Dry January | A Memoir of Self Control

Happy Humper, Freaknasties in the game! It's February 1st, Dry January is over, and I have been drunk since 7am. 

Ehl-o-ehl, just kidding, I only know one person probably drunk at that hour, and he tweets President Trump so his 7 Twitter followers think he's a badass...

ANYWAY! I'm sober, typing this after a 4 mile 5am run before I head to work (my posts are auto-scheduled, so you don't have to count on your fingers to figure out my time traveling sorcery) so let's talk about what the rest of the month was like since I gave you a halfway point recap a couple of weeks ago. 

I assume the first question on everyone's mind will be, "Are you getting drunk tonight, Jenn?" 

I freaking wish, but nope. Can't. For one, I am in the middle of a Brand Media site upgrade, a big launch at work, and fitness goals that I need to stay off that mid-week sauce for. And you know what? I don't even care. I think the first drink I'm gonna have will be at the airport before my flight home Sunday. HASHTAG AIRPORT WASTED. 

Other than that? No real breaking news to report. I feel fantastic, life is good, and I wasn't even tempted to drink during this whole experiment. Hot cocoa and raspberry ginger ale did the trick if I needed something. 

The only instance when I felt I really wanted a drink was when I had a bad family night. Things like that really upset me and tend to make me stay up all night stewing, and I really wanted some wine to help me fall asleep. If I had some in the house at that time, I probably would have had a glass or eleven, not gonna lie. 

I think the real trick now is going to be how I go on without this rigid boundary in front of me. I believe that taking the month to really focus on myself and other goals has set me up for success. Like I said before, it was really just a self-soothing bad habit I had gotten myself into over the years because the thought of changing things in my life that were making me unhappy was overwhelming. 

That's really the biggest lesson I got from this. Staying stuck is so damn soothing and comfortable. It was so much easier to face my shit and put a plan together to change course than it was to drink wine every night and feel sorry for myself, then wake up the next day with everything the same or worse. Boy oh boy does the human mind like to bitch at itself. 

The picture I used for this graphic was taken almost exactly a year ago during a pretty horrid time. The kids had just moved back to Chicago, I had begun to see the truth of who my fiance really was, I felt creatively paralyzed and went through my work like a zombie, I was trying to get back into creating my own content, but I was so blocked and it added to my sadness, I was keeping my misery a secret from everyone because I felt like I had something to prove, and there was a bottle of wine to make it all better for a couple of hours every night. 

Tonight I'll go home exhausted to an itty bitty gingerbread house after spending the day jazzed to do creative things all day, I'm alone but in no way lonely, I'll make my dinner, record my podcast, play with my dogs, work a little more, read before bed, and feel genuinely content about where I am right now and where I'm heading. I don't need to chase anything away anymore. I'm sure there will be nights I have to, hello! card carrying member of the human race over here! 

But I don't think I'll get stuck like that again. 

If there's a habit you use to help numb something or as a means to escape, I do recommend a period of abstinence. You learn so much about yourself and actually start to solve those problems. So far it was the best decision of 2017 I have made. 

While my wine drinking was habit, sometimes drinking and substance abuse are a problem you can't quit on your own. I want you to know you are not alone and there is help out there for you. Visit Alcoholics Anonymous for resources in your area. If you need additional help, please fill out the contact form on this site or message me on social media, and I will do everything I can to help. 

Jennifer Gulbrandsen