January, the cold and hollow month responsible for killing all those resolutions I read on my timeline over the last two weeks. While most people set completely unrealistic goals like going to the gym or eating vegan, I decided to do something my Mom would assume I’d have no problem doing, sober January.
I told my Mom I was doing this and the look on her face said the words before they came out of her mouth. “Why do you need to be sober for a month? Thatshouldn’t be a challenge, you should just do it!”
From my perspective, it doesn’t seem like going a month sober should be a challenge either. I’m a casual drinker, in the words of Brett Kavanaugh, I like beer! I like wine, and I like bourbon as a night cap after a long day. My Mom tells me that’s not okay (but your Instagram story tells me otherwise.)
But then I reflected on my “sobriety” and I don’t think I’ve been alcohol free for a whole month since probably my junior year of high school. And I’m not sure if I’ve gone a week since graduating college without a single drink. And honestly, I don’t think there’s been a day since Christmas that I didn’t have at least one adult beverage. Maybe I do need sober January.
I think “sober” is just a very heavy word that makes this situation seem more pungent than it is. When I say “not sober for a week” I imagine myself smashed on the couch flipping through netflix aimlessly. Nah, I mean I had a drink or two at dinner or a bourbon before bed. I don’t have a problem, I just like to drink with friends. How do you think going buttons deep was invented in the first place?
Taylor did sober January last year, or at least she will say she did. But let me tell you, although she gave a valiant effort, she was only 99.99% sober in January, thus disqualifying her from sober January. We recorded a video at the Sagamore ice bar where she had a sip of my cocktail. We had a big debate over whether that means you broke your sobriety. Is it an ounce of alcohol in your system, or only if you’d get a DUI from the police? For sober January, in my eyes,. we’re talking not a drop.
This is also a big thing in the UK. Where there’s a government-run campaign known as Dry January (which is a much more appealing name) and millions of citizens take part.
The benefits of Dry January are the subject of an ongoing debate among doctors and scientists. Alcohol Change UK says that in 2018, “88% of participants saved money, 71% had better sleep and more energy, and 58% lost weight”.
A study by University College London, published in The BMJ, examined 94 moderate drinkers over the course of a month as they cut their alcohol consumption. After 30 days, the subject’s insulin resistance improved, along with “weight, BP, and cancer-related growth factors”, according to the conclusion of the study.
So my journey to dryness, soberness, not having as much funness, began yesterday and so far, so good. I had a steak dinner last night which would have been great paired with a stella or red wine, but alas, I had a blueberry seltzer. Today I feel fine, I just put regular old creamer in my coffee. Will I feel urges to drink beyond the social pressures from my peers? I don’t think so, but if I do, then I know this break is for a good cause for both me and my wallet.
But let me tell you folks, February first is going to be a barn burner whether my Mom likes it or not.