For those who enjoy a libation or two, choosing to abstain from alcohol for any more than a week might be a courageous thing, but a month?! [insert profanity here] After the festive season, giving up alcohol might not seem like a such a bad thing considering that you overdid it during the holiday season in all forms of treats – Eggnog, Blood Orange Mimosas, Winter Sangria … you name it! So why give up such a good thing? For health reasons ofcourse!
An article published by Huffington Post detailed many benefits that all will feel during this month of re-conditioning and re-vitalization of the soul. For instance, a great benefit I have done to my liver is giving it a break this month, and as a result, I feel more energized (less fatigued). Another benefit which I have definitely noticed is more clarity in my decisions, focus and life (not to say that alcohol clouded my judgement, but the break came at a great time where I’m turning a new page and realigning with my purpose). Now, I’m sure you know people who would argue against this idea, and they have every right to just like GQ did. GQ argued that having just one drink during the month of January is better than no drink at all and is a more realistic feat, but how do you choose when to have said one drink? What is the right time? I felt that this particular article almost makes a joke of one’s self-control which didn’t really sit well with me, because why do something half-assed when you can just go the distance for 31 days? With many people taking on this dry month, even Apple and Android are on this sobriety bandwagon too with the Dry January & Beyond App – which basically enables you to receive daily affirmations along with tips and tricks on how to last the distance.
What I have discovered going through this process is that a dry month really forces you to think about your relationship with alcohol and if it is a healthy relationship. Nobody wants to be an alcoholic or be hung over every weekend, and as you get older with age (I can definitely testify to this), it takes a little longer than what you remember when bouncing back. The hangover is painful and your body is just so out of it. You feel so unproductive and in hindsight, you really know you could have done better. What has helped me deal with this choice is the fact that I know there is an end date in sight and it is not far off now. More importantly though, I am seeing the benefits cutting alcohol (even if it is for a month) has produced, and I am really happy with the results. I feel so good and it is an amazing feeling everyday!
I probably make it sound easy – when you are someone who enjoys a well-deserved libation every other evening – but the truth is, this process is not as easy as I thought it would be. As I am typing, I confess that I have had a strong craving for something crisp and smooth all day, and boy does it suck knowing that I have a week and a half more to go! Cravings suck – especially when you know how to soothe them. And while I have my cravings, I know that I could easily break this dry month commitment – easily! But if I do, there would be a single moment of gratification as my taste buds are tingling from the flavours, followed by many moments of regret. So forge on I must!
Completing one month without drinking is an achievement, especially in a city where socializing without alcohol can be tricky as social calendars are defined by happy hours and bottomless brunches – and Vancouver is no exception. It actually hurts to know that Dine Out Vancouver starts on January 20th, and I can’t thoroughly enjoy brunch, lunch and/or dinner with a glass of vino – “one Club Soda please!”
For all those doing a dry month – I applaud you! It’s not the easiest thing but it is doable. So, as we count down the days, what poison will you toast the end of this self-inflicted torture with?
For me – I will be breaking my seal with a delicious glass of Campo Del Drago.
... NyashaMayne xo