Lots of people are doing “Dry January” these days, in which they don’t drink alcohol during the month of January. You might’ve heard of this, or maybe you’ve done it or tried it for yourself. There’s also “Sober October,” and maybe more. One friend of mine goes dry every February. He said it’s the shortest month, and if he can’t do that then we have a problem, Houston. Tough to argue with that… Another friend even decided to go dry all year, Dry 2020! When I recently saw her post about this on social media, I had the thought to pass along some information, since I might have a useful vantage point for her. For several years I worked at an inpatient substance abuse recovery center called Gulf Breeze Recovery. I’ve also had lots of private practice clients in this arena. What’s more, quite a few of my super close friends have stopped drinking over the past several years. But it’s really about the work I’ve been doing all these years about the understanding of the old emotional/energetic sludge – emotional debris – that we’ve been carrying around from the past, and how it leaves our system. So I thought I’d respond to her post, but then with all the dry this and that out there and “sober curious” movement as well, I thought something more in depth would be much better and more appropriate. It’s a bit long, but it’s very zoomed out, essential stuff. And it’s very general, going way beyond any one thing like alcohol, as you’ll see. So here we go!
The first and most important thing that comes to mind is a huge emotional purge. So buckle up! And while it can really, really suck, it’s a very good thing. And I don’t want to jinx it; maybe it won’t suck for you. But it can absolutely feel like hell at times, super awful. When you know what’s going on, though, and you learn how to love yourself through it – and you literally get excited about the massive growth that’s happening, and about your bravery and courage – it’s a real game changer. So hang in there, more light is on the way… literally. And know that this is one of the most important things that any human can do. True story.
Some super useful posts are the The Energetic Vacuum Cleaner and Seriously, Folks, The Emotional/Energetic Piece Is Huge! Master this stuff, because it’s foundational. And the universe is going to force your hand anyway at some point… Damn you, universe… So we might as well start to get out in front of it, since life can be smoother that way. Remember the old post, How To Heal & Clear The Past. This process is happening to all of us, as needed according to the universe (and your soul). And here’s the thing – when you go dry, or subtract anything in your life that needs to go, it speeds up the process. This is the gangster way of doing things, if you’re ready and feeling up for it. Respect! Not easy. But wow, the other side of it is amazing.
NOTE: Subtracting things from your life that no longer serve you can include pretty much anything. Alcohol and substances come to mind right away, of course. But it could also involve food, social media, your phone, TV, the news, Netflix, toxic people, the wrong job, obsessive exercise, obsessive health consciousness, obsessive yoga or meditation or “spiritual stuff” (yes, these healthy-looking things too). It’s so general! And I want you to really understand the CONCEPT. Because it’s not very complicated to understand. Living it, though, is a different story. That usually takes time and practice. And there’s absolutely no rush or time frame (unless, of course, the universe steps in). Also note that almost all of these things can be healthy, in the right amount. But they can also be security blankets for your insecure, often wounded, (and innocent!) inner child, which is what the ego really is (remember the post The Baby Analogy). So it’s not just alcohol.
For a quick refresher, emotional means energetic, because that’s what emotion is, energy (remember that science from the early 1900’s learned that everything, including metal or a rock, is energy). When we remove or subtract any variable that takes up lots of room in our life, space is created (space is HUGE, by the way – I’m sure we’ll have more on that in future posts, but you can watch my brief four-minute linked video in the meantime). When there’s space, our old stored up emotions naturally say, “Woohoo, we get to leave now!!” So they arise. And you know this is happening because you feel them. Yay… So yes, it’s a super common thing that when you stop doing something like drinking alcohol for a long period of time, the old pain that’s been in your system, in your energy field, unfelt, comes up to be felt and thus released. It’s a good thing because it’s leaving! And more light and spaciousness – literally more of your soul – steps right in to take its place. Folks, this is true! And it’s no less than a modern spiritual awakening, for real. For any human to do this is a big deal, a very big deal.
