What I have learned (thus far) from Dry January...
...nutshell version: Not Much!
I'm not even sure why I decided to give dry January a go. Maybe because it seemed like "the thing" to do? (Which isn’t a good reason at all.) But giving it a go, I've done.
I'm the kind of person who (generally) sticks to something when I decide to give it up. Or at least when it's for a specific period of time. (I'm looking at you Lent.) I say this because when it comes to eating right or giving up sweets or snacks, it doesn't happen. That's not me. I not the kind of person who can just give something up indefinitely if there's not a REALLY GOOD reason. (So, Bfth, I guess losing 20 pounds is not a really good reason? Answer: NO. The answer is moderation is what has and can work for me and that's something I really need to get back into, but that's not what I'm talking about today.)
I, like many people, have probably been drinking alcohol since the pandemic. I like a glass of wine. I like a margarita (on the rocks) with a taco, or burrito or even chips and salsa. There are times that call out for a dirty martini with 3 onions and a large olive. (I'm into my own variation of a blue bikini martini). Or maybe something else like a jazzed up old fashioned? For the 12 days of Christmas I discovered Sheelin Irish Creams. (The little holiday bottles were a wonderful treat and I wonder why Raspberry Cheesecake and Mocha are not available in "regular" sizes. Yet peanut butter is and in my opinion that was the big "bleech" of the bunch.)
With all the reporting on holiday drinking, I thought perhaps I WAS drinking too much. So I went full in. However, I did not start on January 1 (that would mean no sips of champagne after the ball dropped) or even on January 2. (Hey, it was a Federal Holiday so let the party go on.) My dry January started on the third.
We are in the middle of the month and I haven't touched a drop since. Even though work has been incredibly stressful. Even though I've had some wacky commutes. Even though there have been some wild family problems and stressors. No alcohol.
I don't say that to be cocky or vain. There are plenty of times when I wanted a glass of wine. I didn't, just because I told myself this was a dry month. So I haven't. And again, there were times when I really did want one.
If dry January is supposed to make you feel better, it hasn't. At least not for me. I don't feel any different. I don't sleep better. I haven't lost weight. (To do that I'm obviously going to have to do A LOT more than just give up alcohol for a month.) Everything is pretty much the same.
So, come February, I'll probably go back to a glass of wine or an occasional margarita or a pour of Irish Crème in an after dinner (decaf) coffee. Though perhaps I'll be more thoughtful about it. That would be something that just might make dry January something worthwhile for me.
I don't HAVE to have a drink, but I do like to have one on occasion.