LAKEWOOD, Colo. (KDVR) — Many people opted to participate in Dry January and stopped drinking during the month.
If you were doing it, how did it go? How long did it last? Why do you think you failed?
AspenRidge Recovery Center helps people overcome addiction and gives some pointers and things to seriously examine the next time you take a break from alcohol.
“We have a society that often praises substance,” said Danny San Filippo. “So to say ‘Hey, let’s actually step back from this and allow for our brains to have some time within sobriety and for our neurochemicals to balance themselves out,’ honestly, I love it.”
They said not drinking can be good for both your mental and physical health.
“People can expect mental clarity, they can expect more energy, less puffy in the face. They spend less time experiencing headaches and stomach issues that go along with it,” San Filippo said.
The best way to start is to not make it a solo mission, quitting with a community is crucial. So, find a friend.
“The reality is, we are products of our environment in many ways. So, by having people that we could connect with, that are aligned with us and are on a similar mission, maybe it’s not the exact same apples to apples even if its apples to oranges, we’re all still fruit,” said San Filippo.
San Filippo recommends first finding a new hobby and knowing your witching hour, the time and day of the week you’d typically have a drink, and engaging in that new hobby at those times.
He adds another helpful tip to know:
“Know your level of ‘no’. What I mean by that is, if you can say no through a text message because everyone’s going to be drinking, and I know that I’m not necessarily going to say no once I’m there, then that’s your level of no and there’s nothing wrong with that. There’s no shame in that. It’s just knowing yourself,” San Filippo said. “If you do have the level of ‘no’ where you can be there and someone can offer you a drink and that’s OK and you’re very comfortable saying, ‘Oh, I’m actually taking a month off or I’m wanting to see what this is like for myself in terms of not having alcohol on me,’ then that’s your level of no and that works as well.”
San Filippo said if you do slip up or fall back into old habits, don’t let that take over, push past it and remember why you started in the first place.
“Life is built on mistakes. They are really nothing more than learning opportunities for us,” said San Filippo. “You’re drinking one night in the middle of January does not necessarily change the idea that you had that goal.”
This mission won’t be without challenges, quitting cold turkey can have some downfalls.
So, during this month if you’ve noticed struggles, if it was hard to make it five days without drinking, or if you’re experiencing serious withdrawal symptoms, contact a support group, therapist, or doctor.