Some people thought it was insane to do a dry December, and for the record, so did I. Taking a break from drinking was something I had been thinking about doing for a while. As I’ve been more consciously listening to the needs of my body and mind, it felt like the right thing to do and that NOW was the right time to do it. And so, just like that *cue SATC theme song*, with a little push from my therapist and support from Lara (who also decided to do dry December), I set out on a challenge to not drink during the most libation-forward time of the year. How very Capricorn of me.
Here are some things that have become more clear:
Time is of the essence.
I complained a lot about not having time to do things I love and realized that this was because I’ve spent a lot of my free time nursing a hangover. While I love a day of vegging out on the bed bingeing TV shows, 8 hours of Selling Sunset doesn’t exactly leave much time for other things I love, much less make room for discovering new passions.
I’m still fun.
I think most people who are doing a dry month go into it with the intention of opting out of most social gatherings — hence why dry January makes sense! I, however, need to be social. Or at least as social as I can be with Omicron absolutely yassifying the holidays! In group settings, I noticed a slight anxiety at first. “Will I have fun? Will I be able to connect?” I thought to myself on a few occasions. Spoiler alert: still had fun and maybe felt even MORE connected. Whoddathunk?
I love a ritual.
The one time I really wanted to throw it all out the window was when we were in New York for the Smudge event. Something about NYC during the holidays just makes you want to dress in layers and find the nearest dimly lit bar. Martinis would have been my festive drink of choice. That, or a Manhattan if I was being literal. The feeling of sipping a cocktail protected from the biting chill of New York winter is, more than anything, customary. Without that ritual, we found ourselves creating some new ones. Sitting down for a cozy bowl of Pho, catching a Broadway show, and walking, like SO much walking, to name a few.
All in all, this experience has been an eye-opening one. Maybe one that was a long time coming. Who’s to say what my relationship with alcohol will be when this month is over? I’m trying not to think about it so much and see the humor in it as I do with everything. Not that there’s anything funny about substance abuse or alcoholism. I know how serious the topic is and how it has impacted so many people. I just think there has been a general reprogramming happening in my life, and I can’t help but look back at some of my old patterns and chuckle. Cmon, I did a dry December! Who does that??
Now let’s take some time to check-in on the other senses.
Tick Tick Boom on Netflix is a musical movie about the composer Jonathan Larson as he navigates love, friendship, and the pressure to create something great before time runs out. He tragically died a day before the premiere of RENT, his most celebrated work. RENT was the first musical I ever saw. This movie made me laugh, cry, and most of all, remember how unappreciated artists are. A must watch.
Sorry to bring up broadway again, but #gayrights. I got to see SIX while I was in NYC, and this show was exactly what I wanted it to be. All out belting, diva worship, anti-patriarchal revisionist history, all rolled into one. The songs are catchy and poppy, and I’ve been blasting them in my AirPods ever since.
Not drinking has given me quite the sweet tooth. That, coupled with the ritual of making Christmas treats for loved ones, means that I need to end every night with 1-4 cookies. I’ve especially loved these Magic bars that Trevor makes every year, and they’re the perfect combo of salty-sweetness.
It’s so cheesy, but having a real Christmas tree is a non-negotiable for me now. When I walk into my apartment, I need to be smacked in the face with the scent of pine needles, or it might as well be July! It never gets old. Oh, and don’t even try to sell me on the spray that supposedly smells “just like it”.
I don’t care what people say, clothes can bring you a lot of happiness. Especially clothes as cozy and warm as the new Teddy jacket I got from the Vancouver-based brand Oak + Fort. It’s like wearing a blanket for your soul and I don’t ever want to take it off.