Day 9: The Scavenger Hunt

“You can either be a victim of the world or an adventurer in search of treasure. It all depends on how you view your life.”― Paulo Coelho, Eleven Minutes

Chances are, you’re already beginning to wonder why you signed up for this whole Dryuary thing. What were you thinking? What’s the point of spending a whole month feeling deprived, bored and downright pissed off at times? 

See, that’s kind of the point. The fact that we feel deprived, bored and pissed off just because we don’t have alcohol in our life for a month. Has alcohol become attached to our life like the neighborhood kid that we really like, maybe even more than our own children, but we keep wondering if he’s ever going to go home? Then, when he actually does leave, we all sit around looking at each other because we don’t really know how to relate to each other without him  hanging around.

That’s what this month is for, to learn how to live to live without that “kid,” alcohol, that sometimes wears out its welcome.  To re-discover a whole forgotten, wonderful world out there. 

To discover what we’ve been missing, we’re going on a scavenger hunt. In the next 30 days we’re going to do our best to collect the following things, to wake up our heads and our hearts, to skew the view, to appreciate the feelings we’ve forgotten, to love, to treasure, to laugh, to cry, to share, to confide…all without alcohol. Come on, it’s not as hard as it sounds. 

The Hunt Is On!

The List: These are the items or experiences that you are tasked with collecting this month: 

  • A bird’s feather: Get out and start tramping through parks, neighbor’s yards, woods, or barnyards. Smell the smells, feel the feels, brighten your eyes and cheeks. Meanwhile, fill your pockets with all the other treasures you find during your search. A pretty rock or one that looks like a dagger. A smooth piece of driftwood. A tarnished penny. Take them home and make a collage or arrangement to remember your treasure hunt. Oh, if you forget all about the bird feather, that’s ok.
  • A Secret: One that someone trusts you with or one you trust to someone else. Too many of our secrets are told when our lips are loosened with alcohol. Too many secrets shared are regretted later. This secret is safe, given or received in trust.
  • ½ a bouquet of flowers: Buy a full bouquet but give half to a complete stranger. Hand it to someone on the street or on the train that looks like they could use a pick me up or tie it with a ribbon to someone’s doorknob. Keep the other half for yourself to remind yourself of your thoughtfulness.
  • A new skill or an old abandoned skill retrieved: Learn a new knot that you’ll need when you sail off some day. Take online Samba lessons to surprise yourself and the crowd when you dance in a sunlit plaza in San Miguel de Allende. Do what you’ve always told yourself you would do, if you only had the time.
  • A new favorite book: Don’t just read what everyone else is reading. Ask yourself what you really want to read right now? No lofty aspirations, you’re not out to impress anyone except yourself. If you like romance, pursue it unabashedly. If a nail-biting detective novel is your thing, go on the hunt for it. 
  • A long walk with an old friend: Enjoy the easy silences and how you know each other so well that you both point out things you know the other loves.
  • A falling star: The Quadrantids are usually active between the end of December and the second week of January. If you have children in the house, wake them up to join you. They may grumble but they’ll remember it for the rest of their lives. Some hot chocolate will quiet the grumbles.
  • A sunrise: Mornings are the very best gift of Dryuary. Once our sleep patterns figure themselves out, we wake up more rested than we’ve felt in years. And, more content with ourselves. Set the alarm to wake up before everyone else to just sit and enjoy the quiet and a cup of your favorite hot stuff.

Don’t see anything on the list that you want to collect? Go ahead and make your own list and share it in the comments below or in the Dryuary Facebook Group. The point is to fill up this month with all the wonders we don’t take the time to notice or seek out when we’re drinking. This month is just like your childhood pockets, ready to be filled up with all kinds of unique treasures.

Post Submitted By: Mary Reid aka Kary May Hickey

Mary Reid is the Executive 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

Suggested NA beverages: Curious Elixirs, a Dryuary Sponsor


  1. De nada. That’s how I have to approach this journey I have been on for 11 years, like a never-ending treasure hunt. What am I hoping to find next? What treasure is lurking in the shadows?

  2. “That’s what this month is for, to learn how to live to live without that “kid,” alcohol, that sometimes wears out its welcome. To re-discover a whole forgotten, wonderful world out there.” Thank you Mary.

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