Dry January

We did Dry January all the way this year and it was surprisingly easy. Part of that is surely because we both got Covid at the end of the first week of January, which removed any taste for alcohol. But after that went away, the loop of no-drinking > less bloat > better sleep > more energy + time > accomplishing more stuff, reinforced itself and it was simple to keep going. Multiple nights I ended up doing dishes because I had a hint of momentum left after dinner when I would otherwise have been focused on a beer and TV/my phone. And after that I still had time to scan and post photos.

I had a handful of non-alcoholic beers in January when I was at a bar or at band practice. They were all less than 0.5% alcohol, which isn’t alcohol-free, but it’s close enough. It didn’t feel weird to drink them. They tasted ok, serviceable. Not something I want to spend money on to bring home, though. A Spindrift is better.

By the end of the month, I didn’t have a shocking, life-changing, everything-is-better, I-hate-alcohol revelation. Maybe that takes longer. But I liked knowing that I’d done something just a little difficult and exerted some control over what I did for 31 days.

The first drink I had on Feb. 1 was a Bell’s Two-Hearted. That one beer immediately torpedoed me for the night. It was delicious but it also made me feel bloated and dumb.

I’m back on the beer train now, but not like before. (I love beer!) I drink fewer beers at a time, less often each week, mostly on the weekends, and it’s great! I don’t feel like I’m missing out if I skip a second beer, or if we don’t have a drink on Sunday. My pants fit a little better. I know when it’s time to go to bed because I feel righteously tired in a way that would otherwise be harder to notice.

Whenever I’m on the fence about how much to drink (or whether to have one more), I just think: how much do I want to accomplish tonight?

February 23, 2023