Dry January – A Month Without Alcohol

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Dry January is an annual event in which people choose to abstain from alcohol for the month of January. The campaign, which originated in the United Kingdom, encourages participants to give their bodies a break from alcohol and to reflect on their relationship with drinking.

The health benefits of abstaining from alcohol for a month are well-documented. Alcohol is a major contributor to liver disease, and giving the liver a break can help to reduce the risk of developing these conditions. Abstaining from alcohol can also improve sleep quality and help promote weight loss. It can help save money. Additionally, taking a break from drinking can help to improve mental clarity and reduce stress.

Participating in Dry January can also be an opportunity for individuals to reflect on their relationship with alcohol. Many people use alcohol as a way to cope with stress, anxiety, and other emotional issues, but this can lead to a cycle of dependence that can be difficult to break. By abstaining from alcohol for a month, individuals can gain a new perspective on their drinking habits and determine if they need to make changes to their relationship with alcohol.

However, it is worth mentioning that for people with certain medical conditions, history of alcohol use disorder or those who are recovering from addiction, the decision to take part in Dry January should be discussed with a healthcare professional.

In addition to the personal benefits, Dry January also serves as a way to raise awareness about the negative effects of alcohol on health and society. The campaign encourages people to think critically about alcohol and its role in their lives, which can lead to long-term changes in attitudes and behaviors.

Overall, Dry January provides an opportunity for individuals to improve their health, reflect on their relationship with alcohol, and raise awareness about the negative effects of alcohol. It’s an annual tradition that allows people to start the new year with a healthier lifestyle and a new perspective on drinking habits.

I have decided to take a break from drinking alcohol for the month of January in the year 2023, starting on the 2nd. I know a few others who are on this journey with me. I consider it a reboot or reset of sorts. I am already well into the experience and I am reaping the benefits. I will report back in more detail when my 31 “dry” days are behind me.

You can start at any time. Who else wants to give it a go?

Angela G. Gentile, MSW, RSW

Written with the help of chat.openai.com. 

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One thought on “Dry January – A Month Without Alcohol

  1. Brent & Sally Hoag says:

    *FOR SOME OF YOU, IT IS SO MUCH MORE THAN SIMPLY A “DRY JANUARY”. A MESSAGE OF REALITY, SUPPORT, LOVE & HOPE FOLLOWS. *

    I know that “words” in themselves may not serve as the inspiration or motivation for people in general to try & go “dry” for a month or beyond. It is the latter that I very briefly want to include in the challenge.

    I know, I know, you’ve likely heard or read it all before!

    So rather than feel like you are *being harassed or brow beaten *here is a thought or a challenge of a different type for you to consider. It’s meant to support those of you who for various sound & far reaching reasons know in your heart & mind that you need to abstain completely.

    You know whether this includes you or not. You know that you need to do it. You know that it would be too daunting & impossible for you to successfully do it on your own. You know that support, & good support at that, is available for free to you via established & effective groups like Alcoholics Anonymous. You know that they will help. You know that you want to do it. You know that you receive help & that it won’t be easy. But you know something else. You know that it really does start by* taking only one step at a time. You know that alcoholism has wreaked havoc in your life & likely that of others who are, or once were, close to you. You also know because of the hurt, pain, & suffering that alcoholism has caused you personally & the people that you once cared about or still do. You know that those who love or once loved & cared about you still do but they can’t be casual victims of your alcoholism any more. Alcoholism has pushed them away. Alcoholism has deprived you of so many things that you can only dream about these days. And finally, you know that it will be good for you. *

    This isn’t about me. It’s about you. However, many years ago I was in a place & time & profession where I watched the devastating effects of alcoholism on literally hundreds of decent & innocent people. This included primarily loving spouses/partners who only wanted to love & support you. It often included frightened children who loved you but who were so troubled & victimized because of their mother’s or father’s alcoholism. It robbed them of their deserved innocence. It robbed them of their mom or dad.

    So, no more writing here. It’s not a judgement or condemnation of you. However, even though it is only *just words *they are words of support, love, & encouragement.

    Perhaps a dry January will be the additional inspiration & catalyst that helps & motivates you to take the first step. But you & I know that it isn’t going to be simple or that easy.

    However, as I stated, it can be enough for you to take that important first step in reclaiming yourself & your life & who knows, perhaps people who still love you & want to support you but just can’t. They have been there before & cannot afford to again either emotionally or psychologically.

    Helping yourself to beat alcohol starts with you deciding to help yourself. You have to take the first step but will need support. Everyone does in taking on & beating alcoholism.

    Going dry for an entire month is not realistic for many alcoholics. *However, *the notion & appeal of how much being dry would change you & your life for the better is within your grasp. You can do it! Support will help you in your walk towards recovery. It starts with a crawl & then a step in the right direction.

    From a complete stranger, & from my heart to you, please read & re-read as many times as it takes this message of encouragement, love, support, & hope.

    *One step. One dry day. One support group like Alcoholics Anonymous. It can lead to a dry month & beyond. It can lead to so much more for you that you can still have in your life. Feel good about wanting to feel good once again. *

    *Get the “help & support” that will become your “new best friends” for the rest of your new life. *

    Lifelong friends like these are pretty good friends to have!

    Congratulations & lots of love & early support from a complete stranger.

    Like

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