ImageThis week I became really sick and tired of the dry year. I started playing around with the title “Six Dry Months” thinking maybe I’ve had enough. These thoughts and a mood of displeasure and general grouchiness was brought on by the events that were planned for the weekend. It was my 10 year wedding anniversary with Philip, and we had some really fun stuff on the calendar; ballgames with family at Fenway Park, a fancy lunch in Boston and a couple of days in Maine. Partaking in beer at the Red Sox game and drinks at our anniversary lunch weighed heavily on my mind.

It is interesting to me to observe the justification for quitting this experiment that emerged as a result of the circumstances. I began to tell myself that I was really done, and there was nothing left to think about or explore in the blog. I questioned the value of my writing and decided that I would just be boring my readers (whom I can count on one hand) with my repetitive droning on about the same old thing. Although I know from experience that there is aways another way to look at things and plenty more to say, at that moment, the part of me that wanted to give up was speaking louder than the creative/inspired mind. I rode out this wave of negativity, temporarily.

Next up was the excuse, “I have learned everything I need to learn from this experience and it is unnecessary to go on with my vow of alcohol abstinence.” Speaking with my sister-in-law on the way to dinner in Boston, I expressed my feelings of being frustrated and bored with not drinking. I knew that the adults would be ordering some wine at the cute little bistro we had selected for a pre-game dinner, and I wanted to have some too. (Can you hear my foot stomping on the pavement?) I explained to anyone who would listen that I had started the blog/experiment because I was worried that I had a problem (addiction) and I have since come to terms with what was happening. Yes, I used alcohol as a coping mechanism (Don’t we all have something?) and I have realized that I am not an alcoholic…just someone who developed a habit of having a drink or two at night to help calm the day. So…end of story, right? I have my answer. I have made some changes to the stress levels in my life to better manage my habits. So why keep doing this?

Although I resisted having a drink that night at dinner or the game, I woke up with the notion that I’d give myself a pass at lunch and order wine or a martini. Thought: I won’t give this up completely. Surely, it is understandable that I could have a drink at this milestone anniversary. So I ran this idea passed Philip.

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Checking in Along the Way


In just 18 days, I will hit the half-way point in my dry year. This is a good time to take stock in where life has taken me since December 1st–what has changed, what hasn’t changed and what are the questions still unanswered. I decided to interview myself for the purposes of this entry. When being interviewed, a person will often discover something about themselves that they may not have recognized previously. This format could be useful at this point in the process.

Question: What was the process in deciding to do this project?

The decision to give up drinking for a while was a cumulative process. I had been thinking about how much I’d like to cut back and the fact that I thought that I was drinking too frequently and too much. I was starting to notice that a glass of wine or a vodka martini no longer had the same intoxicating effect that it once held. I didn’t feel good about this, and I was starting to wonder if I “had a problem.” The process of deciding to stop completely for one year was very spontaneous. I was literally in the shower when I had the idea that I could do this if I had a creative outlet and a system that would hold me accountable.

Question: Had you tried to give up drinking before? 

Yes, I have given up drinking for shorter periods of time before because of physical ailments–mostly digestive in nature. Whenever I started drinking again, there was always a period of less drinking and then a slip back into habit of daily drinking. With this longer term goal, of giving up alcohol for 365 days, I hope to gain more insight into my habit and the advantages and pitfalls of drinking.

Question: What was your biggest fear about this experiment?

My biggest fear was that I would stop being asked to parties and that people would feel self-conscious being around me. I never want people to feel like I am judging them. I just want to be OK with myself and know that I have control of my actions. This has nothing to do with what other people are doing. It is deeply personal and I just don’t want my friends and family to ever feel bad about drinking in front of me.

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