The Broad Spectrum: The Drynuary thing

Going sober in the new year is easier en masse.

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As a general rule, people who stop drinking get on my nerves. All that superior talk about feeling good, being energetic, losing weight, getting shit done — I mean, the positivity and the whole "doing the right thing" can really harsh a good sunshiny buzz.

Still, when the calendar year changes, the idea of feeling good, having energy, losing weight and getting shit done does sound like a winning hand. Besides, I get tired of wasting days of my life due to the easily avoidable cocktail flu. 

So this year, for the first time, a few friends and I made a sobriety pact. We would not drink for the first two weeks of the year. We would be the annoying do-gooders, and we would do it together. See, these friends and I are functional drinkers and all, but we suck at moderation. We are absolute failures at knowing when to stop. We get this about ourselves. We decided we needed to cool it, and we braced ourselves for the struggle. 

But a beautiful thing happened, and ironically it came in the form of another highly irritating aspect of modern life: the group text. 

A group of sober people sharing daily affirmations, self-depreciating jokes, well-played gifs and offering each other support via an ongoing group text turned out to be pretty hilarious — and incredibly helpful. 

We dubbed ourselves the Super Friends, complete with picking our characters. (I was Wonder Woman, naturally.) In moments of confessed weakness, we rallied around our wavering cohort and texted — No! Don’t do it! And they didn’t, because we made a commitment — not just to ourselves, but to each other. 

Alternately, we shared how great we felt most of the time, except during the inevitable cravings. We talked about how proud we were of ourselves and of each other, because, seriously, we didn’t even drink on the weekend. Pats on the back all around. 

Of course, it couldn’t last forever. The weird thing is that I felt kinda lame about breaking my streak of boozelessness when the time came. 

For 10 continuous days (down from14, because camping) I exercised; I was not grouchy in the morning; and I did some of the tasks I never get around to. I went down a belt hole. And another big one: I didn’t spend money on alcohol, which made a huge difference, especially when we went out to eat. 

There are so many wonderful reasons not to drink; it really is a testament to the weakness of the human condition — or maybe my human condition — that I do it at all. But drinks can be delicious, take the edge off stressful days or situations. And the intoxication part is a big draw because of that good ol’ escapism. 

Still, we Super Friends are determined to get our shit together. Most of us are off the wagon now, but we’re setting up new rules and limits for ourselves that, if history is any indicator, will go out the window as soon as we finish that second glass of wine. 

Or maybe we’ll stick to it. There’s a first time for everything, right? 

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