It's Dry January 2023!

Dry January is practiced around the world by people who are ready to give their bodies a break after holiday indulgences.  It's a great time to challenge yourself to put down that glass of wine and practice some self care.

The reasons to go dry are numerous, from liver health to gut health, hormone balance to mood stablizing, saving money to deepening relationships. The list of benefits goes on for pages.

In therapy, we gain the most clarity when we no longer mask our feelings. Drinking is often used as a mask.  30 days is a short amount of time to take the mask off and feel what you feel - even on the weekends.

When clients are considering going dry, I like to recommend they read a book during the month and they journal.  

Here is my list:

-For the “Still not convinced I need to go dry” woman:  The Dry Challenge by Hilary Sheinbaum, a fun and colorful walk through why to go dry and what to say to those pesky friends who question you.  Full of cute graphics and mocktail recipes and other monthly themes for going dry if you miss January.  Really appeals to a younger woman but fun for all ages.  Her British phrases make it extra fun!

-For the “I’m embarrassed to say it, but I might have a trouble going dry” woman:  Not Drinking Tonight by Amanda E  White, LPC is straightforward and to the point.   Although she writes as a younger therapist, her very introduction hits the nail on the head squarely.  Her simple question, “How would your life be better without alcohol?” ends the debate of “alcoholic or not.“  Educational and easy to read, this book will inspire you to “put it down” for January and maybe even beyond. 

-For the “I’m ready to admit I have a drinking problem” woman:  The Big Book by Alcoholics Anonymous will walk you through the tough work to start addressing this problem once and for all.  Although the AA model is not for everyone, this is a time-tested tool for getting down to serious business.  You will learn a lot about yourself and can share this in therapy to decide if and what the next steps for you will be.

We’ve been taught in our culture that it’s fun and rewarding to harm ourselves with the recreational drug that alcohol is. Yes, it can be used responsibly.  In my work as a therapist, unfortunately, I see how much harm it does to women who struggle with anxiety, depression, relationship pain, menopause, trauma, the list goes on.  The slippery slope is a real danger.  

If you don’t want to go dry for just 31 days, ask yourself why?  There is an important story in that.

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