When Dry January May Indicate You Have A Bad Relationship With Alcohol
I always smile and shake my head when the boozier of my friends decide that what they need to do to give their liver a rest is partake in Dry January.
It's comical to me when for the next eleven months I'll see them regularly posting the booze they bought, the liquor they plan to drink, and the Pedialyte they plan on drinking while nursing that morning-after hangover. It makes me wonder if you have to give up booze for a whole month to give your body a break, maybe you need to reevaluate your relationship with alcohol.
If you don't know, Dry January is the month when some folks give up adult beverages for a whole month. An article in Good Housekeeping that outlines eight benefits of Dry January explains Dry January appeals to those who may have noticed a pattern that they're drinking a little more than they should, especially over the holidays.
I get that. With holiday work parties, family gatherings, and being together with friends starting over Thanksgiving, and ending with New Year's Eve, yeah, I can see where some folks might find themselves drinking way more than they normally do. And liking how it makes them feel. So I can see in that case putting the breaks on booze for a month might make sense.
What I don't get are the people who seem to live for weekend boozing, or whose lives seem to revolve around cocktails. Yaknow, the ones who will abstain all January, but you bet they'll be cracking open that beer or nursing that cocktail on February 1. Will celebrate it on social media. And will spend the next eleven months going at it full tilt without another thought.
Really, if your body processes the alcohol well and the booze isn't messing up your life or health. More power to you. It just makes me wonder what you're gaining from Dry January other than a little proof, that yeah, you can go 31 days without drinking. Which I guess isn't a bad thing. But, I'm not sure it's proof you have a healthy relationship with alcohol.
Good Housekeeping says the benefits of Dry January include a mood boost, better sleep, less bloating or weight loss, more money in your pocket, better skin, a stronger immune system, and you'll feel better in the morning. Finally, they say it may change your relationship with alcohol, "A pause on alcohol may help you realize that you don’t have to drink every day or even drink at all."
If you partake in Dry January and come out of it looking at your relationship with alcohol differently. I get that benefit, and I hope you come out of it a healthier person and can carry that forward.
But if you're giving it up to prove you can stay sober for 31 days, and then you go right back to how you used to drink. Maybe it's time to reevaluate your relationship with alcohol.
If you think you may have a problem with alcohol perhaps the following links can help. WebMD has a slide show showing the signs that indicate you might have a problem with alcohol. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism has a comprehensive website on the subject, including definitions to help you determine if you're a moderate drinker, binge drinker, heavy alcohol user. If you have a drinking problem, Alcoholics Anonymous may be able to help.