Dispatches from the Land of the Sober People, pt. 1 (maybe)

Dear wine friends,

Any of you who know me in real life (so like, all of you right?) know that I can A.) drink you under the table and B.) probably will fall asleep under that table with a calzone shortly thereafter, so I understand if the title for this post makes little sense.

BUT. Now that I successfully changed careers (what up!) I am moving onto the long laundry list of things I’d like to at least attempt to achieve before I hit my oh-so-quickly-approaching 30s. The first time I typed that, I accidentally typed ’20s.’ Le sigh.

Anyway, that list involves stuff like “have a savings account that doesn’t charge you money every month for being a savings account with no money in it” and “develop a morning routine that doesn’t consist solely of rolling out of bed, grabbing the first semi-non-smelly thing off the floor and buying a diet coke on the way to work” but as both of those sound pretty difficult, I’ve decided to tackle the seemingly easiest thing on my list which involves partaking in a lesser-known New York City ritual known as The Dry Month.

The first time I heard about The Dry Month was my first winter in the city, and I think my head damn near exploded when I was like, “hey [coworker], we’re going to happy hour because Tuesday” and he was like, “oh, no, I’m cool. I’m doing a dry February.” At first I was like, “oh is that a new workout craze how many calories does it burn?” and then it hit me. He was not drinking for an entire month, likely as a means to reset his body back to a level of health somewhere between hanging-on-by-a-thread and feeling-ok-but-I-have-these-weird-rashes after the massive amount of damage that can be done when you combine the holidays with the fact that no one here has to worry about driving.

And then I was like “ohhhh February makes sense because it’s two less days.”

Since then, I’ve heard of Dry Month participants on occasion, but it’s usually more like someone making a sweeping declaration that he/she is going to do so and then immediately failing because New York.

When it comes down to it, I’d liken the idea of not drinking for a month to that of a juice cleanse, signing up for unlimited hot yoga, or getting one of those body wraps that makes you look like a mummy for ten minutes but then somehow compresses your body so that you “lose three inches”. We all say we’re going to do it one day. We all resolve to do it at the beginning of most weeks and fail before we’ve even told anyone we’re going to do it, and we’re all terrified of those who actually accomplish it because that means that we could probably do it too but it sounds really fucking annoying. Or, in the case of the body resizing mummification, it simply sounds terrifying.

I’ve been holding the dry month over my own head for the three years I’ve lived here, but it was hitting a weight that I dare not speak of post-this-holiday-season that made me realize I am being a fat, drunk, lazyass who needs to prove she can do something more than drink a bottle of skinny girl margaritas for dinner and still remember why bodega has the best candy selection on Seamless(kinda a point of pride but I digress).

As I’m writing this, I have officially begun day 7 of my dry month (which I have named Sovember because it technically started mid-January and ends on Valentine’s Day) but really it’s just midnight of day 6 so no biggie. The only remarkable thing about tonight is that it’s the first Friday night since– I don’t remember the last Friday I haven’t gone out to some capacity. I am about to go to bed (so I can sleep and edit this post tomorrow), and while I fully intend to report back as Sovember progresses, I figured I’d leave you with some of my initial impressions of what it’s like not drinking in the Functionally-Alcoholic Apple(maybe we should start calling it the Big Cider?).

  • Easiest diet ever. Holy shit you guys. Did you know how many calories are in alcohol? I totally did because I track my calories unless chicken wings, Saturdays, mimosas or candy are involved (ie. I track my calories on Mondays, sometimes) but SERIOUSLY. I feel like I can eat anything and everything and still be under the calorie limit my fitness app gives me every day without seeing skinny bitches on the train and wanting to start screaming “IT’S BECAUSE OF YOU THAT I FEEL THIS WAY.”
  • I have a lot of free time. I’ve developed a theory that the nail art movement was invented and is wholly maintained by sober people, because that’s really the only non drinking/eating activity that I can come up with for when I want to shut off my brain while I’m watching TV. My nails have never looked so good, y’all.
  • I think I’m less sleepy, but I still have all those nightmares. I’m hella anxious, but as I’ve learned to manage the constant fear of impending doom in my waking life, most of it has flowed over into my subconscious, leaving me with vivid, ever-changing and chronic nightmares. I’ve heard from science (or Distractify, can’t remember which) that alcohol interrupts your sleep and as my sleep is constantly interrupted by basically every type of nightmare mentioned in any dream journal thing, I had started to almost hope it was alcohol-related so that I don’t have to plan for eventual deal-with-my-anxiety therapy or whatever. On the bright side, I wake up refreshed! On the not so bright side, it’s usually the dreams about creepy murderers or my teeth falling out while I’m flying through space and I’m naked and I totally forgot to drop that one class and now it’s finals time and I’m gonna fail that is waking me up in a quick jolt of panic so I can subsequently feel refreshed.
  • I hate the gym slightly less. But still a lot. I still hate the gym so, so much. I guess what else am I gonna do with all this free time, though? Hell, I might even try cardio hip hop one of these days.

All in all, I was pretty sure by now I would be curled up in the fetal position holding an empty bottle of rosé while whispering the lyrics to “I Will Always Love You” through by tears, but given that I was able to eat a bag of jelly beans tonight without exceeding my calorie limit, I’m no worse for the wear.

More to come probablyIguessunlessIgetbored.

Peace, love and take a shot for me, 

BWCE

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