But how is my Dryuary going, you ask?
It’s been a stressful month, and I find myself bored in the evenings, often during rotten weather when going out for a walk or a workout are unpleasant options. Those factors alone line up my worst triggers – boredom, stress and not being able to burn it off with movement or social outlets.
So I feel very done with sobriety right now, but that might be because I’m feeling very done with winter too. On a day to day level, I don’t have cravings and it’s not a huge struggle. I’ve reverted to using fake (non-alcoholic) beer to fool my mild evening cravings. That stuff has been sitting in my cupboard for months, and now I suddenly find it useful. But the re-set is still a good thing.
I let myself free drink in December and I definitely noticed the numbers creeping up, my tolerance increasing, my old habits crowding back a bit.
Overdrinking isn’t driven by those habits per se, but they don’t make a background noise. The added stress would flip the switch if I let it though, and so I am resigning myself to warm baths, extra effort in my cooking and a stack of library books to reach my comfort zone in the evenings. I think the lesson here is that when you stop drinking, you come face to face with the urges that drove you there. If you’re lucky and persistent, as I’ve been, you’ll come up with new ways to diffuse those urges and talk yourself down from the edge. Like the fake beer (an early habit to surf the urge) or gourmet cooking (a new habit), you can figure out an alternate path. It’s not a choice between drowning your sorrows or letting yourself blister in the heat of their wrath. New comforts emerge. New habits direct. New choices are made. Every new day.