Dry January and Beyond


Have you participated in Dry January? Dry January is being alcohol-free for 31 days and, often, shows us that we don’t need alcohol to have fun, relax or socialize.

As an alcoholic in recovery, I obviously participate in Dry January and beyond.

However, I don’t look at it as 31 days at a time. As those in my 12-step recovery groups tell me: it is one day at a time.

Some of you may not have a drinking problem and still participate in Dry January – which is great! However, you may have an issue if not drinking during that time really affects you.

How might it affect you? Well if you have the constant urge to drink, you may have a problem and benefit from some treatment or a 12-step recovery program.

I knew I had an issue when I couldn’t be social or not have a bad day without it. While I didn’t drink it in the morning or at work, I did drink to excess almost every night and it affected my relationships, including my marriage, and my ability to function at work the next day.

I got sober in October 2016, and it has been the best decision of my life. While I have relapsed twice in my journey, I’ve realized that sobriety isn’t always linear. Sometimes you have slip-ups and that is ok. I’ve found that once I had a head full of 12-step recovery, drinking wasn’t fun anymore. So, I recommitted myself to sobriety and will have almost two years in February.

And if you don’t have a drinking problem and participate in Dry January, more power to you.

Hopefully, you notice that drinking isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be and there are many situations where being present instead of tipsy is a good thing. For example, I am able to be more present with my children. I like that they don’t see me drinking because I want them to make good choices when they are older.

Unsure of whether you have a problem? Yeah, I was on the fence for many years as to if I was an alcoholic. What I was told by other alcoholics in recovery is that there is a spectrum of alcoholism, where you don’t have to look like anyone else to have a problem. I always pictured alcoholics as people who were homeless and drinking out of a brown bag all day and night; however, my alcoholism looked like binge drinking nightly because I couldn’t handle the truth of my own emotions.

Regardless of where you are in your journey, know you are not alone. There are 12-step meetings and resources all over the city to help you decide whether alcohol is a problem for you. Good luck and if I can stay sober for almost two years, I know you can do it for the month of January and maybe beyond!


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