I arrived at deciding it had to go completely. That was 5 months ago and there’s no doubt, the first month was the toughest.
Dry January gave me the perspective and courage to go long term alcohol free and I’m now in that place where I don’t feel I’m being denied or missing something, quite the opposite. I feel I have discovered a better way of being by being AF. It’s healthier, liberating and life enhancing. There are some downsides at times sure but I am in no doubt whatsoever that going from Dry January to Dry Life was one of the best decisions I have made. So shut it Jim junior, Dry January is cool or as the Spanish say, “Chula.”
For the Americans reading this take Dry January, promote it and make it your own and please, please, please take back Black Friday and bin it.