– Robert G. Ingersoll
Welcome to Dryuary 2019!
We’ve all come here from different destinations to which alcohol has taken us. All of us have different expectations of what the next 31 days will bring us. All of us are excited, all of us are afraid, and all of us have real doubts about whether we’ll succeed at the task we’ve set before us.
One thing we have in common is that alcohol has caused consequences in our life, consequences that are of enough weight that we desire to take a step back, to clear our head, to get a clear-eye and clear-mind look at those consequences. To take stock of the damage. To put alcohol at arm’s length and lessen its hold. To figure out, without the distraction of alcohol, who we are and who we want to be. To fall a little out of love with alcohol and a lot more in love with ourselves.
In this first week, we’ll be spending a lot of time assessing where we are right now in our relationship with alcohol. At the end of Dryuary, we’ll be asked to make another assessment and compare. We do this every year and from past participants’ responses, the discoveries and changes are significant. So, today, with that knowledge, I want you to take several minutes, close your eyes and, in your mind, pick up a camera and take a picture of that future you, you at the end of Dryuary. Then, pick up a pen and a sheet of paper and write a description of what you see in that picture- you with all the consequences of Dryuary on full display and no consequences of alcohol to be found. Dryuary isn’t plastic surgery, but, again, based on past experiences, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the changes in physical appearance. But, let’s go beyond the surface. What changes do you expect or want to see on the inside? Remember, leave all consequences of alcohol out of your picture.
Are you sitting by a fire with a steaming cup of coffee or tea in one hand and a good book in the other? Your posture relaxed? A look of complete ease on your face?
Are you at your desk at work 15 minutes early because you’ve got a great idea and can’t wait to get to work on it? Eyes clear. Brain alive and humming?
Are you the first one on the slopes looking down a run of fresh, untouched snow, the sun just peaking over the mountains turning it pink? No hangover. No anxiety. No impatience for the day to be over and happy hour to start. Just that endless slope of pure, clean snow and all the time in the world.
Are you belly-laughing real laughter (Believe me there’s a difference between real laughter and inebriated laughter, you’ll see.) with your kids as you watch some silly, animated feature during popcorn and movie night. Comfy pajamas, worn out slippers, scratchy afghans and all.
Take that snapshot with you on this journey, tuck it in your pocket for those times you feel like the journey is too long or not worth it. Pull it out and remember where you are heading and where you want to end up. Change it and enhance it as necessary. Add a bonus onto that picture of you at your desk. A perfect run on those slopes. A wonderful dream after you fall asleep reading that book or with the kids on the couch during movie #3.
I wish I could say that for the next 31 days, alcohol will be of no consequence to us, but it will. Its presence will linger. In the first few days, its ghost will be at its most powerful when we find ourselves longing for it at certain times of the day and when we realize that we’ve come to depend on it a little more than we thought. Just hang on. You’re not alone. It get’s better. Together, we will get through this. We’re going to learn lessons we never learned or have forgotten. We’re going to be exposed to information and points of view that are new. Some of it might hit a little too close to home and some of it will be way off target. That’s okay. What doesn’t apply right now, may apply later. The good news is, we get to take all the knowledge and these experiences with us, and, even if we resume drinking on February 1, we cannot unlearn the knowledge or undo the experiences.
The writers who have generously shared their knowledge with us, also come from different destinations. Some of their beliefs and recommendations might conflict with other writers’ recommendations or our own beliefs. That’s okay, too. Our differences won’t hinder us on this journey, in fact, the different perspectives each of us bring will enhance our experience and provide us insight we can’t find on our own.
Let’s get started. Got your paper and pen? Close your eyes. All together now, say, “Dryuary 2019!” CLICK!
Now, get on over to the Dryuary forum, and tell us about that picture you just took, or share in the comments below!
Post Submitted by: Mary Reid aka Kary May Hickey
Mary Reid is the Program Director of Moderation Management and the author of Neighbor Kary May’s Handbook To Happily Drinking Less or Not Drinking At All, Quite Happily: With the help of online recovery community