January 15, 2023 3 min read
This alcohol free movement has a few things going for it. It harnesses the pain of the holiday hangover (literally) and aligns it with a clear demarcation of a new beginning in the New Year. Aligning a new habit with a clear change of chapter is a simple hack to new habit formation, which is why New Year's resolutions are a thing.
But we also all know how easily (and quickly) these resolutions can fall by the wayside.... And how seemingly insurmountable lasting sobriety can be. Falling off the wagon is often just a social invite away from recurring. And the Boozehounds in our lives are more than happy to offer a not so gentle nudge in this direction.
So we need something more to rely upon in our efforts towards sobriety than a resolution and a catchy moniker. Otherwise the ones I freshly coined for Alcohol Free April or OcSober (my personal favorite) would be sweeping society as we speak.
Change happens over time and requires patience and persistence. The beauty of this life is that we don't need some major milestone like New Year's to begin again... We can do this anytime we choose.
A shameless plug...maybe...but infusing some cool Dry January t-shirts to your sobriety style can add levity to your libation free look, making it easier to communicate your intentions more clearly so you can stick to your (surprisingly tasty) seltzer's with lime and mocktails in social settings.
Get creative. Dig deeper into an interest or passion with your newfound time and energy. In my case I started writing songs and poetry. So I thought I'd offer you my drinking Limerick with a non alcoholic twist.
I drank when I felt happy and when I felt sad
I drank when indifferent, excited, or mad
I drank because it feathered the edge of my fear
I drank with my parents, my parent's parents
and most of my peers
I drank because numbness felt better than pain
Long nights at the Limerick House drowning my shame
Sure I had fun with tales much more tall
From what I remember after each fall
Decades blurred on like a long drunken night
To learn where I'd wake and change if I might
Slumped on a bench outside my friend's apartment
Inside a random car bruised up and down garments
A used carpet rolled up on some dark basement floor
Or a puddle outside my freshman dorm's door
I drank because I didn't know how to like myself as I am...
How did I stop drinking you ask?
Not through some sudden revelatory shazam
But in drips and drabs by recycling old cans
I realized I felt better sober down deep at my core
And was reminded again and again and again... and again
Until the day I decided I need not be reminded no more
As a new father and a small business owner of a graphic t-shirt brand centered on celebrating the fullness of life... I know as well as anyone that this sometimes includes drinking.. So soak it up while you can. As long as you're not hurting anyone, including yourself.
With the recognition that to fully relish in this fullness relies on an experience of emptiness at times. By emptiness, I mean spaciousness and the ensuing empowerment gained through this deeper understanding, as opposed to the hollowness of an empty beer mug. So on that note, I raise my mocktail to all those with the courage and conviction to give Dry January a shot, with these 4 simple steps to support your newfound sobriety as your wingman.
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