“Life is like a game of cards. The hand that is dealt you represents determinism; the way you play it is free will.” – Jawaharlal Nehru
By now you’ve most likely met your Inner Negotiator (aka I.N.). That voice in your head that bargains with you to have a drink, even though you’re abstaining for Dryuary. Saying things like “you’ve gone a bunch of days already, so you’ve proven you can do it, no need to finish the month,” or “you can have one drink and re-start tomorrow, there’s plenty of January left.”
On top of all the other tricks your I.N. will use on you, he/she/they/it is a card shark, ready to greet you in the Dryuary Casino, and stacking the odds against you. But there’s good news: you have a Dryuary Deck of your own, and can win every hand if you play your cards carefully. Here are some of the I.N.’s card-playing strategies, along with ones you can use to shift the odds in your favor:
The You Deserve It Card. Your I.N. will play this card when you’ve had a good day, a bad day, or anything in between, when you think you deserve a drink. Your strategy: play the I Deserve to Feel Good About Myself in the Morning Card. Remember, no one has ever said “I wish I’d drank more last night.”
The Cool Crowd Card. Played when you’re with others and don’t want to be different. Your strategy: play the Grown-up Card. You’re an adult, and you don’t need to play Follow the Leader. Isn’t it time to stand out instead of fit in? Not to mention that mocktails are all the rage right now, so the Cool-Crowd award may actually go to you! Google ‘mocktails’ and you’ll find tons of recipes. (If you’re at a party, his card has double the value, but so does your Grown-up card, so keep it close.)
The Routine Card. When he sees any of your routines that traditionally involved alcohol, he’s right there playing this card. Driving home from work, opening the refrigerator and grabbing a beer is one example of a routine. Your strategy: hold the Plan Ahead Card up your sleeve. Identify those instances when you’re so used to having a drink that it becomes automatic behavior, and be ready to play it beforehand.
The Martyr Card. Played when your Significant Other shouldn’t have to drink alone. Your strategy: Sit this hand out. No reason to double your losses against I.N. with two losing hands at the same table.
The Julia Child Card. Played while fixing dinner – a little for the skillet, a little more for the cook! Your strategy: have the NA Card prepared and in your hand before you start cooking. For a treat, have a mocktail going, and put it in a nice glass.
The Waste-Not-Want-Not Card. He’ll play this one when there’s a glass or two of wine left in the bottle. Your strategy: play the Drain Card and dump any leftover liquid down the drain before it drains you into the dumps. But the great news is, during Dryuary, I.N. takes this card out of the deck, because if you don’t open the bottle in the first place, you won’t feel obligated to drink the dregs.
The Wild Card. This is the most dangerous one, and your I.N. knows it. He’ll play it for no other reason than it has worked before. Your strategy: play your own Dryuary Wild Card, as it’s always the winner. It’s whatever strategy works for you, no matter how odd it may sound.
Your Inner Negotiator has other cards too, and when you walk in the door of the Dryuary Casino, he wants the best odds for himself. But you have other cards too, so when he shows up for a game, you can turn the tables on him. Practice shuffling and dealing, there’s nothing like planning ahead to ensure a winning round!
Post Submitted By: Jimmer & Kary May, Moderation Management Members
Suggested NA beverage: Sidecar Mocktail