Does it serve you? What about a dry 2024?Dec 26, 2023
As the confetti cannons fall silent and the resolutions of a "new year, new me" echo in the air, one bold declaration might seem particularly daunting: Dry 2024. The thought of navigating a year shorn of the celebratory clinking of glasses, the after-work unwinding with friends over beers, or the cozy comfort of a glass of wine by the fire can feel like a daunting task that kills the festive cheer. But before you dismiss the idea as joyless self-denial, listen to a different sound: the joyful roar of clarity, the clinking of pennies saved (lots of dollars actually), the buzz of renewed energy, and bliss of increased focus.
I have been tossing this idea around for a while now. After doing 75 Hard I went over 90 days without a drink. I did not miss it. Nothing wrong with enjoying a drink now and again, but I did not miss it.
Alcohol – the social lubricant, the stress reliever, the liquid companion – casts a long and sometimes deceptive shadow. While it undoubtedly holds a place in many cultures and personal rituals, its impact on our physical and mental well-being often gets glossed over in the warm glow of a well-mixed cocktail. So, let's peel back the layers and delve into the reasons why choosing to ditch the booze in 2024 might be the most illuminating resolution you'll ever make. I will also share something else the cause me to drink significantly less.
The Shadow Side of the Spirits:
The dark side of alcohol isn't a hidden monster lurking in the shadows. It's plain to see in the statistics: 1 in 20 adults have an alcohol use disorder, costing the US alone $249 billion annually. It's evident in the silent struggle of those dealing with dependence, the heartbreak of families fractured by addiction, and the tragic rise in alcohol-related fatalities. It's whispered in the hangovers that drain our productivity and the whispers of anxiety that follow a night of overindulgence.
Beyond the immediate, alcohol wreaks havoc on our bodies, acting as a carcinogen, disrupting sleep patterns, and compromising our immune systems. It fattens our livers, strains our hearts, and dulls our cognitive abilities. It weakens our resolve, erodes our judgment, and leaves us vulnerable to accidents and risky behaviors. It becomes a silent thief of energy, time, and ultimately, our well-being.
Over the last 5 plus years it has been common to see men who because of relationship challenge to fall into a very bad habit of drinking not occasionally but regularly, or daily! Sometimes the regular or daily drinking – a numbing behavior because a man is unhappy living a less than life, causes the relationship problems.
Stepping into the Sunshine:
But here's the thing: choosing Dry 2024 isn't about succumbing to a joyless, teetotal existence. It's about claiming back the sunshine stolen by the shadow. It's about saying "no" to the thief and reclaiming the most precious treasures – your health, your clarity, your life.
The benefits of a dry year are a symphony of positive notes:
- Physical Harmony: Your body becomes a finely tuned instrument. Your liver sighs in relief, shedding the burden of constant detoxification. Your sleep deepens, leaving you refreshed and energized. Your skin glows with the newfound radiance of inner health. Your immune system becomes a fortified castle, warding off illness.
- Mental Clarity: The fog lifts, revealing a world in sharp focus. Your mind becomes a clear canvas, primed for creativity and productivity. Decision-making becomes sharper, anxieties dissipate, and emotional resilience strengthens. You discover a newfound self-awareness, a deeper connection to your own thoughts and feelings.
- Financial Freedom: The clinking of coins in your pocket replaces the clinking of ice in glasses. Alcohol expenses melt away, freeing up resources for experiences, adventures, and passions long neglected. You become a savvy investor in your own well-being, reaping the dividends of healthy choices.
- Relationships Deepen: The walls built around your true self by inhibitions crumble. You connect with others on a deeper, more authentic level. Communication becomes open and honest, relationships strengthen, and new connections blossom in the fertile ground of genuine engagement. Life is better when numbing behaviors are eliminated.
Embracing the Fizz of Sobriety:
Dry 2024 isn't about deprivation. It's about liberation. It's about discovering the intoxicating buzz of a fulfilling life lived on your own terms. It's about replacing the artificial highs of alcohol with the heady cocktail of self-respect, confidence, and well-being.
Prior to dating Melanie my previous significant relationship was with a woman who was a heavy drinker. As happens with relationships, I naturally drank more while dating her. After that relationship ended I eventually started dating Melanie who is allergic to alcohol. This led to two significant positive changes. One I decreased my alcohol intake significantly by having a partner who does not drink. Second the cost of date nights when down significantly!!! Think about the cost difference of going out for Mexican, that used to be $50-$60 pre-tip, is now $30-$35 pre-tip!!!!!
The journey won't be without its challenges. Social pressure, tempting occasions, and cravings may rear their heads. But remember, you're not alone. Seek support from loved ones, the brothers on Mentoring.men, and professional resources if needed. Find creative ways to celebrate, explore alcohol-free alternatives, and embrace the sparkling world of sober joy. If you need alcohol that is a sign you have a problem………and may need professional help to deal with your addiction.
Remember, Dry 2024 isn't just about abstaining from alcohol. It's about embarking on a voyage of self-discovery and a transformation fueled by the potent energy of a life reclaimed. It's about stepping into the sunshine, leaving the shadows behind, and raising a glass – of sparkling water, perhaps – to the invigorating clarity and vibrant health that awaits. So, raise your glass (or sparkling water flute) and say cheers to a brighter, bolder, and infinitely more alive you in 2024! This also means when I get married at the end of May 2024, Melanie and I will be toasting with sparkling grape juice.
Join me in an alcohol free 2024!