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Day 6 – Dryuary or Not?

“Imagine… I wonder if you can…
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man…
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world” – John Lennon

The idea of having a dry January doesn’t thrill me. It’s both enticing and daunting.

It’s like anything we do for ourselves, we have to wiggle around and “hem and haw,” before we decide. At least I do. But everyone is different. Some people just stop drinking when they plan it and it works well for them. We all have different genes and brain functions and models from our childhood. I sat the other night at my favorite place to drink with my choir group and half of them ordered hot water and lemon. It was pretty easy to see that they were choosing to de-tox from a toxic holiday. I gawked at them thinking about how natural that was for some of them. And for others of us it is harder.

But, I can tell you this much:  After this season of celebrating, I am torn between wanting to feel healthy and clear headed again and not sure if I have the discipline to give up alcohol.

One of the great things about Moderation Management (MM) is that we choose our own path and we plan.

It is so empowering to know that I am responsible for whatever way it goes. This process is unique to each individual, with certain recommended things like taking 30 days off or planning each time you are going to drink, whether it’s water between drinks or two and that’s it.

I did wake up this morning, I admit, with a sore throat and fatigue, so it’s pretty clear my body is sick of eggnog and cheese. I hit the vitamin C today and had little desire for alcohol. It was for sure needed; to tell the truth, my body was screaming at me.

I am pretty tired from the holidays, the winter, and here in Sonoma we had evacuations and fire. And the idea of being healthy and dropping a few pounds of lethal dough around my middle sounds good. Just to think of doing taxes and cleaning the house is, in a strange way, kind of empowering to ponder.

I have just started cutting back on everything toxic, including alcohol and I couldn’t believe it today:  I saw the trees and the birds and appreciated my life so much more. I was clear headed, even with this cough, and calmer. I thought to myself, “self, doesn’t this feel better than that foggy feeling after even one drink when I don’t really make good eye contact with other humans and I can’t get much done?”

Not to mention sleep – I slept last night for the first time in two weeks.

Sleep is no small issue. And unfortunately alcohol is poison to that lovely state of blissful rest. I had to get quiet with myself, line up my inspirational reading and turn off the violence on TV. But, sleep I did ! And oh what a feeling this morning! To feel grounded, not groggy – and clear thinking and even cheerful.

I love to drink, but like cookies and French fries, it only goes so far. Eventually it catches up to us, like any habit that is harmful to us and our relationships.

I’m a rebel, so anything I do that’s good for me is a process. It took me a year to get yoga lined up in my weekly schedule. I like goofing off a lot. But, the ironic truth about cutting back or going dry or abstinent is that we feel better, more energetic, calmer and rested.

Changing habits is a process. We live in an addictive, fast paced culture.
We can be gentle with ourselves and just take the next step towards change.

Imagine your life as you wish it to be.

Post Submitted By: Katy Byrne, MFT,