Note that one month generally won’t do the trick, in terms of the super comprehensive purge described above. I mean, it’s a VERY huge thing to do if it breaks a cycle and shakes things up. So do it! And don’t hold back. I’m not disparaging it at all. And a month can lead to another month later, or a longer period of time. Or even a week here and there – that’s huge for daily drinkers. Or weekend-only drinking. It all adds up and leads to exactly where it needs to lead. But when I saw Dry 2020, an entire year, I thought I should step in to at least normalize the energetic purge that usually comes in layers and waves, often months later. Sometimes years later. But by then you’ve mastered this stuff! And when another layer arises, you say, “Look at how I’m healing and clearing! I guess there’s more.” And you love yourself through it and go on about your day. And it eventually clears and you feel more and more invincible.
Back to the part about a modern day spiritual awakening, with more soul stepping into your body… It’s my understanding that this is actually all orchestrated by the soul. The soul says, “Hey, you’re you’re ready to embody more of me!” Next thing you know, you have an urge to go dry (or make whatever change, often through the process of subtracting some thing or things from your life). And if you’re not getting the message, it could even be an illness or accident or something that forces it. Now, I’m not a fan of this kind of hardball, but I absolutely do believe that it can happen this way. Let’s not get hung up on that right now, though. The point is simply that when you go dry, your old energetic sludge, your old pain, all of the emotional debris in the cells of your body, comes up to leave. So you might feel crappy for a while. And yay, since it’s actually an amazing thing! It’s VERY spiritually mature, too.
One friend had been sober for several months, and she noticed she was angry a lot. Like a general feeling of anger or annoyance. When she mentioned this to me, I told her that it’s just old emotion being cleared (that’s what we mean by “normalizing” it – no need to be alarmed, this is a moral part of the process, right on time). So there’s nothing to do to fix it; it actually IS the fix. That’s because it’s clearing space for more light and soul to enter. So hang in there and be proud of yourself for doing this – VERY proud. And it will pass, because there’s not an infinite amount of it. But it sure might not seem that way at the time!
Get this, one person I know said that when he stopped working as much as he used to, he didn’t feel great right away. He expected his life to immediately be more amazing, but it wasn’t. Why? We know that by now… Since he was suddenly not so busy, space was created in his life. And he had to actually feel the stuff he’d been carrying around for so long (because it naturally rose to the surface to leave). But he got on the other side of it, in time, and life got better and better.
NOTE: My understanding is that we’re actually clearing all of the unprocessed pain and emotion from who knows how many lifetimes. So it’s to be respected. I might tell a personal story about this exact thing sometime, which explains why I felt like I was dying for several months after a breakup a few years ago. DYING. It was so awful. When I realized how much pain was leaving, though, and that it was actually from a long, long, long time ago (in addition to this lifetime), it finally made sense. I realized this not even a year ago, and I sure wish I had know it at the time. Because that was freaking terrible! But I’m not carrying it around now… Amen. Here’s the thing, though, you don’t have to believe or not believe in reincarnation. Because isn’t this lifetime enough?? It absolutely is! So there you go. I just wanted to mention it, though, in case somebody was going through this process, which you could even call a sort of Dark Night of the Soul, and thinking, “How much is there? Will it ever end??” Yes, it will. It has to. Hallelujah.
Now for two book recs… I have not read this first one, but my cousin is super dialed in to this stuff and she said it’s amazing. And it fits exactly with what we’re talking about here. It’s by a psychiatrist named Kelly Brogan, and it’s called Own Your Self: The Surprising Path beyond Depression, Anxiety, and Fatigue to Reclaiming Your Authenticity, Vitality, and Freedom. Now that’s quite a subtitle… But it sounds awesome! According to my cousin, Dr. Brogan isn’t into prescribing psych meds; she’s into getting people off of them. Because in most cases (see below) that’s what leads to true peace and happiness. This is because it’s the same subtraction process. As people taper off, space is created. So the old emotions that the pills were suppressing naturally arise. We usually go through a period of time of not feeling great emotionally. But again, these are old emotions that are in the process of being cleared out. The person can go through an incredibly dark period, to be honest, so it’s important to know what’s going on, as well as to have really good support. But it’s clearing space for more light and more good feelings. So… yay. Isn’t this all amazing?? I certainly think so. In fact, this is basic emotional understanding according to the people of the future. So we got that going for us… And isn’t wild that something like alcohol and psych meds can have have the same effect? They can suppress emotion. So we remove them and the emotion clears on its own. Wow.
