It's February 1!
Dry January has been a roaring success.
My 31st day of no alcohol is in the books. I’m clear-headed and focused, a few pounds lighter, pasta skills up, all while sleeping soundly with a few more bucks in my pocket. One of my buddies made it, too. We’re so pumped! We committed to seeing our goal to the end. I might break now to have a drink, but I am really enjoying my time away from the party. It’s a much different journey and exciting in its own way.
My other two buddies…well, they did not fare so well. They caved after 19 days and 26 days.
I know, I know, I should have compassion for them. But I don’t.
Two significant factors played into them falling into the depths of the drink: not doing activities together on the weekends, and planning to fail.
There is no penance for their weakness! [Evil laugh here.]
The common thread with both pals’ experiences was how horrible they felt the next day…and the next…and even the day after that. They made themselves sick, experienced memory loss, cramping, bloating and vomiting. It was all for the worst. It took them three full days to finally feel alright again.
They both agreed the booze experience was not as good as they had remembered. So what happened?
For starters, alcohol is toxic. To be really blunt, when we drink we’re poisoning ourselves. After getting used to clean living, my friends’ tolerance was gone and a sudden influx of alcohol hit their systems like a freight train.
Because we spent the first two dry weekends hanging out together, we had each others’ support in adjusting to the trials and tribulations of no drinks. We missed the next two weekends and their resolve crumbled. Doing activities with friends is more important than you realize. Peer support helps you through the challenges and keeps you aligned with your goals.
As I said earlier in this series, sticking to a commitment means getting comfortable with the uncomfortable. Saying no to drinking is uncomfortable. A commitment made with grit overpowers the FOMO.
My 26-day pal intended to party. He became frustrated with his FOMO. Then he aimed for the 26th day due to a social engagement, deciding that 26 days is good enough for him. That’s nearly a month—but it’s not. While he certainly made progress, he definitely doesn’t have the incredibly rewarding feeling of achievement and pride that comes from making it across the finish line.
Think about it: would you drop out of a marathon after running 24 miles?
And BTW, I'm looking forward to a celebratory dinner at Tadich Grill tonight. I may or may not choose to order my favorite gin martini, but because I hit my goal, either decision will feel like a victory. I want that feeling for you, too. If you'd like to discuss setting some health and wellness goals, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for reading and following my exploration and adventures in sobriety.
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A few takeaways from Dryuary:
When going for a goal, get like-minded friends on board.
Own your outcome and stick with it.
Refraining from drinking alcohol will affect almost any change you want to make: physical, mental, even spiritual.
Celebrate when you’ve achieved your milestone. You made it!
Now, set another goal….