Dry January Week 2: not such a big deal (sort of)

They either texted or emailed to tell me they didn't make it. In some cases I already knew they hadn't. It was flattering that they told me though when they faltered. I took it as a sign that they respected what we were doing and cared enough to tell me that they had some wine or beer.

As with any other habit one is trying to break, people revert back to familiar ways. I think I had heard one time that you have to do something 30 days or so in a row before it can be considered a habit. Then again maybe I am pulling that out of an empty wine glass.

To those who may think that I have spent these last two weeks at home rearranging my sock drawer or creating a new file system for my tax returns from 1995-2003, you stand corrected.

I have gone to various watering holes to socialize, gone to dinner, movies and even a night out bowling all without a drop. In the words of Anna, we are "sober as f*#@". That we are. Something surprising has happened, namely not missing it. Actually I am enjoying not drinking. Was discussing with Anna continuing on with sobriety past January and into February not because I have to but because I want to. Actually she was to one who said it out loud but I had been thinking it.

I tried some non alcoholic beers and they are everything one would expect in such a product. It is not as easy to find non-alcoholic beer as you might think. On one particular evening, co-dry-January-cohort Anna and I had to go to three different stores before we found any. I think Ponce de Leon found the Fountain of Youth in less time. Now I mostly just order ginger ale. I find it amusing to sit in a bar and order NA beer or a soda and joke with Anna's sister Julia about how hammered we're getting which was the case this past Saturday night at New World.

Not drinking does have its downside though. All this clarity of thought and saving money by not buying expensive drinks is great but let's take off the rose colored glasses for a second, shall we? This may come as a surprise to some, but I am very clumsy. I fall down. A lot. You name it, and I have fallen off it. Ladders and stairs are a given. I take falling down to new levels. I have slipped and fell in my own living room dancing in my socks on wood floors. To "The Safety Dance" no less, to which my teenage son quiped, "Doesn't seem so safe to me".

Anyway, without the crutch of alcohol to blame my clumsiness on, I must accept it as mine alone. I own my clumsiness so why not embrace it? A metaphor for life? Perhaps. Overreaching? Most assured.

Overall, since starting this whole thing, my life has changed surprisingly little. The only thing that is different is the absence of drinking. Naturally I have had my moments of temptation but they were fleeting. Last night I opened a Kaliber, the Guiness' family version of non-alcoholic beer and realized after a few sips, I really didn't want it. I didn't want beer or some weird approximation thereof. I just ended up pouring it out and making some tea instead. A refreshing change indeed.

Continuation of a blog about abstaining from alcohol for one solid month.

  • Kaliber lacked the caliber to replace a proper Guinness.

As week two of my sojourn in sobriety is drawing to a close the response has been overwhelmingly positive.

Of course that was to be expected. I don't think in the history of the world one friend has pulled another aside and said "Hey man. I am really concerned about you and how much you drink. I don't think you're drinking enough." Not so much. It has been quite easy actually, not the mine field of temptation that I thought would be lurking.

It is amazing how productive a person can be when they are not drinking. It does take up a lot of one's time between the drinking itself and the sluggish feeling/hangover of the following day. It may be an illusion but I feel like I have done more since I haven't been drinking.

One thing I can say with certainty is that I have not been as tired and have been getting by on less sleep and not been tired during the day.

As I stated in the last entry, some of my friends did not make it through the first week. All of them fessed up to it though.

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