NOTE: I’m not totally anti-psych med at all, though sometimes people assume that I am. I think that the vast majority of people that take them, though, don’t need them. They need to see someone like me first. Or learn this stuff from material like this post and the links and book recs. Then they can go through the clearing process when they feel ready, while loving themselves through it and also using their support system (which, again, could include someone like me). But that’s the vast majority, not ALL. Another thing to note is that there’s timing involved. If you don’t feel ready to taper off, then don’t. But you might want to start learning and practicing some of this self-love work. This blog has more than enough to get you rolling. And you can schedule a session with me, too, and learn it all in 90 minutes (online Zoom sessions as well for out-of-owners… boom!). When your body is ready to drop down on the meds, it’ll tell you. You might feel over-medicated, or the side effects might increase. Drop the dose just to the next level and go from there. Another note – I am not a medical doctor! So I can’t give specific advice about specific medications and dosages. This is my general understanding, though, and I have lots of experience working with clients to back it up.
Another great book about exactly this topic is I Hope I Screw This Up: How Falling In Love with Your Fears Can Change the World by Kyle Cease. He goes through the same thing with food. He wasn’t even addicted in the way we would think; he wasn’t super unhealthy or anything. But he’s a very aware guy that had already done lots of inner work (I believe he was even coaching people and leading groups by then). And he noticed a deep emotional aspect to his eating habits and history. So he decided to go raw for ninety days (mad respect!). He announced it to his already growing FaceBook community, and get this – he said he’d donate $10,000 to charity if he slipped, even once! So what happened over those ninety days? His entire life transformed. He was already a very successful comedian, and he was well into his spiritual awakening by that time. But he was sick of the normal comedy club gigs. He ended up blending comedy and transformation – pretty much for the first time ever. And he was making more money than ever, in way better working situations. It sounds like it was less work, too, and far more rewarding. By going raw he did the process of subtraction, creating space. It was uncomfortable at first, and he got through it. And then the light began to rush in. And he felt more and more amazing. And his whole world changed. Just look him up and you’ll see for yourself what the result was, and it’s probably just the beginning. So amazing! And it all started with the subtraction of something big.
Note that we’ve been talking mostly about the inner aspect of the subtraction process, in this case going dry. The final thing to say, which Kyle’s story illustrates so well, is that your outer world will eventually shift to match the new vibration; it’s math, it’s the law. Your world will literally rearrange itself to match the new you. But the inner shift has to happen first. And often there’s a bit of a lag time, but just relax into your new life, slow down, and let it all unfold. And it will. This is where life can get really magical. More on this later, I’m sure.
So there you go, folks. I didn’t intend for this to turn into War and Peace, but I guess that’s what the universe intended. I also didn’t intend for it to be the summary of this work that I mentioned in my recent welcome back post, but it is in a way. It doesn’t get into the details of healing through self-love, and using the breath to help, but all of the linked posts do a good enough job of that. This is huge, though! Foundational. This is basic education in The Future. This is big. And this is for you, now. Whether you subtract something from your life or not, I just want you to begin to understand what’s going on, crystal clear. Any subtraction that the universe or your soul deems necessary will happen at some point. So we can relax into our journey more and more. And know that I’m always here if I can help. Peace out! And now I’ll go pop some champagne to celebrate such a long post being finished… Just kidding 🙂