Dry January, Sober Consciousness? Is it for you?

Updated: Aug 19

an image of a cold drink in a stemmed glass with a lime on the rim

I want to take you through a very special journey, a very special thought process because the final holiday of the year is here. This is a space where so many of us make decisions to do a lot of things. So we’re going to take the year out with a bang, and we’re going to do so with the intention of creating all of this amazing, wonderful change, starting January 1.

So we have our resolution people, we have our goal-setting people, and we have our life-changing people. Whatever it is that you refer to it as you know who you are, right?

I really want to focus on something that is the top priority for so many people, especially right now.

Sober conscious and being sober curious.

These are things that people aspire to do. It is very common at the beginning of the year to say

“I’m going to drink less.” “I’m going to use less.” “I’m going to …..(fill in the blank)” Whatever it is for you.

I want to change and broaden the definition of sober to include anything that your negative attachment might be for you or whatever habit that you have. That thing that holds you, hostage, that thing that you ‘MUST’ have and or do for a specific reason you believe. So I want it to be all-encompassing. We want to look at being sober conscious, whether that’s from overindulgence in food and attachment to sugar, impulsive shopping, excessive alcohol use, or any other substance. Again, whatever it is that may be prevalent in your life.

A lot of us may feel like the 1st of January is our chance for a reset. But have you thought about your why? Do you know what that looks like or feels like if you say New Year’s Eve is your last Hoorah, and then on January 1st you’re going dry? What might this look like for you, and how might you pre-plan for this? Depending upon your level of engagement (whatever that may be for you) the withdrawal could be very much a part of what you’re going to need to expect. That’s even with sugar. Yes, certainly sugar. I’ve worked with some people who have experienced sugar withdrawals worse than their alcohol withdrawal. I’ve even seen people get physically sick and vomit from their withdrawal from sugar. So we want to be very smart about this. You want to look at that. Be prepared for what is going to come. Also from an emotional, physical, physiological standpoint.

Withdrawals can cause dangerous, uncomfortable, derailing situations.

We know that alcohol and substance withdrawal can be extremely dangerous, depending on your level of use. I want you to be smart about it and go into this safely. If you are feeling that this could be the right path for you, learning more about being sober conscious, reach out to me and I can help. We can go through a quick assessment to help you decide the best approach for you. It will help you make the decision if you need to start thinking about getting serious about this today or where you need to adjust your goals and aspirations for “Dry January'' to February because you will need January to learn more and wean yourself.

You will be making a significant life change, so there’s a lot to consider.

There are going to be obstacles in your way that may cause you to fail, to become derailed in areas on an emotional & cognitive, spiritual & social level. So I think that we can safely say that our New Year’s resolutions or these aspirations that we have for ourselves for the coming year are not necessarily created out of an intention to struggle. It is to instigate positive change and make things more comfortable, more satisfying, more fulfilling in the long run. So don’t go into this New Year and get let down, keep hope and stay positive.

I want to go through some thought-provoking prompts and questions, so grab a pen and paper:

  1. You’ve got to know the What. For example, “What is it that I want going forward to become sober conscious?” What are you setting out to do? What is it you’re hoping to accomplish? Just knowing your what is going to help you understand what is causing that derail, what’s causing that struggle in your life. Be honest with yourself.

  2. You need to know your Why. Why is it causing an issue? Why is it that you feel like you need to let it go? Why do you want corrections? Why do you want change? You need to know your “Why” because you cannot correct something if you don’t know why it needs correction or changing or improving.

Are you struggling with

  • Mental Reels, or overthinking? - there are the premonitions or the rehearsals that are constant, revisiting the ruminating, the wallowing, the languishing.

  • Do you have a fear of change or failure?

  • Do you feel invisible, invalid, or unheard?

  • How do you feel about your self-worth? Does it feel like it’s lacking? Does your self-esteem feel trapped?

  • Do you hide behind doing for others?

  • Do you avoid quiet time?

  • Do you have a deep-seated need to always be busy? - Or at least be seen as busy?

  • Do you feel isolated?

  • Do you find yourself longing for what others have?

  • Do you focus on the negatives in your life? What is going wrong, versus what is going right?

  • Do you find that your emotional sensitivity is at an extreme? Irritability to a point that just about everything gets under your skin?

  • Do you have agitation? Having unnecessary outbursts?

  • Do you experience frustration to a level that just makes you want to run?

  • Do you feel like you’re dragging your past around with you? - Again that’s the ruminating, wallowing, and languishing in things that you’ve already survived.

So, now, revisit that why again. Why do you want to let go of your eating habits, or drinking or using? (whatever it is for you)

Next, we need to be breaking things down. It’s pertinent we do this in categories so we don't attach feelings with one person or environment broadly onto all areas. For example, if you are insecure speaking in front of your peers at work doesn't mean you are insecure with speaking in general.

We all have at least these categories of life:

  • Home -

  • Immediate Family - Relationships with those inside your home.

  • Extended Family - Relationships with family outside of your home.

  • Work -

  • Co-workers,

  • supervisors,

  • employees,

  • etc.

  • Social -

  • that includes family and friends

  • that includes all other things in other settings

We want to look inside ourselves first, think about the co-dependencies, the what’s, the why’s, and your broken down categories.

We could keep going here, in fact, the recording of this blog post originated from transcribed into 7 pages. So let's leave this here starting with this personal dialogue:

“I’m going to look inside myself first. I’m not going to rely on something outside of myself to bring me peace, joy, comfort, relief, value, validity, worthiness, or anything like that”.

We want to get rid of the external locus of control position where the people, places, and environments have the capability of derailing our thought processes.